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Booking the Royal Rumble 2017: Far Too Early Addition

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via WWE

As of the end of September, the Royal Rumble 2017 is only 113 days away! After the success of the 2016 match and the depth currently on the roster, it’s reasonable to be pretty excited about the 2017 version and so in this article, I’ll be booking the FULL Royal Rumble from start to finish based on nothing more than hearsay and predictions that are far too early to be anything other than stabs in the dark.

Before we get rumbling, we have to work out who WON’T be in the match. For simplicity sake, four tag teams have been removed (the one’s most likely to be in the title matches at the rumble). Those wrestlers are Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Enzo Amore, Colin Cassady, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, Chad Gable and Jason Jordan. AJ Styles and Kevin Owens will also probably still have their titles come January and so they’ll be kept out of the match too. Brock Lesnar has been rumoured as Owens’ Rumble opponent and it’s unlikely they’d use him in the match two years in a row. Randy Orton is my presumptive opponent for Styles, ruling him out of the match and Finn Balor has also been left out based on his injury.
Another prediction is that it will be a 40-man rumble match, due to the sheer depth of the rosters. Obviously, there’s no evidence to support this, but it’ll mean a lot of guys won’t get left out.

So, without further ado, here is how I would book the 2017, 40-man Royal Rumble Match:

Entrant 1: Johnny Gargano

Johnny Gargano kicks off the Rumble in the number one position.

Entrant 2: Kalisto

You need to have one RAW guy and one SmackDown guy kick off the match so the commentators can blabber on about the rivalry and pride for their brand. Kalisto and Gargano getting 90 seconds to put on a show should be pretty sweet too.

Entrant 3: Rhyno

First presumption of the match, Rhyno will be a heel by January and so he comes in and beats down the smaller faces.

Entrant 4: Rusev

The two big men team up and beat down Gargano and Kalisto. Kalisto fights back, climbs to the top rope for a cross body and leaps onto Rusev who catches him. Rusev dumps him over the top rope for the first elimination. Rhyno and Rusev go after Gargano as the clock counts down.

Elimination 1: Kalisto by Rusev

Entrant 5: Apollo Crews

Apollo makes the save, evening the numbers for Gargano and dumping Rhyno over the top rope, eliminating him.

Elimination 2: Rhyno by Apollo Crews

Entrant 6: Curt Hawkins

Hawkins comes out to balance the babyface/heel numbers. Second assumption: Hawkins will also be a heel by January.

Entrant 7: Becky Lynch

Yep. If the WWE want to be seen as progressive, chuck a legitimate female competitor in there. Hawkins comes up to Becky as if it’s a joke that she’s in the match, Becky beats him up and eliminates him with ease. Crews and Rusev are going at it in the corner. Gargano comes up to Becky and shakes her hands. The two lock up and put on a quick sequence before the 90 seconds are up.

Elimination 3: Curt Hawkins by Becky Lynch

Entrant 8: Tyler Breeze

Entrant 9: The Brian Kendrick

Unfortunately, you can’t have a woman taking too many bumps from men because the WWE PR machine would explode, so have Kendrick eliminate Becky to get some serious heat. Crews and Rusev are both down in the corner. Kendrick and Breeze beat up Gargano to stand tall as the buzzer goes off.

Elimination 4: Becky Lynch by The Brian Kendrick

Entrant 10: Seth Rollins

Assumption number three, Seth will be the biggest babyface in the company in January and he explodes into the ring, tossing out both Kendrick and Breeze as a top face should.

Elimination 5: The Brian Kendrick

Elimination 6: Tyler Breeze

Entrant 11: Zack Ryder

And now it’s time to fill the ring up and slow the pace down.

Entrant 12: The Miz

Miz may still be the Intercontinental Champion by the Rumble, but both mid-card champions will be in the match regardless.

Entrant 13: Cedric Alexander

Entrant 14: Bray Wyatt

Bray tosses out Ryder before Crews comes after him. Wyatt gets the upper hand and dumps Crews out too. Wyatt is the only one left standing as the buzzer goes.

Elimination 7: Zack Ryder by Bray Wyatt

Elimination 8: Apollo Crews by Bray Wyatt

Entrant 15: Braun Strowman

Out comes Strowman and the master and the apprentice stare down before coming to blows. Strowman gets the better of Wyatt and takes him out. Gargano tries his luck, but Braun quickly eliminates him.

