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Royal Rumble 2017

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Royal Rumble 2017 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE for the Raw and SmackDown brands. It took place on January 29, 2017, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. This was the 30th event under the Royal Rumble chronology. The event is also the second Royal Rumble to be held in the Alamodome, after 1997, and the fourth to be held in the state of Texas (1989, 1997, and 2007).

Eight matches were contested at the event, including three on the pre-show. The event saw Randy Orton win the Royal Rumble match by last eliminating Roman Reigns, making him the seventh multiple Rumble winner. Also, John Cena defeated AJ Styles to capture his record thirteenth WWE Championship and his sixteenth overall world championship, tying Ric Flair's record. Other matches included Kevin Owens retaining the WWE Universal Championship against Roman Reigns in a no disqualification match, Charlotte Flair retaining the Raw Women's Championship against Bayley, and Neville defeating Rich Swann for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

Background

The card included matches resulting from scripted storylines and have results predetermined by WWE on the Raw and SmackDown brands. Storylines are produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live, and 205 Live.

As is tradition, the card was highlighted by the 30-man Royal Rumble match where the winner will receive a world championship match at WrestleMania 33 for either SmackDown's WWE World Championship or Raw's WWE Universal Championship. After defeating Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series in his first match in 12 years, Goldberg declared himself the first entrant in the Royal Rumble match on the November 21 episode of Raw. The following week, Paul Heyman addressed the Survivor Series match, stating that they underestimated Goldberg, and that the match was a humiliation and embarrassment for him and Lesnar. He then stated that Lesnar would also be in the Royal Rumble as Lesnar has something to prove.

At Roadblock: End of the Line on December 18, 2016, Kevin Owens retained the WWE Universal Championship against United States Champion Roman Reigns after Chris Jericho attacked Owens with a Codebreaker, giving Owens the win by disqualification. After the match, Jericho, who lost to Seth Rollins earlier that night, revealed that it was his plan so that Owens would win and retain the title and Owens hugged and thanked Jericho before Reigns and Rollins attacked both by performing Double Powerbombs on Jericho and Owens through broadcast tables, respectively. The following night on Raw, Owens and Jericho celebrated Owens' win, stating their friendship was even stronger now. Raw General Manager Mick Foley then came out and announced that Reigns would get a rematch against Owens for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble, and Jericho would be suspended above the ring inside of a shark cage, ensuring that Jericho would not interfere in the match. Foley threatened that if Jericho does not enter the cage, he will be fired. Both were then put into a tag team match against Reigns and Rollins. The latter two won by disqualification after Braun Strowman came out and attacked both. On the last Raw of 2016, Rollins confronted Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon about her husband Triple H, calling him a coward. Stephanie then scheduled Rollins to face Strowman, but lost by disqualification when Sami Zayn attacked Strowman. Reigns later defended the United States Championship against Owens. The end of the match came when Jericho distracted Reigns and Owens performed the Codebreaker on Reigns for a near fall. Rollins then came out and delivered a Pedigree to Jericho. Owens super kicked Rollins and returned to the ring but was hit with a spear from Reigns, who won the match and retained the title. Rollins then delivered a Pedigree to Owens, and Reigns speared Jericho.

At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 4, 2016, AJ Styles retained the then-WWE World Championship against Dean Ambrose in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match. On the December 13 episode of SmackDown Live, Dolph Ziggler defeated Ambrose, The Miz, and Luke Harper in a four-way elimination match to earn a match for the renamed WWE Championship on the December 27 episode. On the December 20 episode, however, Baron Corbin confronted Ziggler, calling him undeserving of a title shot and stated that Ziggler only won because he was not there. The two then had a match with Ziggler's title shot on the line, but it ended in a double count-out. Styles then attacked both Ziggler and Corbin with a chair. SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan then scheduled a triple threat for the WWE Championship between the three for the December 27 episode. That episode, John Cena returned from a near three-month hiatus and challenged the winner for the title at the Royal Rumble. After Styles retained the WWE Championship, Cena came out, looking ready to fight, but instead congratulated him with a handshake. Cena and Styles will have a contract signing on the January 3, 2017 episode.

