The 2017 edition of the Royal Rumble was held on January 29, 2017 and on paper it looked to be a pretty good event with many big stars making their entry into the event. The Selective Hearing staff have gathered to discuss the results of the show and whether it lived up to the hype.
Becky Lynch, NIkki Bella and Naomi def. Alexa Bliss, Natalya and MIckie James
Did you tune in to the pre-show in time to watch the match or did you watch it later?
Greg: Nope, didn’t tune in. I was watching the 2017 NHL All Star game.
Bigfreaky: Wasn’t home yet, still haven’t rewatched it.
Allen: Nope, I was on the road to my friend’s Royal Rumble party.
TOZ: Nope. I never tune into pre-show stuff.
If you watched do you think the right team won?
Greg: I didn’t watch but the results say the faces won to advance their individual feuds. Apparently Naomi went all out. I guess I’ll watch the replay on the network eventually.
Allen: Gotta keep the faces strong. It’s good that Naomi is getting a push, she is very athletic when she isn’t hitting people with her giant ass.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson def. Cesaro & Sheamus
Were you surprised that The Club actually won the belts?
Greg: Yes. History showed that The Club were doomed for another failure. It’s somewhat surprising that they finally got the gold.
BigFreaky: I was, I thought they might have them hold out til Mania, but maybe they are just keeping them warm for someone til Mania.
Allen: Super surprised! It adds more intrigue to their feud, but I wished they didn’t waste a title change on the pre show.
TOZ: Not really.
Where do Cesaro and Sheamus go from here? Do you expect them to start fighting each other soon or is a rematch for the belts in their future?
Greg: I guess a rematch is in order where we finally get the big blow up between Sheamus and Cesaro after one of them screws up to cause a loss.
BigFreaky: I kind of hope they don’t split. I don’t want them fighting each other again. I think Cesaro is the best influence on every wrestler he works with. You can see interesting things coming out of Sheamus, since he has been working with Cesaro.
Allen: Yeah I don’t want them to split either. They spent the better part of 2016 fighting each other. Build off the story that they are a dysfunctional tag team that can win. Their tag matches have been solid watches ever since they got together.
TOZ: I don’t have an answer to this.
Nia Jax def. Sasha Banks
Nia Jax gets her first victory over a major player in the women’s division. Are you happy that she’s getting a push as the next big heel on the RAW women’s side?
Greg: The more players in the RAW women’s division the better. I’ve been a fan of Jax since her debut in NXT and I’m glad she’s getting moved up past jobber killer.
BigFreaky: I’m still not sure why we are really supposed to care, it’s just weird to me.
Allen: Yeah I need to see someone else get some screen time.
TOZ: More wrestlers in the division, please. But I don’t care about her, yet.
Do you expect this feud to go a bit longer into the next RAW PPV or possibly Wrestlemania?
Greg: I think this will at least go into the RAW PPV. I don’t know if has the legs to go into Wrestlemania but stranger things have happened.
BigFreaky: Honestly (yes.. I used that dumb overused internet word) I have no idea whats going to happen going forward, it feels like wheels spinning.
Allen: I would like to see Jax fight someone else. I actually think Sasha has been overexposed and needs to lay low for a while and heal up from all her injuries.
TOZ: At least the next Raw PPV. WM seems like a reach, but they got 4+ hours to fill.
Charlotte Flair def. Bayley
Charlotte’s PPV record remains intact and this feud will most likely continue into Wrestlemania. Do you believe that this program can go that long or will it lose steam?
Greg: I think this has enough steam to go into Wrestlemania. Bayley chasing the belt for a while will only make her eventual win on the grandest stage of them all that much sweeter.
BigFreaky: Charlotte beats everyone hands down all the time, she could have everyone be her opponent at this point and still retain all the way to Mania. Bayleys Mania entrance will be amazing.
Allen: I would buy into it for Wrestlemania only if they find a way to make Bayley look more like an underdog. She’s been in too many competitive matches for me to ever buy into her anymore. Charlotte needs to keep winning decisively until Wrestlemania, and even then I would still rather she retain.
TOZ: I don’t think this stops at WM. Although as a Hugger, I wouldn’t mind. But for the division, Charlotte needs to keep it. After BigFreaky mentioning Bayley’s entrance, maybe that long will soften the loss.
Kevin Owens def. Roman Reigns
The shark cage had zero effect on the outcome of this match. Was this gimmick a waste of time?
