Since Kevin Owens won the WWE Universal Championship back in August, Owens has had a very helpful best friend in the form of Chris Jericho, who has repeatedly helped Owens retain the WWE Universal Title no matter the stipulation put in place. This would lead to an interesting idea from the mind of RAW General Manager Mick Foley, who announced that, at the Royal Rumble, Kevin Owens would defend the WWE Universal Championship against Roman Reigns, but to ensure that Chris Jericho would not get involved, Jericho will be locked in a shark cage that will be suspended high above the ring! Not only that, but Kevin Owens found out this past Monday night on RAW that the title match will also have no disqualifications! With Chris Jericho’s presence in the shark cage keeping the match truly one-on-one, can Kevin Owens prove the naysayers wrong and keep the WWE Universal Title without the help of Chris Jericho or will Roman Reigns beat Owens for the WWE Universal Title and prove that Owens needs Jericho to remain champion?
Then it was time for the WWE Universal Championship to be defended in a unique match as Kevin Owens would defend the WWE Universal Title against Roman Reigns with Owens’ best friend Chris Jericho locked in a shark cage that will be suspended high above the ring in a match that will also have no disqualifications! Before the match begins, Chris Jericho would have to be locked in the shark cage, but Jericho would refuse as Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho would double team Roman Reigns before Roman fights back, sending Owens out of the ring before sending Jericho face-first into the steel shark cage. Reigns then tosses Jericho into the shark cage and locking it shut and, as the United States Champion is raised above the ring in his prison, the title match officially gets underway.
Early on in the match, Owens and Reigns would take full advantage of the no disqualification rule as the two would fight through the crowd before returning to ringside. This is when Kevin Owens would pull several steel chairs out from under the ring, using one of the chairs on the challenger before setting up several chairs into a pyramid on the outside. Owens then brings Reigns up to the ring apron with the intent of powerbombing the challenger through the steel pyramid, but Roman would counter. Roman then tries to suplex Owens through the stack of chairs but the champion avoids such a fate. Reigns then gets back into the ring, taking Owens down before sending the champion shoulder-first into the ring post.
Roman Reigns then grabs a table from under the ring, trying to set up the table in the ring but Kevin Owens intervenes before folding the table back up and sliding it to the outside. The fight would then continue on the outside with Roman Reigns setting up a table, but Kevin Owens would deliver a pair of kicks to the challenger that leaves Roman lying on the table. Owens then heads to the top rope, diving off with a big frog splash to Roman Reigns, sending the challenger crashing through the table to the floor! Owens then brings Roman back into the ring, going for the pin, but Reigns kicks out. The champion then grabs a steel chair, using the chair to try and weaken Reigns as Chris Jericho cheers Kevin Owens on from above the ring.
After wedging the steel chair in the corner, Owens would send Reigns face-first into the chair, but when this fails to put the challenger away, Chris Jericho pulls brass knuckles out, dropping them to Kevin Owens and the champion would use the knuckles for his own version of the Superman Punch, blasting Reigns with the knuckles, but Roman kicks out again! Owens then looks for a powerbomb on an open steel chair but Reigns would counter with a Samoan Drop onto the steel chair, but the champion is able to kick out.
Roman Reigns then pulls another table out from under the ring, sliding the table into the ring and propping the table up in the corner. Roman then connects with the Superman Punch to the champion with Kevin Owens kicking out. With the table in position, Roman Reigns would go for the Spear to Kevin Owens through the table, but Owens would counter with a Stone Cold Stunner! After Roman kicks out, Owens stomps a mud hole in Roman Reigns in the corner before squashing Reigns in the corner with the Cannonball. The champion then brings Roman to the top rope with the intention of delivering a superplex to the challenger through the pyramid of chairs, but Reigns fights out before catching Owens with the Superman Punch, knocking Owens off of his perch through the pyramid of steel chairs on the outside!
However, instead of bringing the champion back into the ring, Roman Reigns would expose the announce table at ringside, hoisting Owens up and sending the champion crashing through the table with a vicious powerbomb! Roman would then bring Owens back into the ring, sizing the champion up for the Spear, but this is when Braun Strowman would emerge! “The Monster Among Men” would pull Roman Reigns out of the ring, delivering a chokeslam to Roman Reigns on the German announce table before Braun brings Reigns into the ring, using his running powerslam to drive Roman through the table in the corner, allowing Owens to pin Roman to successfully retain the WWE Universal Title in a hellacious match!