At Roadblock: End of the Line, Charlotte Flair defeated Sasha Banks in overtime of a 30-minute Iron Man match to win her fourth Raw Women's Championship, as well as ending their long feud. The following Raw, Charlotte declared herself to be the greatest female wrestler of all time, but was then interrupted by Bayley, who reminded Charlotte that she was 2–0 against her. Bayley then pinned Charlotte in an impromptu non-title match. However, replays showed that Charlotte had her shoulder up before the three count. The following week, Charlotte revealed that she worked with her and WWE's lawyers and Bayley's win the previous week was revoked, but Charlotte allowed Bayley to face her in another non-title match, but this time with Dana Brooke as guest referee. Bayley lost after a fast three count by Dana. On the January 2, 2017 episode, Bayley defeated Nia Jax thanks to distraction by Banks to become the number one contender for the Raw Women's Championship at the Royal Rumble.

At Roadblock: End of the Line, Rich Swann retained the WWE Cruiserweight Championship in a triple threat match against T.J. Perkins and The Brian Kendrick. After the match, Neville appeared and attacked both Swann and Perkins, turning heel. The following night on Raw, Neville stated his intention to take out the entire cruiserweight division, and proclaimed himself to be "King of the Cruiserweights". Swann questioned Neville's actions but, was then attacked by Neville and Kendrick, who sided with Neville. Perkins tried to help Swann, but was overpowered by Neville. The next night on 205 Live, Neville and Kendrick defeated Perkins and Swann in a tag team match. The following Raw, after Neville defeated Perkins, he challenged Swann to a match for the following 205 Live. Later, after Swann defeated Ariya Daivari, he accepted the challenge, but was immediately attacked by Neville. On 205 Live, Neville defeated Swann in a non-title match, and proceeded to attack Swann again. On the January 9, 2017 episode of Raw, after defeating Lince Dorado, Neville proceeded to attack Dorado more until Swann came to his aid and fended off Neville. On the following 205 Live, after Swann defeated Tony Nese, Swann called out Neville, but Neville refused to face Swann unless it was for the Cruiserweight Championship. Swann then accepted Neville's challenge for the title at the Royal Rumble. The following Raw, Neville attacked Swann before his match with Nese, and Nese joined Neville in the attack.

At Roadblock: End of the Line, Cesaro and Sheamus defeated The New Day's Big E and Kofi Kingston to become the new Raw Tag Team Champions, as well as ending New Day's record setting reign. The following night on Raw, Mick Foley congratulated Cesaro and Sheamus and presented them with a new set of championship belts. The New Day also congratulated them, but were interrupted by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Big E and Kingston then teamed with Cesaro and Sheamus to defeat Gallows and Anderson and The Shining Stars. The following week, The New Day (Kingston and Xavier Woods) invoked their rematch clause for the championship, but were unsuccessful. Cesaro and Sheamus then began a rivalry with Gallows and Anderson. On the January 2 episode of Raw, Karl Anderson defeated Cesaro. The following week, Sheamus defeated Luke Gallows. On the January 16 episode, Cesaro and Sheamus defended the Raw Tag Team Championship against Gallows and Anderson. After the first referee was accidentally knocked out by Sheamus, another referee came out and called the winning pinfall for Gallows and Anderson. However, the original referee reversed the decision and made it a disqualification win for Gallows and Anderson, thus Cesaro and Sheamus kept the titles. A match between the two teams for the titles with two referees was scheduled for the Royal Rumble pre-show.

At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Alexa Bliss defeated Becky Lynch in a tables match to win the SmackDown Women's Championship. Also at the event, Nikki Bella won a no disqualification match against Carmella, who revealed that Natalya was the one who attacked Nikki at Survivor Series. Natalya denied the accusations until the December 20 SmackDown Live, where she admitted to the attack as well as revealing pent up jealousy of the Bella Twins, resulting in brawls between the two in the following weeks. Meanwhile, Bliss lost a non-title match to La Luchadora, who was revealed to be Lynch. The following week, Lynch lost to Bliss in a title rematch due to interference from a mysterious woman dressed as La Luchadora, who targeted Lynch for weeks. After La Luchadora helped Bliss retain the title against Lynch in a steel cage match in the main event of the January 17 episode, La Luchadora was unmasked and revealed to be the returning Mickie James. The following week, James explained her actions in an interview with Renee Young, claiming that she became forgotten due to the Women's Revolution, before she and Bliss again ambushed Lynch. Also that night, Naomi was scheduled to face Natalya, but the match was canceled due to a brawl between Natalya and Nikki. She later challenged Bliss to a match, only for Bliss to refuse. A six-woman tag team match was then scheduled for the Royal Rumble, putting Lynch, Nikki, and Naomi against Bliss, James, and Natalya, marking James' first WWE pay-per-view match in nearly seven years.

