5 WWE Superstars that need a great showing at the Royal Rumble

Goldberg had a great 2016 but will he do the same at the Royal Rumble?
Tom Clark

WWE’s Royal Rumble event is coming up on Sunday, January 29, and it’s promising to be an exciting night. Of all the pay-per-views WWE presents over the year, it is perhaps the most important one next to WrestleMania.

That’s because the Royal Rumble stats off the road to WrestleMania, which means all the major storylines are about to reach their apex. The granddaddy of them all is the night when legends are made, and that will surely be the case in 2017.

But in order for Mania to be a hit, the company needs to build some real momentum on January 29. Fans know that WWE’s top stars will be heading to WrestleMania, but their directions are not very clear at the moment. However, that is likely going to change very soon.

The only way to get WWE’s best going is to get them started at the Rumble. The weekly grind of TV must transition to the ultimate showcase, so the intensity will need to increase to a much higher level. Fans know Mania is coming, now WWE must begin to show a sense of urgency when it comes to preparing its talents.

The most interesting aspect of this year’s Rumble is the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a clear-cut winner. There are several guys that could make an impact and a few that perhaps could find themselves in a great position to get over.

But for the most part, this year’s Royal Rumble is wide open. It could very well be that WWE is actually banking on the event to light the spark for some of the Superstars. If that is indeed true, then there are five that definitely need a great showing in order to move forward.

It could be that none of those five will win big that night, but it could also be that it will not make a difference. Maybe lighting the fire that will burn at WrestleMania is the most important part.

#5 Big E

Big E is known mostly for being a tag team guy, but that could change soon

Big E may not be on the fan’s radar right now, but perhaps he should. Though he’s only known for being the fun loving muscleman of The New Day, that may change very soon. The fact is that The New Day will eventually come to an end.

When that happens, each man must find his own way. Of the three, Big E may have the biggest upside. The reason for that is due to his size and agility in the ring. He’s a much different big man than WWE has seen in a long time, and that should bode well for him in the future.

Also read: 5 Unlikely WWE Superstars who could win the 2017 Royal Rumble

He’s quick on his feet, he can bring the power moves, and his storytelling ability in the ring has greatly improved over the past few years. He’s also one of the most entertaining Superstars on the WWE roster, which means that he has the whole package.

But he has not really stood out from The New Day, which should change on January 29. Despite what number he draws, Big E should hit the match and make an immediate impact. He should eliminate several Superstars, and it should become obvious that he’s ready to win.

Big E needs to establish himself as a real player, which is something that WWE surely wants.

Having him as another main event option is the right move, and Big E definitely deserves that spot. The fans will undoubtedly support him, and Big E could find himself on the verge of a whole new direction when The Royal Rumble is over.

#4 Bayley

Bayley needs more than a hug, she needs a great night at the Royal Rumble

Bayley has what could be considered the toughest spot of the night on January 29. That may seem like an odd notion, especially considering that she’s challenging Charlotte Flair for the Raw Women’s Championship. But Bayley is following Sasha Banks, and that will not be an easy task.

Banks and Flair made history together in WWE. They worked the main event of Monday Night Raw. They broke new ground at Hell in a Cell. They impressed everyone with No Disqualification, Falls Count Anywhere. They did everything their male counterparts could do, only better.

Their story will go down as one of the best in WWE history, and rightfully so. But just like Ric Flair moved on from Dusty Rhodes back in the NWA, Charlotte now has to move on to her newest challenger. Bayley indeed has some very big boots to fill.

That’s why she needs a very big night at The Royal Rumble. While many fans ultimately don’t expect her to beat Charlotte, the fact is that she may not need to. As long as Bayley comes out firing and throws Charlotte off her game, fans will indeed be impressed.

She may not be over like she was expected to be, but the Rumble is her chance to finally make it happen.

Fans are waiting for her to show what she can do, the way she did in NXT. She’s not had the opportunity to do that since coming to the main roster, but she will now. The Royal Rumble should be her coming out party.

