Remember the Royal Rumble

Tyler Job, Staff Writer

Feb. 1, 2017

The tagline for the WWE 2017 Royal Rumble was “Remember the Rumble.” In the end, it certainly was a rumble to remember.

The Royal Rumble event has been a year-long tradition for the past three decades that features one of the most anticipated contests every year: the Royal Rumble match.

The match features 30 superstars from both the Raw and SmackDown Live brands who enter at two minute increments until all 30 superstars are in. The objective is to throw as many superstars over the top rope with both feet hitting the floor until there is one winner. The winner receives the right to challenge a major champion to a main event bout at WrestleMania.

The most exciting match of the night was John Cena challenging WWE Champion AJ Styles for the title, where Cena defeated Styles to tie Ric Flair for the most World Championship reigns at 16 (!). These two superstars had a tense, yet memorable rivalry from 2016 where Styles beat Cena twice and continued to the Rumble once Cena returned in late December from his brief Hollywood stint.

It was another magical Cena vs. Styles match that featured multiple intense and awe-inspiring moments. There were so many of the wrestler’s signature moves; Styles Clashes, Attitude Adjustments, Phenomenal Forearms, and other back-and-forth moves that I lost count.

In the end, it was only fitting that “Big Match John” would topple “The Phenomenal One” when it mattered most.

It took Cena four Attitude Adjustments to finally dethrone Styles (repeat, four).

Another big yet not as much anticipated match featured Roman Reigns battle for the WWE Universal Championship against Kevin Owens in a no disqualification match, where Owens’ storyline best friend, U.S. Champion Chris Jericho, was hung above the ring in a shark cage.

In the end, Owens was able to hold off “The Big Dog” thanks to some help from “The Monster Among Men,” Braun Strowman. Still, it was an exciting bout full of chair shots and table smashing that made it satisfying for any WWE fan.

The stacked aforementioned Royal Rumble match card featured Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, and Randy Orton among other superstars. Talk about a stacked card, and a nostalgic match.

The early portion of the match was dominated by Braun Strowman, who entered at number 7. Ironically, he eliminated seven superstars, including “The World’s Largest Athlete,” The Big Show, before he was tossed out by Baron Corbin, the 13th entrant.

The ring began to fill up with double digit superstars until Lesnar came out at number 26. “The Beast Incarnate” quickly eliminated three superstars before Goldberg entered at number 28. Goldberg wasted little time dismantling Lesnar and eliminated “The Beast” within 30 seconds.

Goldberg suddenly looked like the favorite until Undertaker’s music hit at the next slot. A minute later, Undertaker took advantage of a distracted Goldberg and cost him a WrestleMania spot. “The Deadman” looked scary good.

The number 30 entrant, at that point, was a question mark. Many fans were expecting a surprise entrant such as Samoa Joe or Finn Balor. Instead, it was perhaps the most perplexing entrant in recent memory when Roman Reigns stormed the ring and stared down Undertaker.

Just when it seemed it was going to be Undertaker’s match, Reigns caught Undertaker from behind and cost “The Phenom” a WrestleMania spot in the most shocking elimination of the night.

The final two came down to Reigns and Randy Orton, who entered at 23. Reigns was on fire until he got drilled by an RKO from Orton. “The Viper” then quickly took advantage and won his second Rumble of his career.

Orton is now guaranteed a championship match at WrestleMania 33, but who will it be against? Could it be Cena? Perhaps is it Owens? Maybe is it his storyline brethren Bray Wyatt?

His win certainly gave fans a lot questions on who he will be facing at “The Show of Shows,” but one thing is for sure: “The Apex Predator” is on the hunt.