Event

Pre-Show

During the pre-show, Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella and Naomi faced SmackDown Women's Champion Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, and Natalya. In the end, Naomi pinned Alexa after a Split Legged Moonsault.

Next, Cesaro and Sheamus defended the Raw Tag Team Championship against Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Anderson pinned Cesaro with a roll-up to win the title.

After that, Nia Jax faced Sasha Banks. Nia pinned Sasha after a Pop Up Samoan Drop.

Preliminary matches

The actual pay-per-view event opened with Charlotte Flair defending the Raw Women's Championship against Bayley. In the end, Charlotte performed Natural Selection onto the ring apron on Bayley and pinned her to retain the title.

Next, Kevin Owens defended the WWE Universal Championship against Roman Reigns in a No-Disqualification match. United States Champion Chris Jericho was suspended above the ring in a shark cage to prevent him for interfering. Owens performed a Frog Splash, putting Reigns through a table outside the ring. Jericho droped brass knuckles to Owens, who used them to hit Reigns with a Superman Punch. Owens attempted a Powerbomb through a chair, but Reigns countered the move into a Samoan Drop through the chair. Reigns performed a Superman Punch and then attempted a Spear, but Owens countered the move into a Stunner. Another Superman Punch by Reigns caused Owens to fall through chairs stacked outside the ring, followed by a Powerbomb through a broadcast table. Braun Strowman then attacked Reigns with a Chokeslam onto a broadcast table and a Running Powerslam through a table. Owens pinned Reigns to retain the title.

After that, Rich Swann defended the WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Neville. Neville forced Swann to submit to a Double Underhook Crossface to win the title.

Later, AJ Styles defended the WWE Championship against John Cena. Cena performed an Attitude Adjustment and Styles a Phenomenal Forearm, both scoring near-falls. A trade of reversals of Styles's Calf Crusher and Cena's STF followed. Styles applied the STF, but Cena escaped the hold. Cena applied the Figure Four Leglock, which Styles countered into a Cross Armbreaker, which Cena escaped. Both men scored near-falls, Styles after a Styles Clash and Cena after an Attitude Adjustment from the top rope. Styles attempted a Phenomenal Forearm, but Cena caught him, performed two Attitude Adjustments and pinned Styles to win his thirteenth WWE Championship. With this win, Cena tied Ric Flair's record of sixteen recognized world championships.

Main event

The main event was the 30-man Royal Rumble match. Big Cass and U.S. Champion Chris Jericho began the match as the #1 and #2 entrants, respectively. #7 entrant Braun Strowman scored the most eliminations with seven, eliminating Cass, Kalisto, Mojo Rawley, Mark Henry, Big Show, NXT's Tye Dillinger, and James Ellsworth, but was eliminated by Baron Corbin, the #13 entrant. Brock Lesnar, who entered at #26, eliminated Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, and Enzo Amore, but was quickly eliminated by Goldberg, the #28 entrant, who also eliminated Rusev and Luke Harper. The Undertaker entered at #29, eliminating Baron Corbin, Goldberg, The Miz, and Sami Zayn (who was in the match nearly 47 minutes), but was himself eliminated by Roman Reigns, the surprise #30 entrant.

Jericho, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, and Reigns were left as the final four. Reigns eliminated Jericho (who lasted in the Rumble for just over one hour) and then countered Wyatt's Sister Abigail into a Superman Punch, eliminating Wyatt. Reigns attempted a Spear on Orton, who countered the move into an RKO and eliminated Reigns to win the match. As a result of his win, Orton earned a world title match at Wrestlemania 33.

Aftermath

Raw

On the following Raw, Braun Strowman revealed that he helped Kevin Owens retain the WWE Universal Championship because of his dislike for Roman Reigns and because Owens had promised him a title shot. Owens denied this before Strowman revealed footage where Owens stated that Strowman would be the next person to get an opportunity after he defeated Reigns. Raw General Manager Mick Foley then scheduled the match for later that night where Owens won by disqualification when Reigns interfered and attacked Strowman.