Greg: The shark cage was once again useless in a match. I think it’s time to never, eeeeeever do it, again.
BigFreaky: The fact they had the cage in place from like day 2 after the last PPV, made it tiresome, week after week of cage teasing. It was fine, it was wrestling.
Allen: I don’t think it was a waste, it did what it was intended to do, keep that Sexy Pinata out of the match. Even Jericho was still selling that he hates the cage even after they were lowering it after KO’s win.
TOZ: I don’t see it as a waste. It allowed Strowman to interfere, which was cool.
What did you think of Braun Strowman taking out Reigns to help Owens get the victory? Are you on the Braun train now?
Greg: Braun taking out Roman was fantastic. I’m not on the Braun train but I find it funny that this move catapulted him higher up the ladder in the eyes of fans based on the reaction to him on RAW.
BigFreaky: Have to say I wasn’t expecting this, even though Braun has been sticking his nose in everywhere lately. He doesn’t make Roman look very strong.
Allen: I wasn’t expecting it either. Some people think it took the shine off of a great match but I loved that he messed things up for Reigns. ANYONE BUT ROMAN!
TOZ: I’ve liked Strowman for awhile now, so I never quite left. Maybe changed my seat, though.
Neville def. Rich Swann
Neville gets the Barney belt and his crown making him the fourth Cruiserweight champion in the rebooted division’s short history. Do you think he will finally be the one to elevate the division to some sort of respectability?
Greg: I’m not sure Neville will be the one to make the flippy shit division respectable. He’ll be more successful than his predecessors but even he can’t fix bad booking and untether the leash on the division that restricts the guys in the division into the “WWE style” of match.
BigFreaky: Evil Neville is so great, better than I would ever expect. The fans know him, so maybe they’ll start to understand the division now. So much talent is being squandered on a couple of dumb stories and limited flippy shit.
Allen: Neville is in the best position to carry the division and bring some attention to the cruiserweight division. He actually can beat up anyone in the division and has more character than the generic lame babyfaces that makes up most of the cruiserweights.
TOZ: 100%. So much so, I think we need to stop calling it the Barney belt. As long as Neville has it, anyway.
Other than Swann getting a rematch, who else would be a candidate to take Neville on for the belt?
Greg: Jack Gallagher would be my pick but I think Cedric Alexander and Neville would put on a good bout.
BigFreaky: I assume every face that is cute enough to pinch will be coming for the belt. Pretty much everyone in the division should have a shot, the talent pool they have is great. Personally I would love to see Ali get a shot. There do appear to be some faces hiding in the shadows sometimes though, it might surprise us.
Allen: The only person I want to see Evil Neville fight is Kota Ibushi.
Greg: Kota is about as likely as seeing Kenny Omega in the WWE this year. So keep that fleeting dream alive. =p
John Cena def. AJ Styles
John Cena makes history by matching Ric Flair’s record of 16 championships. Was this too soon for such a momentous occasion?
Greg: I guess if Cena is gonna go back into part timer mode this win makes sense. Give him the accolade and then dump the belt on someone else who is going to be around for a while longer after Wrestlemania.
BigFreaky: I still scratch my head at these kind of things. 16 times, means you just lost it 15 times… kind of a meaningless number. It’s not really a big deal in my eyes. (Sure it is, but… not really) Timing was fine, maybe he’ll drop to someone deserving at Mania.
Allen: Yeah to me it doesn’t matter how many times he has been champ. When you are world champ once, you are forever a world champ. No one can take that win from you. It didn’t feel like anything special either.
TOZ: I had no problem with Cena winning.
What did you think of the match? Do you agree with Kazuchika Okada in regards to his rating of the match?
AJ/Cena < Okada/Omega #RoyalRumble
— オカダ・カズチカ (@rainmakerXokada) January 30, 2017
Greg: While not on the same level as their Summerslam encounter, the match itself was the best on the card. In regards to whether this was on the 6 star level? I dunno. Comparing a WWE match to a NJPW match is kind of hard since there are so many different factors to take in. I think that AJ/Cena was great match that told a solid story in the ring. It didn’t have as strong of a backstory as Okada/Omega to get fans as emotionally involved in the match which probably would drop it down a few notches.
But yeah, it’s pretty subjective. As an extension of one of the best feuds of 2016 in the WWE I think this installment of their rivalry lived up to expectations.
BigFreaky: Apples and Oranges. Pro Wrestling (see: Entertainment) yes, But two different things. Also, I’m not one to really pick, one thing better than another. I can enjoy both for their merits.
