So it’s been a long wait, but we’ve reached the weekend of the first PPV of 2017. We’re on Royal Rumble weekend. This year’s build up to the Rumble has felt a lot bigger and the event itself seems more important that previous years for some reason. You can only give props to WWE for making Survivor Series and now Royal Rumble feel like big events which they should be. This week’s Shoot Talk will be more focused on this massive event. With that welcome to Shoot Talk.
The Royal Rumble
This year’s Royal Rumble, you’re really hard pressed to pick a winner. 2013 it was always going to be John Cena, 2014 it was always going to be Batista, 2015 it was always going to be Roman Reigns and while 2016 did provide some fuckery as to if it’d be Reigns again, you kinda always had that knowledge that HHH would win.
This year it feels so fresh, the number of big names already entered in the Rumble so far is flabbergasting. And with storylines right up to the go home show for Raw and Smackdown about who is entering into the Rumble we’ve still got storylines that could interrupt the show and throw spanners into the works for predictions. Kane hasn’t been confirmed yet, Rollins lost his spot to Zayn due to a distraction from HHH, Titus O’Neill while not the biggest draw isn’t confirmed but had been involved in a small feud with New Day up to Rumble, and they are 3 names that could still find their way into the rumble somehow due to some Tom foolery. Its things like this that throw predictions into the air. We’ve seen on previous year when Curtis Axle never made it into the Rumble due to Eric Rowan, what’s to say that Rollins doesn’t force his way into the rumble at the expense of Zayn which would throw a lot of our Book it Vince predications into disarray. And based on Steph’s dislike for Zayn, it’s not as if any complaint Zayn might have in the office back stage as part of story would make a difference, she’d probably be happier Rollins was in.
So let’s look at a few theories going around that actually all sound plausible thus making Book It Vince even harder.
The Wyatt Family Feud
Mike’s bravely gone with Randy Orton as his Royal Rumble winner. While it is a good shout and currently a damn site more likely than my selection, I can’t help but think the looming feud between the Wyatt family at the moment has kind of already wrote out any of these 3 winning the Rumble. Smackdown saw the internal friction between the stable boil over with Orton taking Harper on in a one on one. Orton would come away from this victorious. After Bray would deliver the sister Abigail to Harper and walk off with Orton thus seemingly ending Harpers association with the Wyatt family. With all 3 men entered in the Royal Rumble I think that this will result with Harper going for revenge and singling out his old family leading to eventually eliminating both Bray and Orton. I’m not suggesting that Harper will feature in the closing stages of the Rumble, but just that he’ll get his moment of redemption in the Rumble by eliminating his old stable. Perhaps setting up the final combustion of the Wyatt family with Bray maybe suggesting Orton failed him and didn’t protect him like he has in previous matches like when Orton pushed Bray out of the way of finishers and took them himself for the good of the family (Survivor Series ending).
Not my theory, but taken from Squared Circle on Reddit. The theory is that Sami Zayn could cause the ultimate ungerdog (from the underground) storyline by emerging from Royal Rumble as the victor to challenge for the Universal title at Wrestlemania against either Owens or Reigns dependant on who emerges victorious from their title bout. Other factors that can keep this rumour chugging are Zayn could also then use this as a rebound to Steph on RAW who has been doubtful of his ability. He could use it as a get out and challenge the WWE Champion on Smackdown and switch brands (possibly, we don’t know if this stipulation is applied to challenge for whatever belt). There has been stories reported that WWE want to make Wrestlemania an event bigger than WrestleKingdom 11’s main event. Sami Zayn featured in match of the year 2016 against Shinsuke Nakamura and is fully capable of delivering spectacular matches against the most of the roster. Having him square off in the final blow off match against long-time rival Kevin Owens is a Wrestlemania moment written in the stars. Having Sami Zayn challenge big match John Cena or AJ Styles or whoever else is WWE Champion at the time could be equally as big. The talent available to WWE right now is the best it has been in some time, there are numerous pieces that could be put together to create an awe inspiring title picture. Zayn winning the rumble and going on to challenge most people in the main event scene of the roster right now could lead to an epic title match.
And finally Triple H said the Royal Rumble would shock us. With names featuring Goldberg, Undertaker, Brock Lesnar all stealing the current spotlight of the Rumble, Zayn winning would be a fucking seismic shock. Better yet, he wins by eliminating Braun Strowman last which would 1) put an end to their little feud, 2) cause an epic pop as Strowman is considered one of the favourites right now and 3) with Strowman being the favourite and seemingly getting a bit of a Vince Big guy rub, you know the WWE Universe would boo the place down if he won, Zayn winning would be a result as shocking as if Ambrose had beaten HHH last year or Rusev beating Reigns the year before that. The crowd would erupt.