Bayley, Cesaro, and Sheamus, teamed up to face Charlotte Flair, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson in a six-person mixed tag team match where Bayley pinned Charlotte.

Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman appeared and challenged Goldberg to one final match at WrestleMania 33.

SmackDown

As per tradition, the winner of the Royal Rumble match could choose which world championship to compete for at WrestleMania 33 on April 2, 2017. On January 30, it was confirmed that Randy Orton chose his own brand's WWE Championship.

A couple of weeks prior to the Royal Rumble, SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon announced that the main event of SmackDown's next pay-per-view, Elimination Chamber on February 12, would be an Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship. On January 30, it was confirmed that AJ Styles would be entering the match due to a rematch clause in the match contract.

Match Preview

Six-Woman Tag Team MatchPreview
Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Gallows and AndersonPreview
Sasha Banks vs. Nia JaxPreview
Charlotte Flair vs. BayleyPreview
Kevin Owens vs. Roman ReignsPreview
Rich Swann vs. NevillePreview
AJ Styles vs. John CenaPreview
Royal Rumble matchPreview

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
  • Chris Jericho will be suspended above the ring inside a shark cage

Royal Rumble entrances and eliminations

    Raw
    SmackDown
    205 Live
    NXT
     – Unassigned

A new entrant came out approximately every 120 seconds.

Entrant Eliminated by Time Eliminations
1 Big Cass 3 Braun Strowman 9:57 0
2 Chris Jericho 27 Roman Reigns 1:00:13 0
3 Kalisto 4 Braun Strowman 8:17 0
4 Mojo Rawley 2 Braun Strowman 6:16 0
5 Jack Gallagher 1 Mark Henry 3:20 0
6 Mark Henry 5 Braun Strowman 3:17 1
7 Braun Strowman 9 Baron Corbin 13:11 7
8 Sami Zayn 25 The Undertaker 46:55 0
9 Big Show 6 Braun Strowman 1:42 0
10 Tye Dillinger 8 Braun Strowman 5:27 0
11 James Ellsworth 7 Braun Strowman 0:15 0
12 Dean Ambrose 16 Brock Lesnar 26:55 0
13 Baron Corbin 21 The Undertaker 32:39 1
14 Kofi Kingston 11 Cesaro/Sheamus 16:13 0
15 The Miz 24 The Undertaker 32:44 0
16 Sheamus 14 Chris Jericho 12:13 3
17 Big E 10 Cesaro/Sheamus 9:46 0
18 Rusev 20 Goldberg 22:31 0
19 Cesaro 13 Chris Jericho 6:44 3
20 Xavier Woods 12 Cesaro/Sheamus 4:47 0
21 Bray Wyatt 28 Roman Reigns 24:11 0
22 Apollo Crews 15 Luke Harper 5:46 0
23 Randy Orton - Winner 20:52 1
24 Dolph Ziggler 17 Brock Lesnar 4:21 0
25 Luke Harper 22 Goldberg 9:56 1
26 Brock Lesnar 19 Brock Lesnar 4:30 3
27 Enzo Amore 18 Brock Lesnar 0:18 0
28 Goldberg 23 The Undertaker 3:21 3
29 The Undertaker 26 Roman Reigns 8:46 4
30 Roman Reigns 29 Randy Orton 5:05 3

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Interviewers
Ring announcer
Pre-show Panel
Referees

See also

DVD release

  • Amazon [ Royal Rumble 2017 on DVD]

External links

Royal Rumble 2017 previews

Royal Rumble matchKevin Owens v Roman ReignsAJ Styles v John CenaCharlotte Flair v BayleyRich Swann vs. NevilleCesaro & Sheamus v Gallows and AndersonSasha Banks v Nia JaxSix-Woman Tag Team Match

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2017 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views

NXT TakeOver: San AntonioRoyal RumbleElimination ChamberFast LaneNXT TakeOver: OrlandoWrestleManiaPaybackExtreme RulesMoney in the BankBattlegroundNXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IIISummerSlamBacklashClash of ChampionsNo MercyHell in a CellNXT TakeOver: HoustonSurvivor SeriesTLC: Tables, Ladders, & ChairsRoadblock

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