Allen: It was a great WWE match but it isn’t even their best in their feud. I enjoyed it very much but it felt too predictable. Okada/Omega match was on a tier all on it’s own, this one doesn’t come close.
TOZ: So dope. But why can’t we just enjoy things as they are, without having to compare it to other things?
Randy Orton wins the Royal Rumble
Despite all the star power in the match was this rumble a disappointment overall?
Greg: Yes. A disappointment despite the big names. This rumble just didn’t have that wow factor that one expects from the event.
BigFreaky: Completely surprised at this outcome. I’m a bit meh about it, but we’ll see how it all plays out. I don’t think we’re gonna get Cena v. Orton at Mania…. Then again maybe we will. It’s a long road, I’m ready to take a trip.
Allen: Another great Royal Rumble PPV that where the actual Royal Rumble match was kind of a letdown. I was surprised that Orton took the win though so it was a nice surprise. ANYONE BUT ROMAN!
TOZ: Nah son, I liked it. Besides being blessed by both the RNG and the WWE (I totally won the Selective Hearing pool, go check the numbers) I liked that they went with Randy. I do agree that the Rumble itself was the worst match.
Jack Gallagher and Tye Dillinger were the only real fresh entrants into the Rumble. Were you expecting more surprises?
Greg: I was. I think some spots were wasted such as those given to James Ellsworth and the later spot for Enzo Amore. I guess pulling someone else from NXT out of the back wasn’t going to happen just for shits and giggles.
BigFreaky: I was, but I also saw how many were already announced, and how many were on the roster still.
Allen: Yeah I wanted more surprises, even it is for a one shot bring in legends or stars we hadn’t seen in awhile. I like the funny spots and having Ellsworth didn’t bother me but wasting Enzo at 27 did.
TOZ: I was sad that the Rumble didn’t have those random returns to make us go crazy, but it’s a testament to what kind of roster they have now.
How about that Roman Reigns at #30? Waste of a spot or WWE trolling the fans?
Greg: Damn WWE trolling us all. I was hoping for Samoa Joe (much like many others probably) but nope. Roman.
BigFreaky: LOL it really did feel like the WWE trolling us. It’s ok though, his part was needed. I just think it will forever burn the fans, how he won the year that Bryan was supposed to, but was also not in it.
Allen: At my friend’s Royal Rumble party, I managed to draw number 30 so I was hoping Samoa Joe or Finn Balor would come in. When we all heard Roman’s theme, my jaw dropped and I told everyone, “I don’t want to win anymore…” Yeah WWE trolled us all and just made all of us hate him even more. Good job WWE.
TOZ: I work with some Negative Nancies here. I liked it. I didn’t really want him to win, but he did what he was supposed to, and did it well.
Undertaker looked pretty damn old yes?
Greg: Yup. He didn’t look to be in the best of shape out there. Hopefully whatever is ailing him will heal up before Wrestlemania.
BigFreaky: He looked pretty slow, I dunno about sick, could have had the flu, dunno.
Allen: Yeah he’s just too hurt. Someone really needs to tell him that he needs to hang it up. He needs to be healthy for his family.
TOZ: I don’t think that was him being sick. I think he really looked old. Walk away, Deadman.
Were you happy that Orton won or was he the only logical choice given who was in the Rumble?
Greg: Orton was the safe choice for sure. The more logical choice would have been to go with The Miz who deserves another shot at the title after the fantastic work he has done. But since logic does not exist in WWE, I guess Orton will do.
BigFreaky: Never thought I would see the day Greg to put Miz over. Yes for sure his work has been amazing, and really to be frank, he has been one of the hardest working guys ever. I dunno why I thought Taker was gonna do it, but WWE had me convinced. Not sure Orton would pop in my head at first, but we’ll see where it goes, WWE usually has it right(ish). As long as your name isn’t Daniel Bryan.
Allen: I’m ok with Orton winning because his story with the Wyatt’s had been great. I actually like it better than when he was teaming up with the Authority. I just saw him eat so many pinfalls during the last few months that I didn’t picture him winning before the rumble. Now this will add more spice to the Wyatt storyline and may help Harper and Bray in the meantime going up to Wrestlemania. ANYONE BUT ROMAN!!!
TOZ: As mentioned previously, I thought Randy winning was good. Keep us on our toes. As of this writing, we aren’t sure where they are going for WM, and that’s great.