Elimination 9: Johnny Gargano by Braun Strowman

Entrant 16: Xavier Woods

Strowman is standing tall in the ring and beckoning Xavier to come at him. Woods walks up slowly, walks around to ringside and joins the commentators. The Miz comes out and yells at Woods for stealing his thing from last year. Miz and Woods brawl on the outside.

Entrant 17: Cesaro

Strowman continues to lay out Alexander and Rollins, while Cesaro hits the ring and it becomes a three-on-one against the big man (Bray and Rusev stay down in the corner). They knock him down and Cesaro, by himself, lifts Strowman and eliminates him.

Elimination 10: Braun Strowman by Cesaro

Entrant 18: Heath Slater

Slater enters the fray. Meanwhile, Xavier and Miz finally enter the ring. Miz charges at Woods who ducks, sending Miz flying over the top rope, eliminating him. Woods and Slater both point and laugh as Miz is enraged.

Elimination 11: The Miz by Xavier Woods

Entrant 19: Samoa Joe

And now the fun and games stop. Another assumption: Joe will be on SmackDown and a heel in time for the Rumble. Joe clears out Slater and Cedric Alexander with ease and destroys everyone else in the ring.

Elimination 12: Heath Slater by Samoa Joe

Elimination 13: Cedric Alexander by Samoa Joe

Entrant 20: Kane

Kane and Joe go face-to-face and the fight breaks out. Kane gets the better of Joe and takes him down. (Update on who is left right now: Samoa Joe, Kane, Rusev, Bray Wyatt, Seth Rollins, Cesaro and Xavier Woods).

Entrant 21: Kofi Kingston

Entrant 22: Titus O’Neil

The ring is getting very full at this point. Joe gets revenge on Kane and eliminates him.

Elimination 14: Kane by Samoa Joe

Entrant 23: Big E

All three members of The New Day are in there and gang up on Rusev. As a team, they eliminate the Bulgarian.

Elimination 15: Rusev by The New Day

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Entrant 24: Chris Jericho

Jericho spoils the New Day party and eliminates Xavier.

Elimination 16: Xavier Woods by Chris Jericho

Entrant 25: TJ Perkins

(Update on who’s in the ring right now: TJ Perkins, Chris Jericho, Big E, Kofi Kingston, Titus O’Neil, Samoa Joe, Bray Wyatt, Seth Rollins and Cesaro.)

Entrant 26: Rich Swann

Elimination 17: Titus O’Neil by Seth Rollins

Entrant 27: Shelton Benjamin

Benjamin makes his official return after his shoulder injury and takes everyone out, highlighting his offence. He eliminates Perkins and we get a nice sequence between Benjamin and Swann, two of the best high flyers in the world.

Elimination 18: TJ Perkins by Shelton Benjamin

Entrant 28: Tye Dillinger

Dillinger gets his NXT call-up during the Rumble match and Michael Cole announces that he’s coming to RAW and rubs it in the faces of JBL and Ranallo. Dillinger eliminates Rich Swann. Dillinger should debut as a heel.

Elimination 19: Rich Swann by Tye Dillinger

Entrant 29: Dolph Ziggler

Elimination 20: Kofi Kingston by Bray Wyatt

Elimination 21: Cesaro by Samoa Joe

Entrant 30: Roman Reigns

Reigns goes wild and beats down everyone. He tosses out Big E first, catching him off guard and then Ziggler. Dillinger takes Roman down and gets some good offense in on him before Reigns spears and eliminates Tye as well.

Elimination 22: Big E

Elimination 23: Dolph Ziggler

Elimination 24: Tye Dillinger

Entrant 31: Neville

Ring update: Neville, Bray Wyatt, Shelton Benjamin, Chris Jericho, Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins.

Entrant 32: Dean Ambrose

Ambrose continues the eliminations by throwing out Benjamin. Rollins gets himself in on the action by tossing out Neville. Reigns hits a spear on Jericho, Seth kicks Bray in the face and all of a sudden, it’s just the three members of The Shield standing face to face in the ring. They’re about to go at it, when Joe attacks Seth from behind. The Shield gang up on Joe and hit a triple powerbomb before eliminating Samoa Joe as a unit. Out of nowhere, Triple H storms the ring from the crowd and throws Rollins over and eliminates him. Reigns and Ambrose go after HHH but he gets away and escapes back through the crowd.

