This year’s Royal Rumble tagline plays off its Alamodome venue. Instead of ‘Remember the Alamo! It’s ‘Remember the Rumble!’ I tell you what I remember. That first poster WWE put out for the event with AJ Styles right at the back.
Smackdown worked this oversight into Styles’ promo with John Cena this week, with AJ complaining how he was left in the background with Cena in the part-timer front row.
At least someone in WWE’s design department is focused on the long-term building of its stars, as the official Royal Rumble 2017 t-shirt has AJ moved from the back with Rich Swann, to right behind John Cena.
The latest story about who is actually winning the Rumble, which was in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter – a very reputable source – is actually a really cool idea that I never even considered. It’s so cool, and such a good idea, that if it’s true, I think it’d be better experienced as a surprise. So if you want the Rumble to unfold without this in mind, skip the next few paragraphs, then come back on Monday morning to see if this is true.
POTENTIAL SPOILER WARNING
From the Wrestling Observer: “There’s a story that just started going around about [Randy] Orton winning the Rumble and [Bray] Wyatt winning the Chamber match. If that doesn’t happen, it would be because plans changed.”
Dave Meltzer goes onto say that it’s no secret Wyatt is scheduled for a title run in 2017, and this would be a brilliant Wrestlemania blow off to one of the best long-running feuds in WWE.
SPOILER SECTION OVER
This week’s Wrestling Observer also reported an idea that Samoa Joe might be John Cena’s Wrestlemania 33 opponent. Which is a great idea, and from one of the most reputable journalists in professional wrestling. But now WrestlingNewsWorld, who don’t have nearly the same success rate, are reporting that the Cena vs Joe story was intentionally leaked by WWE. They only speculate as to the reason why – that it “could be WWE trying to create buzz” for Joe potentially being a surprise Royal Rumble entrant – but advise to “be aware WWE has been trying to leak the bout.” I don’t know what that means.
Someone who definitely won’t be in the Royal Rumble match, though, is Kenny Omega, who after weeks of speculation he’d be going to WWE after his 6 star WrestleKingdom 11 match, has revealed he intends to stay with New Japan Pro Wrestling to Wrestling Observer Radio:
“I’m just going to say it: I will not be at the Royal Rumble. I don’t want people to have this sort of false hope of me showing up in the Royal Rumble and then not being there and being disappointed when there’s a fantastic match happening with fantastic competitors in it.”
Omega continued, talking about what he wants to achieve in New Japan:
“…there was an old friend of mine, who actually didn’t sign with WWE, in hopes that we could do something special this year. And I would feel… in all of the excitement, I’d almost forgotten that that was something that should be important to me.”
This ‘old friend’ sounds like Omega’s DDT rival Kota Ibushi, who didn’t sign with WWE despite competing in the Cruiserweight Classic. Kenny’s New Japan deal will be for at least one year, but a move to WWE seems to be in his future going by a Q+A for 4FW:
“The main reason why I would go to WWE is because I would love to have a match against AJ Styles at WrestleMania. If I’m being truthful, before AJ hangs it up, and before I start to degenerate as an athlete, I really want to have a big match with him on the biggest stage possible, so that is a career goal of mine.”
What are your predictions for this Sunday’s Royal Rumble? Tell me how you can’t wait for that James Ellsworth/Gillberg staredown before both men are sacrificed to Braun Strowman in the comments below.
You can still buy tickets for Dominant Wrestling this Saturday on the 28th January, and you can watch it broadcast live at the same time with Rey Mysterio, Johnny Mundo, Drew Galloway and more in action on Spike TV in the UK, which can be found on channel 31 on Freeview, 160 on Sky and 154 on Virgin.