Jabroni Journal: Royal Rumble 2017 Predictions

January 26, 2017

The Royal Rumble is my favorite WWE event. I distinctly remember being a kid and watching Royal Rumble 1995 over and over again. I was hooked from the moment Shawn Michaels – my favorite wrestler at the time – tricked everyone and dangled from the ropes with only one foot, only to jump back in the ring and dump out the British Bulldog to win the match. It isn’t always the in ring action that excites us the most as fans – it’s the hype, the pageantry, the fact that you never know who will walk down that aisle next…It truly is a unique match and makes for an exciting watch. Here are my predictions for this year’s Royal Rumble event. 

Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
Regardless of whether or not people really see her as this, they are trying to build Nia Jax up as the female version of Brock Lesnar – a true destroyer. Sasha is the sacrificial lamb fed to the big bad wolf. I see Nia crushing her, resulting in a rematch or two. 
Winner: Nia Jax

Rich Swann (Cruiserweight Champion) vs. Neville
I would love to sit here and type out the words Rich Swann retains – I’ve been a big fan of the guy since the first time I saw him flipping all over the ring in a Pro Wrestling Guerilla (PWG) DVD three years ago, but the simple fact is that the Cruiserweight Championship needs to be elevated. The cruiserweight segments on RAW seem to fall a little flat and the division needs to be led by someone who is already established as a star. Though they have plenty of incredible wrestlers who can do INSANE moves all night long, it was obvious who the real star was the moment Neville made his debut in the division, crapping all over his good guy persona and immediately demanding respect. I expect Neville to win this clean and hold the Cruiserweight Title for a lengthy amount of time.
Winner: Neville (new Cruiserweight Champion)

Cesaro and Sheamus (Raw Tag Team Champions) vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
If Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson don’t win this time, they need to consider going back to Japan. They’ve been grasping at anything and everything, but have fallen short thus far. They are a great team and I would love to see them win. Will they? Probably not. 
Winners: Cesaro and Sheamus (Retaining the titles)

Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella and Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James and Natalya
I loved seeing Mickie James return last week to align herself with Alexa Bliss – she is one of my all-time favorite women’s wrestlers and I’m glad she is teamed up with a young talent who can really learn a lot from her. I also think Natalya comes across best as a heel and has been great the past few weeks as a real mean, no good, jealous jerk that stabbed Nikki in the back. I see Alexa, Mickie and Natalya winning to keep the stories going and earn sympathy for the fan favorites. 
Winners: Alexa Bliss, Mickie James and Natalya

Charlotte Flair (Raw Women’s Champion) vs. Bayley
It’s not Bayley’s time yet. Charlotte will make her tap on Sunday….but I fully expect Bayley to get the big title win at WrestleMania 33 for that feel good moment everyone is looking for. 
Winner: Charlotte Flair (retains the title)

AJ Styles (WWE Heavyweight Champion) vs. John Cena
AJ Styles and John Cena put on some of my favorite matches last year. They have a certain chemistry in the ring that is hard to find. They are really playing up the whole “Is Cena too old?” thing with this storyline, making it seem like he’s fighting to prove he is still relevant. Up until this week I was certain Cena would be walking out of San Antonio with the Championship, but I’m starting to think they will continue the storyline a bit longer, with Cena winning the belt next month at the Elimination Chamber with the help of a few other wrestlers. Cena won’t be around forever and it would be very meaningful for AJ to prove he truly is the “Face that Runs The Place,” with this huge win over Cena. 
Winner: AJ Styles (retains the title)

Kevin Owens (Universal Champion) vs. Roman Reigns
This will be a fantastic match, but in the end I expect Roman Reigns to hit Kevin Owens with his superman punch a couple times before pinning him smack dab in the middle of the ring while KO’s best friend Chris Jericho cries high above the ring in a shark cage (like a sexy Piñata). Roman Reigns will be crowned the new Universal Champion and the Alamo Dome will erupt in a sea of booooooooooo’s. Winner: Roman Reigns (New Universal Champion)

2017 Royal Rumble Match
This is the most stacked Rumble match I’ve seen in at least a decade. Aside from the talent already announced, I am expecting there to be a couple big surprises. I HOPE Samoa Joe makes his debut on the main roster and maybe we could see the return of one Finn Balor. Now there are some big names in this one: Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, Braun Strowman, Sami Zayn….but my prediction to win the Rumble match and walk into WrestleMania 33 to face the Universal Champion (Roman Reigns) is the Deadman himself – THE UNDERTAKER.