Welcome to the second part of our two-part Royal Rumble preview!
Michael Berry Sr. and I (Jeremy Karp) have four more matches to go!
RAW Women’s Title Match: Charlotte Flair vs Bayley
Michael’s take: “Charlotte hasn’t lost a PPV Title Match this far, and faces a stiff test with a matchup vs Bayley at the Rumble. Bayley has seemingly adjusted from NXT to the Raw roster quite well in her role as the girl next door babyface role. That said, Charlotte has continued to progress the women’s movement with incredible Match after incredible match. Her back and forth feud with Sasha Banks was one for the ages. The question is whether her seemingly inevitable collision course with Nia Jax result in a face turn for her, or a heel vs heel match at Mania. Bayley gets a chance to show she belongs in the main event scene, but expect Flair to retain and keep the momentum heading into Wrestlemania season.
Prediction: Charlotte retains via the figure eight over Bayley.”
Jeremy’s take:“Charlotte is the best heel on Monday Night RAW, and to me, possibly second to The Miz in all of WWE (as far as ones you just truly despise but respect are concerned). She hasn’t lost on a PPV yet, and now she heads to one of the biggest PPV events in WWE facing off against her former NXT counterpart… Bayley. Bayley has one of those sweet upbringing stories in regards to her love and passion for professional wrestling.
Predition: Personally, I feel as if the RAW Women’s Title has been devalued in recent months with all the title changes that have occurred. At the Royal Rumble, however, this title will not change hands. Charlotte retains.”
WWE Universal Title Match: Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens (champion)
Michael’s take: “Chris Jericho suspended above the ring in a shark cage, and a no DQ match for the Universal Championship. What would be the over/under in run ins for this matchup? After Triple H‘s music played and screwed Rollins out of a Royal Rumble entry, it would seem the next step would be for Rollins to run in and potentially screw over KO, Triple H’s chosen one. But don’t be surprised if HHH shows up to counter. As for the match itself, expect, as good ol JR used to say, a good old fashioned slobber knocker. Reigns has continued to build momentum, and Vince McMahon isn’t ready to give up on his pet project quite yet.
Prediction: Roman Reigns wins the Universal Title with assistance from Seth Rollins.”
Jeremy’s take: “I’m excited for this match-up. It’s a shame though the best person involved in this feud is going to be the one hanging high above the ring in a shark cage… that being Jericho. I must admit that I’m not a huge Reigns fan, but Owens has been a wimpy champion after such a hot start. But in the ring, these two know how to draw the crowds’ attention. While these two have faced off constantly on Monday Night RAW, it’s finally time for them to face off at a PPV.
Prediction: Owens needs to prove he doesn’t need Jericho to win the title (or in this case, retain), and that won’t happen tonight. Reigns somehow pulls off the victory and wins the title, much to the chagrin of the majority of fans.”
WWE Championship Match: John Cena vs. A.J. Styles
Michael’s take: “Styles has owned Cena since coming to WWE, and as has made a living out of what he calls beating up John Cena. For Cena, on the line is a chance to tie Ric Flair‘s record for World Championships, as well as a chance to overcome Styles. Styles has had quite the run as WWE World Champion, but the stars seem to be aligning for Cena to have perhaps his final championship run going into Wrestlemania. Expect a great match from two of the best in the World. With rumors of a potential Shane vs AJ match at Mania, look for Cena to go over and win his record tying 16th World Championship.
Prediction: Cena submits AJ Styles with the STF to tie Flair’s record of 16 world championships.”
Jeremy’s take: “Styles is my favorite wrestler in WWE right now. Every week, even if he isn’t in a match, he finds a way to be entertaining, and always bring his A-game. Then you have Cena, who has busted his butt for over a decade in WWE, becoming one of the all-time greats. Last year, they put on multiple top matches, with one of them being in my ‘Top Three’ matches of 2016. If Cena wins, he’d tie Flair’s record. It’s something I don’t want to see happen, but it wouldn’t surprise me if one day it does happen.
Prediction: In what should eclipse 25 minutes, Styles retains the WWE title in a hard-fought match for the ages.”
Royal Rumble Match
Michael’s take: “The 2017 Royal Rumble match stands to be one of the best in years with the inclusion of Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, and The Undertaker. ‘Friend vs Friend’ and ‘Friend vs Foe,’ the rumble will surely see the continuation of storylines along with a few shockers as well. At the end of the day, the two people who perhaps make the most sense based on my championship match predictions would be a returning Finn Balor to try to win back his Universal title that he never lost, but had to relinquish, due to an injury via Rollins by the way. On the other side, what better way to promote a Cena Mania Title defense, then against the Undertaker, perhaps in a potential Title vs Career Match.
Prediction: The Undertaker to win the rumble and face not Cena, but in a swerve Reigns, for the universal title at Mania. Either way, we can enjoy being officially in the home stretch of the Road to Wrestlemania!”
Jeremy’s take: “This is the most excited I’ve been for a Royal Rumble in years. Maybe ever. I see guys like Balor, Samoa Joe, and maybe Shaq (for the sake of Big Show) being surprise entrants in the match. But every man is for themselves, and the winner essentially goes to the main event of Wrestlemania 33. I spent a lot of time thinking who I think would win the Royal Rumble this year, and two came to mind. One would be Balor, who has a score to settle on Monday Night RAW, and aim for the title he never truly lost.
“Prediction: Despite my thoughts on Balor, there’s one man I think through and through will win it all… and that’s The Undertaker. People have dreamed about seeing him and Cena at Wrestlemania. If Cena wins at the Rumble, that’ll happen. If not… only time will tell.