They say that unpredictability is the spice of life and that could not be more accurate when the Royal Rumble is concerned, after years of predictable, and ultimately disappointing matches the event is finally back with a bang. With at least six genuine contenders, before any surprise returns are considered, there has never been a more unpredictable Rumble match and it has the WWE Universe buzzing with excitement.
The Royal Rumble has always been a fan favorite, each year people look forward to the 30 man over the top rope battle royal, the anticipation of who will come out after each countdown, the potential to see legends one more time and having main event talent from both brands in the same match has always made the match special, and that's not even mentioning that it is the start of the 'road to WrestleMania'. However, the past several years has seen fans sour on the annual event, with predictable outcomes such as Batista's 2014 victory, or last year's Triple H return have culminated in less excitement surrounding the match, with fans even hijacking it to vent their displeasure.
But that is not the case for the 2017 Royal Rumble. The WWE has done an incredible job at building stars to be seen as genuine contenders, with the perfect blend of returning talents such as Goldberg and Brock Lesnar as well as brand new main event stars like Baron Corbin and Braun Strowman and the fans are ready to see the match return. When you add in the strong undercard that the PPV has with matches such as Charlotte vs Bayley and the continuation of the 2016's best feud between John Cena and AJ Styles there is plenty for the WWE Universe to look forward to and with 60,000 fans in attendance live the atmosphere should be a special one. WWE has built this event like a major show once again, going back to the days of the 'Big Four' and treating the Rumble accordingly, and WrestleMania is reaping the benefits, as fans are constantly talking about the potential matches for April's show, wondering what implications the Rumble will have on it.
Who could win the Rumble?
With so many potential victors fo this year's Royal Rumble, let's take a look at this year's top contenders to secure their ticket to WrestleMania.
Seth Rollins- The Architect missed out on WrestleMania last year due to an injury and would like nothing more than to be back this year in the main event, something he could make happen with a Rumble victory. He has been in and around the main event scene ever since returning from injury but it seems like his future lies with Triple H.
Chris Jericho- Y2J is going through the best run of his career right now and his character is exactly what the WWE needed, refreshing, entertaining and just a simple dose of fun that has been missed. However, even though he can be seen as comedic relief, Jericho has been putting on some incredible matches and is the current United States Champion, if Kevin Owens manages to retain his Universal Championship then Jericho could be seen as a major favorite to win the Rumble.
Brock Lesnar- Anytime the Beast is involved he has to be considered a major threat and that is certainly the case for the Rumble. Having his presence involved in the match is a huge deal and has really helped with outside interest, seeing him interact with superstars he wouldn't normally work with is a fun idea and he will likely turn the match into 'suplex city' whenever he enters.
Goldberg- Who's next? Everyone according to Goldberg and that makes for a scary prospect. He returned and dominated Lesnar which shows the WWE has faith in him and wants to push him as a top level star again for his final run, what better way to cement that than by him winning the Rumble?
Braun Strowman- The former Wyatt Family member has dominated everyone in his sight since the brand split and he is going to be incredibly tough to stop at the Rumble. If WWE really wants to capitalize on his momentum and keep him looking strong then having him win the Rumble would be essential.
The Undertaker- As soon as the Deadman announced his intentions to be in the Royal Rumble he immediately became the man everyone thought would win and it is hard to argue with the logic. Seeing The Undertaker involved in this match is something fans didn't expect to see again and therefore his entrance is going to be a special moment and it would be a great moment to see him win the match.
One of the elements fans most look forward to in a Royal Rumble match is the shock returns, seeing former fan favorites come down to the ring to mix it up with the stars of today is an exciting prospect, and even though those legends are never going to win the match, just hearing their theme one more time is good enough. However, occasionally you get a returning star win the match, normally someone coming back from an injury, and this year there is potential for that to happen again.
Finn Balor- We have seen stars return from injuries before to win the Royal Rumble and if it is going to happen this year then Finn Balor would be the man to do it. He was booked incredibly strong when he debuted on the main roster and it is clear the company has huge plans for him, so seeing him return to win the Rumble would not be a surprise, it is just a question of whether he is healthy enough to do so.
Samoa Joe- This would be an intriguing idea, seeing an NXT star debut and shock the world by winning the Rumble and if anybody could pull it off then Samoa Joe is that man. Rumors state that the company are planning a major match for Joe at the Rumble and this could be the perfect way to introduce him to the main roster as a dominant main event talent and make history for the Rumble, doing something they have never done before.