With the Royal Rumble 2017 inching ever so close, the anticipation is at an all time high. The road to WrestleMania well and truly begins later this month, as 30 Superstars try to create history by winning the Royal Rumble match. From the likes of Shawn Michaels to The Undertaker, numerous legends cemented their legacies by winning the battle royal, and one more Superstar will get the chance to headline the Showcase of the Immortals, by winning this year’s Royal Rumble match.
Unlike the previous few years, the winner of the Royal Rumble will once again have the opportunity to decide which title they’d rather go after. With the WWE Draft splitting the WWE roster into two – the RAW brand and the SmackDown Live brand, the winner of the Rumble match can either go after the WWE Universal Championship, or the WWE Championship at WrestleMania later this year.
A few names are already making rounds as possible winners of this year’s Royal Rumble, and while nothing is certain until the bell rings with the last man standing, the early betting odds indicate the current favourites to win the Rumble match.
1. The Undertaker (Current odds: 2/1)
For months, rumours have been swirling around about The Undertaker’s status for this year’s WrestleMania. Many reports suggest that Vince McMahon and Taker himself believe that this may very well be the Phenom’s last WrestleMania, and as such, Vince McMahon wants The Undertaker to face John Cena, in a career versus title match.
What this would mean is, The Undertaker would headline the Showcase of the Immortals for the chance to become a champion again, but would have to put his career on the line. This can happen in two ways – John Cena wins the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble, and The Undertaker chooses Cena as his opponent after winning the Royal Rumble match.
The other scenario would be ‘Taker challenging John without winning the Rumble match – which while possible, doesn’t give The Undertaker the farewell he deserves. The early odds also place The Undertaker as the favourite to win the Rumble match.
2. Finn Balor (Current odds: 13/2)
The first ever WWE Universal Champion had to relinquish the title the day after he won the belt, and has since undergone surgery, and was expected to be out for 9 months. Back in November, there were rumblings about Balor possibly returning by December, and while that did not happen, it is more than likely that ‘The Demon’ would be a 100 percent come Royal Rumble.
Finn is considered to be one of the few Superstars who will be given the onus of taking the company into the new era. Karl Anderson recently spoke about Finn’s return, and how he would want the Bullet Club to be reunited once Finn returns. The current odds also indicate that people believe Finn will return at the Royal Rumble, and also has a good chance of winning the Rumble match, and headline WrestleMania!
3. Brock Lesnar (Current odds: 16/1)
The idea of Lesnar winning the Royal Rumble match isn’t farfetched. Lesnar, who previously lost to Goldberg at Survivor Series, is expected to face Goldberg once again at WrestleMania. Internally, there have been talks about either Goldberg or Lesnar walking into WrestleMania as the champion, considering the two previously faced each other at WrestleMania 13 years ago.
Lesnar is placed at 16/1 odds of winning the Royal Rumble match, which could set up an interesting showdown with Goldberg at WrestleMania. Moreover, putting the title on Lesnar could lead to a Brock – Kevin Owens program down the line, which could help elevate Owens’ stock in the company, and also in the eyes of the fans.
4. Goldberg (Current odds: 8/1)
At current odds, Goldberg has a better chance of winning the Rumble match – more than Brock Lesnar! The former World Heavyweight Champion returned to WWE late last year, and dominated Lesnar at Survivor Series, in a match that lasted less than 90 seconds! Goldberg then made his intentions clear of winning the Rumble match, and headline WrestleMania.
There is a good chance WWE would bank on Goldberg and Lesnar’s star power, similar to them pushing The Rock and Batista on the road to WrestleMania in the past few years. However, with Goldberg’s contract reportedly running out at WrestleMania, there is a good chance that Lesnar would get his win back, and if the stakes are raised, could walk out WrestleMania as the champion!
5. John Cena (Current odds: 9/1)
Last but not least, the Leader of CeNation is placed at 9/1 odds of winning the Royal Rumble match. John Cena is set to face AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble, so right off the bat, it is unlikely for John to win the Rumble match on the same night. However, if that happens, John wouldn’t be the only Superstar to compete twice in one night during the Royal Rumble PPV, as Lesnar was involved in a singles match, and later participated – and won – the Rumble match over a decade ago.
With rumours swirling around about John Cena and The Undertaker facing each other at WrestleMania, there is a good chance that the two would come face to face during the Royal Rumble match. While anything is possible in the world of WWE, as of this moment, John Cena, along with the four aforementioned Superstars have a better chance of winning the Royal Rumble match.