This is kind of a way out there theory that no one would really want, but you could see Vince McMahon wanting it. John Cena vs The Undertaker were the initial rumoured plans for Wrestlemania. However more rumours circulating is that this is off the cards now. The next idea that’s apparently got Vince’s attention is having Roman Reigns vs The Undertaker. Now at Royal Rumble Kevin Owens is taking on Reigns for the Universal title. I can only see Reigns winning this. And what better way to have Undertaker vs Reigns in Vince’s dream match then in the main event of Wrestlemania for the Universal title, with Reigns overcoming the deadman to have Undertaker lift Reigns arm aloft in triumph as he goes out of the WWE on his back.
I hate it.
But it could be a genuine possibility that would make Vince wet.
Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg III is happening, and it’ll be happening at Wrestlemania. Now again it’s only rumours that anyone can admittedly start, but one circulating was that Goldberg would be winning a title in the main event of Fastlane. That’s right, Goldberg could be holding a major WWE championship come Wrestlemania. Brock vs Goldberg III is apparently going to be the main event of Wrestlemania over any of the title matches, so why not have it as a title match. Lesnar eliminates Goldberg at the Rumble and takes the shocking win. Goldberg beats whoever is Universal Champion at Fastlane to be crowned champion. Does his part time appearances on Raw leading up to Mania all the while training secretly at NXT. Main event of Wrestlemania is WWE Universal Champion Goldberg vs The Beast Incarnate, the conqueror of the streak, the Royal Rumble winner… Brock Lesnar. Once again all you can imagine is the dollar signs in Vince’s eyes, which is why it’s a definite possibility that it could happen.
Nah I’m just joking.
Goldberg & Lesnar with Heyman & The Undertaker – Raw 23/01/2017 – Wow, fucking wow. Goldberg did kinda goof alot. Busting his head open before even getting to the ramp was unfortunate, and that cut would not stop bleeding. Then following this hiccup with constantly fluffing his promo. Excitement perhaps? Fortunately he recovered and to help Paul Heyman arrived to introduce Brock Lesnar. From here it just went megasonic. The crowd were hyped as fuck when Lesnar’s music hit. When Goldberg beckoned him to the ring and he accepted the challenge the crowd again were hype. The 2 of them stood face to face, then the gong of the Undertaker’s theme and cue roof blowing off the arena. The lights come back on and Undertaker is stood in the ring with the both of them. This is a damn iconic image. Say what you will that WWE should be getting it’s current active roster over at these sort of things, but you can’t capture the imagery of seeing Goldberg, Lesnar and Undertaker in a ring at the same time with the likes of Owens, Zayn and Rollins. I’m not saying that the latter 3 won’t go on to have legendary status in WWE, but it wouldn’t build up the same buzz as Lesnar, Goldberg and Undertaker.
Cedric Alexander vs Neville – 205 Live 24/01/2017 – 205 Live unfortunately took a turn for the worst this week with the crowd completely shitting all over the show. It’s a damn tragedy as the match that Cedric and Neville put on was an absolute master class. The work rate from these 2 guys was exceptional, and it was the type of match that had it been at Full Sail or at a Takeover the crowd would be chanting that it was awesome rather than boring and you’d be discussing it as an early match of the year candidate. Cedric was impressive throughout the CWC tournament last year, and Neville we know can put on spectacles when given the opportunity, so the class of this match should have never been in doubt. The division and show has been on an upwards trajectory the past few weeks, and the class and level of matches haven’t been the issue, but the reception to the roster and the storylines just don’t seem to be clicking (aside from Gallagher). I hope that this doesn’t get an early cancellation as 205 Live is genuinely one of the more entertaining hours of wrestling on in the week.
Book It Vince
And now onto our very special Book It Vince featuring additional bonus points up for grabs based on Royal Rumble stipulations. We’re predicting the match results as usual for the PPV’s over the weekend, but also predicting first and second entrants to the Rumble match, the most eliminations, the iron man and the overall winner. It’s fucking difficult. So here’s how we’re standing currently after our botched WWE UK Championship predictions.
And here’s how we’ve gone with NXT Takeover:
And finally the big one, the Royal Rumble: