This is always the most exciting time of the year in the WWE, with shocking returns the occasion huge star debuting and the build for WrestleMania really gets under way. And that all begins with the Royal Rumble as this tends to be where the WWE set out their entire card for the biggest show of the year. With that in mind, here’s how I would personally book the PPV leading up to WrestleMania.
We all know that WWE probably already the Rumble planned, not just the 30man spectacle itself but the entire card and its Winners and Losers are almost set in stone, and while that has me fearing a John Cena Title win and an Undertaker win in the Rumble leading to the two clashing in the main event of WrestleMania for the WWE title- I would book things very differently. So lets get right too it.
Womens Royal Rumble Match
Yes I’m looking to book a 12woman Ruble match on the show- the company are doing much better with their women’s division and have even booked it well recently so now feels like the time to have them on the show in their own WrestleMania main event setting match. The talent on the roster is beep enough for this; with Nia Jax, Sasha, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Naomi, Eva Marie, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Alicia Fox and Summer Rae. To begin with you’d have Naomi and Sasha in their to give us some nice athletic and high paced start before you add in Fox, Marie and Rae and then the dominant Nia Jax arrives to toss a few over the top. At about entrant 8 you add the returning Mickie James (full time deal has been signed) and watch the crowd pop, especially if you give her some big moments and lead to simply having her and Nia left in the ring as the final count down begins! Then out of nowhere as the timer hits 0 the Empress of Tomorrow (Asuka) hits the ramp and manages to eliminate Nia with James before the two of them have a good 10minute match leading to Asuka eliminating James and standing tall in the ring with a guaranteed WrestleMania main event.
From here you have the option of booking either Asuka to Smackdown to face the winner of Becky Lynch Vs Alexa Bliss- and I personally think the fedu with Bliss would be exciting from a promo standpoint. Or you can go and book Asuka Vs Charlotte- which to me has the most in ring potential and that is the way I would book it with Asuka winning the title at WreslteMania and having to relinquish the NXT title leading to a tournament.
Roman Reigns Vs Kevin Owens (Universal Championship)
Given the fact that Roman dropped the US title this week on Raw it seems almost certain that he is set to win the Universal title here- however that’s not how’d book this match. We all know that Jericho is going to be locked into the Shark Cage- but he’s bound to find some way to drop something to KO.
However personally I’d book the match without any shenanigans from Jericho at all, simply have him above the ring in the cage and have KO keep looking up to him, even in a few moments of desperation to simply have Jericho unable to help. This should be booked as a fight between the two and have them leave the ring to brawl outside for a short while and have the action go back and forth, but the outcome should bring one of WWE’s best characters back to his roots and we should see the ultimate prize fighter succeed on his own and start to distance himself from Jericho as he doesn’t need him, and didn’t help him in anyway here. WWE needs to bring back to the Prize fighter and this seems like the right time with Mania approaching.
However should the WWE choose to go with Reigns, there are some options post Rumble for him in the main event scene that could be well played out from the Rumble. While its not a move I’m fond of- I’m not a true Roman hater, he’s improved in the ring and feels more natural on he mic now its just his booking is too reminiscent of Cena at times and that hurts him.
Charlotte Vs Bayley (Raw Womens Championship)
This is a feud I expect the WWE to continue to WrestleMania as they wont book the above mentioned Womens Rumble, and knowing Vince he sees a big win for Bayley as $$$$. And hell he’s probably not wrong as I cant see another female wrestler that sells as much merchandise in the company or has the all ages appeal. MY only concern is that Bayley is better chasing the gold than carrying it, or atleast history tells us that so far from NXT.
If i was booking this match, Id have Charlotte dish out the majority of the offense in the early going and really have her beating on Bayley before she misses the awesome moonsault and Bayley gets a good comeback going. We get the regular crowd pleasuring offense from Bayley before she looks to set-up the Bayley-to-belly and Charlotte rolls out. From here you’d have Bayley take chase to the outside as she knows she’s on the cusp of victory to have Charlotte hit a chop block the moment Bayley lands on the floor, and then work through Bayley fighting off the pain with Charlotte looking to work on the leg. This gives you a way to keep Charlotte strong moving into WrestleMania (To face Asuka in my mind) while giving Bayley a chance at redemption, as Charlotte was sneaky, and that could even be the WrestleMania match if built correctly as it could easily be booked with a stipulation that helps favour Charlotte (submission match??) but ultimately leads to Bayley getting revenge.
AJ Styles Vs John Cena (WWE Championship)
This match has to be going to John Cena- it seems that this is the moment the WWE have chosen to let him break the Ric Flair record and they’ve chosen to let him do so over the best performer on their roster throughout 2016 which is insane! Cena may well deserve his moment, but not at the expense of Styles on the build to Mania I’m afraid, that’s my opinion anyhow.
So If i was looking at using this to set-up the WrestleMania main event hers how I’d do: I’d keep that Title of Cena for starters as he can easily feud with the Undertaker and not need to title to make that match meaningful. This should be the big win for AJ as he moves to 4 and 0 against Cena and can really claim he is the ‘Champ that runs the Camp’ only he wont do it alone. These two have worked some brilliant matches, and this would be no exception as they work the theory Styles can out wrestle Cena and does so at every turn but Cena only needs a few shots of power moves to level the playing field with both guys managing to get near falls. We see the 450 splash from AJ, an AA form Cena and a Phenomenal Forearm all lead to near falls but not get the job done. However as AJ misses a second attempt at the 450, or even the Spiral Tap, Cena gets the upper hand and hits an AA only to follow this up with another AA before setting up the third knowing its going to take this many to do the job; however as AJ is on the shoulders for the third time we get the music of an old friend ‘Kenny Omega.’ His contract with NJPW ends on the 31/1 so maybe he cant appear but WWE could easily strike a deal, and if not make it a hooded male that can be reveled on Smackdown the day his contract expires.