Elimination 25: Shelton Benjamin by Dean Ambrose

Elimination 26: Neville by Seth Rollins

Elimination 27: Samoa Joe by The Shield

Elimination 28: Seth Rollins by Triple H

Entrant 33: Gran Metalik

Ring Update: Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Gran Metalik and Chris Jericho.

Entrant 34: John Morrison

Disclaimer: I have no idea if Morrison is returning or not. This is just the spot where I’d have a CREDIBLE surprise entrant or returning star. Morrison would be the ideal person. Let Morrison take everyone out and get his offense in. He then eliminates Jericho.

Elimination 29: Chris Jericho by John Morrison/Surprise Entrant.

Entrant 35: Sami Zayn

Entrant 36: Big Show

Oh no! Who could possibly eliminate a fresh 400 pound giant? Well, not Gran Metalik, as Big Show eliminates him.

Elimination 30: Gran Metalik by Big Show

Entrant 37: Sheamus

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Entrant 38: Baron Corbin

Big Show and Reigns go at it, but just as Show gets the upper hand, Roman fights back and eliminates him. Before he can celebrate, Ambrose tosses Reigns out from behind. The two look at each other and Reigns looks incredibly frustrated while
Dean acts as if it’s no big deal and just a part of the ‘every man for himself’ shtick of the rumble.

Elimination 31: Big Show by Roman Reigns

Elimination 32: Roman Reigns by Dean Ambrose

Ring update: Bray Wyatt, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, John Morrison and Dean Ambrose.

Entrant 39: John Cena

It gets real now. Cena gets in and lays waste to everyone with his superpowers. Cena beats everyone down until Corbin gets the better of him, laying him out. Cena recovers and eliminates Baron. Morrison then goes after Cena, but is also eliminated. John hits an AA on Bray and stands tall as the buzzer counts down to…

Elimination 33: Baron Corbin by John Cena

Elimination 34: John Morrison by John Cena

Entrant 40: Shinsuke Nakamura

Nakamura, who by now has dropped the NXT Championship to Bobby Roode (assumption), does his FULL entrance before entering the ring. JBL announces that it’s great for RAW that they got Dillinger, but their surprise is Nakamura who has signed to be part of the SmackDown roster. Everyone stares at Shinsuke as if they’re shocked he’s even there. Nakamua shows off his offense, eliminating Sheamus and beating everyone down before doing his signature rope pose.

Elimination 35: Sheamus by Shinsuke Nakamura

The final five go at it for a while. Wyatt and Ambrose take each other out with cross bodies and Zayn hits a blue thunder bomb on Cena to leave us with Zayn and Nakamura face-to-face. Bray and Ambrose break it up by going after them individually. Shinsuke is tossed over the ropes by Ambrose, but lands on the apron. Dean comes flying after him, but is launched over the top rope and eliminated by Nakamura.

Elimination 36: Dean Ambrose by Shinsuke Nakamura

We’re down to the final four: Shinsuke Nakamura, Bray Wyatt, John Cena and Sami Zayn. Who’s going to WrestleMania, screams Michael Cole.

The fighting goes on for a while before Bray has Zayn down in the corner. He charges at Sami, who catches him in an exploder suplex. Zayn goes for the Helluva Kick, but Bray launches him over the top rope. He tries to shove Zayn off the apron, but he holds on. Sami drags Bray over the rope and the two brawl on the apron. Wyatt accidentally clotheslines Zayn back into the ring and doubles over to catch his breath. Sami bounces off the rope and hits a Helluva Kick, eliminating Bray. By putting Zayn in the final three, you’re making a megastar out of him.

Elimination 37: Bray Wyatt by Sami Zayn

Unfortunately, it’s Cena who ends the fairy-tale there, eliminating Zayn soon after.

Elimination 38: Sami Zayn by John Cena

So it’s down to Cena and Nakamura – two members of the blue brand fighting it out for the right to face AJ Styles at WrestleMania. The two go back and forth. They should have at least three or four minutes as the final two men. Cena counters a Kinshasa into an AA, picks Nakamura up, takes him to the ropes, but Shinsuke holds on and starts kneeing John in the head while on his shoulders. He gets free, bounces off the ropes and clotheslines Cena over and out of the ring.

Shinsuke Nakamura wins the Royal Rumble Match in his WWE debut and goes on to face the WWE World Champion AJ Styles at WrestleMania 33.

What are your thoughts on this booking of the Rumble? Would you like to see it like this? Send me your feedback on Twitter @NicNegrepontis and follow my wrestling podcast @GloriousWP!

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