WWE Royal Rumble 2017 Kickoff Results
Sunday, January 29, 2017
From the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas
Report by Brooks Oglesby of WrestlingNewsWorld.com
Welcome to the 2017 WWE Royal Rumble Kickoff! Renee Young welcomes us to the panel alongside Booker T, Jerry Lawler, and Shawn Michaels. They hype up the Royal Rumble Match before introducing Charly Caruso, who announces that Dean Ambrose will be on the show later for a live Q&A. Use #AskAmbrose to send in questions.
Peter Rosenberg, meanwhile, is outside the Alamodome with excited fans doing "Yes" chants.
Back at the panel, the panelists recap the feud between Triple H and Seth Rollins. Michaels says to not even try to play head games with Triple H; focus on what happens in the ring. After a By The Number video, Michaels explains the disadvantage that the #1 slot has.
The conversation moves to the Raw Women's Championship Match between Charlotte and Bayley. Michaels says that Charlotte has earned everything in her career, but he has a problem with minimizing Bayley as "just a fan." He points out that "a lot of us started in the seats." Booker picks Charlotte to retain, and Lawler agrees. Michaels thinks Bayley will achieve her dream someday, just not tonight. Renee puts her faith in Bayley.
Peter Rosenberg walks down the ramp, where 30 Superstars will walk later tonight. He explains that you don't want to use up all your energy just getting to the ring.
Meanwhile, at ringside, Mauro Ranallo, alongside David Otunga, JBL, and Tom Phillips, welcomes us to the Kickoff. The 6-Women Smackdown Tag Team Match begins as the competitors make their way to the ring.
- Becky Lynch, Naomi & Nikki Bella b. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James & Natalya. Naomi pinned Alexa Bliss after a split-legged moonsault.
The conversation back at the panel moves to the WWE Universal Championship Match between Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns, with Chris Jericho suspended above the ring in a shark cage.
Backstage, Charly Caruso approaches Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho for an interview. Jericho says they know what they're getting into tonight. Owens says he's better than "the guy;" he's the guy with the Universal Championship. Back at the panel, Lawler says Jericho is acrophobic, and the cage will make him a non-factor. Booker picks Owens. Lawler picks Reigns. Michaels picks Owens.
The Raw announce team is ringside as the Tag Team Championship Match gets underway.
- Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson b. Cesaro & Sheamus to win the WWE Tag Team Championships. Anderson rolled up Cesaro after The Club hit a Magic Killer on Sheamus, winning with a handful of tights.
The panel congratulates The Club on their victory before welcoming Peter Rosenberg, who has replaced Shawn Michaels on the panel. Austin Aries joins the panel to give some insight on the Cruiserweight Division. Renee asks why Neville was off the radar in the burgeoning Cruiserweight division. Aries says he was sidelined with an injury, but he used his time wisely and he's become unstoppable. Booker says some of these guys worry too much about making the fans cheer, when that's not always what gets gold around your waist. Booker picks Rich Swann to retain tonight. Aries picks Neville, and Rosenberg agrees.
Backstage, Charly Caruso is joined by Dean Ambrose in the Social Media Lounge. The first question asks how he'd change the design of the Intercontinental Championship. He says he's a big fan of the current design, but he'd like the back of it to be like sting ray cowboy boots. The next question asks his strategy for the Royal Rumble. He's thinking about latching onto Big Show like a smaller fish on National Geographic. The next question asks if he'd rather face AJ Styles or John Cena at WrestleMania. He'd rather face AJ, but he'd like to meet Cena in the Waffle House parking lot later that night.
- Nia Jax. b. Sasha Banks. Jax landed a pop-up Samoan drop for the win.
Back at the panel, the conversation moves to the WWE Championship Match between AJ Styles & John Cena. Rosenberg says these competitors always produce magic in the ring together. Shawn Michaels' music interrupts the discussion as HBK makes his way to the ring. Michaels grabs a mic and says it's great to be back home. He hypes up the Royal Rumble Match before slapping hands with fans and running backstage. As the pre-show comes to a close, the panel considers who might win the Royal Rumble Match, among them Big Show, Braun Strowman, Goldberg, Undertaker, and Brock Lesnar.