In the shock of this person showing up Cena drops AJ while Omega pulls his famous ‘Gun Finger’ pose at Cena distracting him long enough that when he turns around AJ hits him with the Styles Clash and secures the victory. AJ moves onto Mania with the championship and Omega at his side, not only ending AJ and Cena as a feud but allowing Cena and Omega to feud down the road. I know this rellies heavily on Omega going to WWE, but right now that seems likely.
Royal Rumble Match
Now let me be really honest here, with the huge names WWE has put in the match and the matches it looks likely to set-up post this match it is hard to even try to book, so I feel for the real creative team who have to make this work. Keeping everyone strong and moving forward in feuds will be difficult but lets look at who should be in this match, I personally would add all champions bar those defending separately- so IC, US and Tag champs are in there:
- New Day (3)
- American Alpha (2)
- Rich Swann
- Bray Wyatt
- Anderson & Gallows
Personally that’s the list for me, barring 2shock entrants I’ll get too. I’m not a fan off one of returns for older guys, Id rather see mid card talent in there getting a chance and helping build current guys by being eliminated and with so many power houses this year that needs to be the case. Id have Ambrose as the first entrant allowing him to stay in for a good length of time and play on his ‘never gets put down’ maniac persona. The second entrant for me would be Zayn as watching these two go at each other for the first 3minutes would be great, before we get a few mid card guys enter and a few minor eliminations until around number 8 when we get ‘BRAAAAAAUNNNNNN.’ At this point he can easily go on a rampage and start to throw guys out all over the place leaving just him, Ambrose and ZAyn in the ring forcing the two to team up momentarily to try and counteract Braun, this would only help serve his monster status while also playing on the feud him and Zayn have been in. Number 9 entrant is irrelevant really as they simple help pile onto Braun, before being knocked around.
10.9.8.7.220.127.116.11.2.1. 10 10 10 10 Tye Dillinger is here and in the Rumble at number 10! (If this isn’t booked then creative are missing a golden opportunity) Imagine 120,000 people all chanting 10 in unison, this would be a great moment for fans and Tye alike. All he needs is a good stint of 10more entrances into the rumble before being eliminated by one of the bigger stars. From this point you have some more of the talent enter the rumble and we see some eliminations from everyone, including a few from Braun who remains the big threat until around entrant 15 when Goldberg hits the match. Both Goldberg and Braun manage to beat people down before the stare off in the middle of the ring, similar to Raw and then we hear Heyman announce that number 16 is ‘BROCK LESNAR!’ Lesnar and Goldberg immeadiately go at it and are beating on each other ignoring everyone else, allowing Braun the opportunity to throw them both over together as the tussle against the ropes- this gives Braun a massive push but allows Lesnar and Goldberg to continue to fight on the outside while its trying to be broken up by staff and the Rumble continues.
Half way through the rumble now, and we see Rollins, Jericho and Corbin all make their entrances in short succession with a few other members of the roster between allowing for some of the bigger names to now make there way out. Before we see HHH make his entrance, or at least we hear his music hit. To further set-up the Rollins hatred for him, I’d have Rollins respond to the music with ‘Come on’ gestures to the ramp as HHH jumps the barricade and immediately throws Rollins over the top rope and we see eliminated while HHH mocks him and makes ‘Gold around my waist’ signs. So were now at the 24th entrant and we see Cesaro make his way into the match and hit a full 4corner Uppercut train on some participants before being felled in the middle of the ring by Braun. Next up is the last of our big entrants in the form of Undertaker, who upon arriving takes out Jericho, Ambrose and Zayn from earlier on as their now well past there best and wont be needed in the finishing scenario. Corbin is the first back up and stares down Taker allowing Braun to hit Taker from behind and Braun turns his attention to Corbin but is interrupted by the resurgence of HHH. Wyatt makes his way in and we see a good team up between him and Braun- getting a good pop from the crowd as the turn their attention to HHH and Taker, renewing the old Bray and Taker rivalry. We see a few more entrants taking us to number 30, and we see some eliminations leaving us with Corbin, Taker, Bray, Braun and HHH. Number 30 arrives and its none other than Samoa F***ing Joe! The crowd erupts into a ‘Joe’s Gonna Kill’ and that’s exactly what happens as it all breaks down between the remaining men and we see Joe eliminate HHH, and Bray gets Taker out with Braun allowing Joe and Corbin to go at it while Bray and Braun wait for one of them to weaken the other and pounce on both. We see Bray and Braun try and eliminate Corbin only for him to be holding Braun and Bray makes the decision that it doesn’t really matter to him and push them over. We then get to see Joe and Bray got at it for a few moments and we see the power and the hard hitting nature of both men, before Joe counters the upside down crab by his face into the Coquina Clutch and Choke Bray out and throw him over the top to be your 2017 Rumble Winner.
Joe immediately Claims he’s taking on AJ Styles at Wreslemania and we have a new dominant star moving to Smackdown. Along with a host of feuds we can build to WrestleMania in the coming weeks.
Well there it is, let me know what you think and how you would book the Rumble.