Saturday, 28 January 2017

Who will win the 2017 Royal Rumble ?

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The Road to WrestleMania officially kicks off Sunday with the Royal Rumble Match, and the field is more stacked than ever. Living legends (Brock Lesnar, Goldberg), previous Rumble Match winners looking to repeat (The Undertaker, Sheamus), and young Superstars on the come up (Cesaro, Bray Wyatt) will all go head-to-head-to-head-to-head for a chance at the coveted main event of WrestleMania.Of course, there can only be one who punches the ticket, and WWE.com’s editors (along with legendary wrestling journalist Bill Apter) put on our prognosticator caps to predict who will be WrestleMania-bound this time next week, presented by Vudu.


The Miz

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The Miz nearly had his Hollywood ending. It was 2012, and WWE’s A-Lister was forced to enter the Royal Rumble Match at No. 1. Despite the distinct disadvantage, Miz managed to outlast 24 other competitors before being eliminated following an impressive 45-minute, 39-second run. It’s that type of strong showing, as well as his resurgence last year as Intercontinental Champion with a combined 237-day reign, that proves Miz possesses both the ability and cunning to outlast the competition. And with his leading lady, Maryse, firmly by his side, we’re confident this is the year the silver screen Superstar will finally have his star turn.


Braun Strowman


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Twenty-nine Superstars are facing a scary problem this Sunday: How can they knock Braun Strowman off his feet? The Monster Among Men has been tearing through the Raw roster since the Brand Extension, and he has since turned his eyes from the James Ellsworths of the world to the WWE Universal Champion.

Though he doesn’t have any championships to his name, Strowman is not rolling into the 2017 Royal Rumble Match as some novice. The 6-foot-8 Superstar lasted nearly 20 minutes in last year’s bout and was tied for most Superstar eliminations with five. It took a rampage from Lesnar to get him out of last year’s Rumble Match, but Strowman certainly learned his lesson, and he’ll do whatever it takes to leave as the winner. So who can honestly stop him?


Brock Lesnar

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The Royal Rumble Match may feature a cavalcade of hosses, but a big-game hunter like Brock Lesnar sees nothing more than fresh meat ready to be ground into charcuterie. The Beast already demonstrated unsettling ease tearing through Superstars on Raw. Sunday’s 30-Superstar slugfest is merely his chance to improve upon an economy of scale.

Sure, there are luminaries everywhere you look in the Royal Rumble Match, but there’s no one Lesnar can’t handle. Braun Strowman? The Monster Among Men certainly remembers his exchange with Lesnar in last year’s match, when Brock tried to make his forearm a permanent fixture of Strowman’s face. Goldberg? The Icon accomplished an amazing feat at Survivor Series, but in dealing Lesnar the most one-sided thumping of his career, he just awakened The Beast. The Undertaker? Nobody has more real-world experience against The Deadman than Lesnar. Call it a spoiler if you want: Lesnar’s heading to WrestleMania’s main event.


Dolph Ziggler

 
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It's amazing that my first pick to win the Royal Rumble Match, Seth Rollins, has been the first entrant eliminated in what I cite as a disgraceful series of events. So, I move to my second choice – and one that may surprise you.
 
In the past few weeks, Dolph Ziggler has created his own personal "Attitude Era." The once-easygoing competitor has developed a new and highly aggressive edge to his ring repertoire. Dolph is under the radar due to his "near misses" in so many high-profile matches. However, the new, tougher, refined Ziggler will Zig Zag around the assortment of WWE’s giants and other Superstars, and show the WWE Universe that this, indeed, is his Royal Rumble moment on his road to championship gold at WrestleMania.

Chris Jericho

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It’s gonna be a rough start to the Royal Rumble event for the self-proclaimed G.O.A.T., who’ll be suspended in a shark cage for Kevin Owens’ WWE Universal Title defense against Roman Reigns. 

However, once The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla is freed from his prison, he’ll get down to business and fulfill the ultimate promise of this, the greatest of his many comeback runs, by delivering The Gift of Jericho to 29 sorry Superstars and punching his ticket to WrestleMania. The original Undisputed Champion has famously reinvented himself time and again, outsmarting opponents many had pegged as better, faster or fresher than him. Who says he can’t do … it one more time? Expect this sexy piƱata to deliver a truly smashing performance.


Goldberg

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After 12 years away from the ring, Goldberg returned to action against Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series and soundly defeated The Beast Incarnate in one minute, 26 seconds – less time than it takes for each new competitor to enter the Royal Rumble Match. Given his propensity for demolishing his foes quickly and efficiently regardless of their size, the former World Heavyweight Champion should have no problem tossing other Superstars over the top rope like rag dolls.And if he happens to find himself face-to-face with Lesnar during the 30-man melee, The Conqueror won't just be next ... he'll be eliminated. 

In fact, it was The Beast who was instrumental in taking out Goldberg during the 2004 Royal Rumble Match — Goldberg's first and only appearance in the bout to-date — so don't think for a second that the WCW icon won't be looking to return the favor this year.


Bray Wyatt

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It may be every man for himself in the Royal Rumble Match, but it doesn’t hurt to have a family behind you. That makes Bray Wyatt one of the most dangerous Superstars in this Sunday’s 30-competitor fray. 

The Wyatt Family patriarch thrives on total anarchy, which the Royal Rumble Match provides in spades. As The New Face of Fear looks to spread his gospel of chaos across the WWE Universe, look for him to make a major statement by standing atop a pile of 29 bodies as the victor of the 2017 Royal Rumble Match.


The Undertaker

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It has been well established that The Undertaker goes wherever he wants, whenever he wants. Unfortunately for 29 other WrestleMania main event hopefuls, the Royal Rumble Match is his current destination of choice.

The Deadman’s re-emergence and entrance into the Royal Rumble Match makes it clear that he is eyeing another championship run. The scary part about that for the collective Raw and SmackDown LIVE locker rooms is that a focused Undertaker is unlike any force to be reckoned with.

Just look at his recent track record. Whether it be avenging The Streak at SummerSlam 2015 or prevailing over the firestorm of Shane McMahon last year at WrestleMania, The Phenom clearly has more than enough left in the tank to keep diggin’ holes and takin’ souls.
So, a tip on the house for all that will cross his path this Sunday — The Deadman ain’t dead yet. Not by a long shot.