Royal Rumble 2017 Highlights
The Royal Rumble is widely considered to be the second biggest pay-per-view event held by the WWE each year. There is just something exciting about watching a 30-man battle royal decide the future headliner of WrestleMania. There was a lot of hype leading into this event with several huge stars set to appear in the main event, and the show easily surpassed the high expectations. These are the four biggest highlights from the 2017 Royal Rumble event.
Universal Championship Match
Kevin Owens was forced to defend his WWE Universal Championship against Roman Reigns in a no-disqualification match. Owens' best friend Chris Jericho was also suspended above the ring in a shark cage to stop him from interfering in the match. WWE fans love to criticize the wrestling ability of Roman Reigns, but he may have had the best match of his career at the Royal Rumble last week. This highly entertaining match featured a frog splash through a table, a powerbomb through the announce table and a brutal fall through a stack of chairs. Unexpected help from Braun Strowman helped Kevin Owens narrowly escape with his title.
Ty Dillinger Debuts
Ty Dillinger is one of the most beloved wrestlers on NXT, and he finally got to make his main roster debut in the WWE during the Royal Rumble match. The crowd went absolutely crazy the second his entrance music started, which is something rarely seen for someone that has never appeared on WWE television. While Dillinger did not last very long in the match, it was still nice to see him get honored for his great run in NXT. It should not be too much longer before we see a lot more of Ty Dillinger on WWE television.
WWE Championship Match
John Cena and AJ Styles had an epic match at the Summerslam event last year, but they may have topped that great match at the Royal Rumble. The two great wrestlers gave everything they had for the 52,000 fans in attendance in a match that will be remembered for many years to come. A series of finishing moves were landed by both wrestlers that led to multiple near victories, but John Cena ultimately got the best of AJ Styles. This was the 16th time Cena has won the WWE Championship in his great career.
The Wyatt Family Prevails
The Wyatt Family has been one of the best stables in the WWE since they debuted, but they have rarely gotten a chance to shine. That all changed when Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt were two of the final three wrestlers left in the Royal Rumble match. Goldberg, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker got all of the attention leading up to the event, so it was nice to see two great full-time wrestlers get to showcase their skills. Randy Orton secured his second Royal Rumble victory by eliminating Roman Reigns. The idea of Randy Orton headlining WrestleMania may not appeal to some wrestling fans, but it should set up a great story with Bray Wyatt over the next two months.
- Alan Peterson