#3 Baron Corbin

The Lone Wolf needs to stand out from the rest of the pack on January 29

Baron Corbin may be the most improved Superstar in WWE’s locker room. He went from being NXT’s most heavily criticised talent, to being a potential WWE world title contender. Even his most ardent critics have surely recognised how far he’s come, as he’s now considered a man on the rise.

WWE is always in need of believable antagonists, and Corbin is definitely a good one. He’s a remorseless heel that cares only about himself, and he’s made it very clear that he’s not in the company to make friends. He wants to be the top player in WWE, and he’s taking steps to get there.

The Royal Rumble may not be the main event booking Corbin’s supporters were hoping for, but it’s his best opportunity to prove himself. Considering how he’s been used on SmackDown Live, fans should not be surprised to see Corbin in the last five of the Rumble match.

He may even make it to the last two or three, which would bode even better for his career. He could take the best that WWE’s more established stars have to offer, and fight back to prove his worth. Even if he didn’t make it to the final two, he would have come much farther than many fans could’ve predicted.

If Corbin is indeed on his way up, then he needs a great spotlight on January 29. Fans need to be talking about him long after the match is over, which is all any WWE Superstar can hope for. In Corbin’s case, one great night can lead to many more.

#2 Goldberg

Goldberg shocked the world in 2016, and he can continue at the Rumble

Goldberg’s comeback is perhaps the most successful one that any WWE Superstar has ever had. After a 12 year absence and enduring more fan criticism than he ever deserved, Goldberg was facing incredible odds. But despite everything, Goldberg returned to a hero’s welcome.

But it didn’t stop there. The former WCW champion impressed with every promo he cut and got over every time he appeared on TV. Older fans loved seeing him again, while younger fans loved the idea of him. But for the most part, fans loved seeing someone finally best Brock Lesnar.

WWE needed a beast to slay the beast, and that’s why Goldberg’s return worked. Fans popped for him and sat in awe of him, because he faced off with the toughest man in the business, and didn’t blink. Goldberg beat Lesnar in just 86 seconds and left him for dead in the middle of the ring.

His victory shocked the world and set the wheels in motion for a feud that could very well define Goldberg’s career. Through all the politics of WCW and his first failed run in WWE, the fact is that Goldberg is at his absolute best as the unstoppable monster.

He’s a throwback to the old school days of the business, when guys were no-nonsense, and cared more about fighting than fame. He may not have been treated right the first time around, but that’s changed now. Goldberg is a legend and this run will never be forgotten.

All he needs now is more of the same at The Royal Rumble. Fans are enjoying the ride, and there’s no reason to stop now. Goldberg should tear through the ring one Superstar at a time until he reaches The Beast Incarnate, and that’s when the real fun begins.

#1 Braun Strowman

Braun Strowman is on the rise, and he can make a real impact at the Royal Rumble

The idea of Braun Strowman versus The Undertaker seemed like a ridiculous notion just one year ago. Strowman was too green, too undeserving, and much too low on the card to get the nod. But 2017 has brought a whole new monster to Monday Night Raw.

Strowman is in a position to make a real impact on WWE. Much like Baron Corbin, Strowman has become a focus of the company and that should definitely continue on January 29. If there’s anyone that should leave a mark on The Royal Rumble, it’s Strowman.

He has the size, he has the strength, and he has the ring psychology to get over. Fans have responded positively to him thus far, and he’s excelled at just the right pace. He may not be ready for the WWE Universal Championship, but he’s surely ready to wreak havoc at the Rumble.

The Royal Rumble may be the most pivotal night of Strowman’s career, because if the company is indeed going to move forward with a match against Taker, then Strowman needs to set the tone now. The only way for him to do that is to go full throttle at The Phenom, and perhaps even eliminate him during the match.

Strowman could become a very valuable commodity in WWE, and the proof of that can perhaps be seen at The Royal Rumble. Now it’s up to the company to set the stage for Strowman to show what he can do on January 29.

Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Sportskeeda. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online here

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Also read: 5 Unlikely WWE Superstars who could win the 2017 Royal Rumble

Edited by Staff Editor

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