Then it was time for the namesake of the legendary Royal Rumble event as, for the 30th year in a row, WWE would present the most unpredictable match of the year as the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match would determine who will challenge for either the WWE Championship or the WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania. In the Royal Rumble Match, two randomly drawn Superstars would start the match and, every two minutes, another randomly drawn Superstar would join the match and this trend would continue until 30 Superstars have entered the Royal Rumble Match with elimination occurring when a Superstar is thrown over the top rope with both feet touching the floor and the last man remaining would win the Royal Rumble Match and earn himself a shot at either the WWE Championship or the WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania.
The unenviable #1 entry into the 2017 Royal Rumble Match would be entering his very first Royal Rumble Match as Big Cass would make his way to the ring, but not before Big Cass and his tag team partner Enzo Amore address the San Antonio fans. Big Cass would be joined in starting the match by the #2 entrant in the Royal Rumble Match, United States Champion and Royal Rumble Match veteran Chris Jericho. As Big Cass takes Chris Jericho down with a big boot in the ring, the #3 entrant would arrive in the Royal Rumble Match as “The Lucha Dragon” Kalisto makes his Royal Rumble Match debut. The most hyped Superstar in the Royal Rumble Match would then make his entry at #4 as Mojo Rawley would join Big Cass, Chris Jericho, and Kalisto in the Rumble.
In at #5 was “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher, who would use his umbrella to take control in the match, even using the umbrella to low blow Chris Jericho. The ring would then continue to fill up with the #6 entrant as, in his home state of Texas, “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry would march to the ring. Mark Henry would immediately make an impact on the match, tossing his fellow Rumble entrants around the ring. Jack Gallagher would then try to use his umbrella to fly to take out Mark Henry, but “The World’s Strongest Man” would catch Gallagher, tossing Gallagher over the top rope to elimination.
The monsters then keep on coming with “The Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman entering at #7. Strowman would immediately make his presence felt as Braun tosses out Mojo Rawley and Big Cass before throwing Kalisto over the top rope to the outside, eliminating three men before coming face-to-face with Mark Henry. Strowman is then able to send Henry over the top rope, knocking “The World’s Strongest Man” to the floor to eliminate the Texan. Braun would then be met with a familiar foe at #8 as Sami Zayn enters the Royal Rumble Match. One of the few Superstars capable of taking it to Braun Strowman would then enter at #9 as “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show enters the Royal Rumble Match, coming face-to-face with Braun Strowman.
Big Show is actually able to chokeslam Braun Strowman before leveling Chris Jericho with the Knockout Punch. Strowman then gets back to his feet as Braun and Big Show battle to eliminate the other with Braun able to teeter Big Show over the top rope to elimination. The #10 entrant would then make an unexpected appearance as NXT star “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger would make his Royal Rumble debut! In at #11 was James Ellsworth, who would refuse to enter the ring to face Braun Strowman. Sami Zayn and Tye Dillinger would try to work together to eliminate Braun, but Strowman would stay in the match.
With James Ellsworth still not in the ring, Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose would enter the Royal Rumble Match at #12 and Ambrose would trick James Ellsworth into entering the ring. Braun Strowman would make quick work of James Ellsworth, hurling Ellsworth over the top rope to the outside. “The Lone Wolf” would then enter his first Royal Rumble Match as Baron Corbin enters at #13. Braun Strowman would then score his seventh elimination, tossing Tye Dillinger over the top rope to the outside. Dean Ambrose, Baron Corbin, and Sami Zayn would then get on the same page, working together to eliminate Braun Strowman as Sami Zayn hits the Helluva Kick, allowing Baron Corbin to eliminate “The Monster Among Men”.
The first of the three New Day members would then enter the Royal Rumble Match as Rumble highlight reel Kofi Kingston enters at #14. At the halfway point of the Royal Rumble Match, The Miz would enter the fray at #15. Kofi Kingston then finds himself able to hang on to the ring post to avoid elimination before #16 rushes to the ring as “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus arrives in the Royal Rumble Match. Sheamus takes over in the match, hitting Chris Jericho with the Brogue Kick as Jericho weakly rolls to the outside again. The second member of The New Day would then enter at #17 as Big E joins teammate Kofi Kingston in the Royal Rumble Match.
The #18 entrant into the Royal Rumble Match would then be “The Bulgarian Brute” Rusev followed by the #19 entrant, Cesaro. With the ring getting crowded, the final member of The New Day would enter at #20 as Xavier Woods joins Big E & Kofi Kingston in the Royal Rumble Match. As The New Day works together to try and take over the Royal Rumble Match, the leader of The Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt, enters the Royal Rumble Match at #21. In his first Royal Rumble Match, Apollo Crews would enter the Royal Rumble Match at #22. Former tag team champions Cesaro & Sheamus then manage to eliminate all three members of The New Day before Sheamus tries to eliminate his own tag team partner Cesaro with Chris Jericho taking advantage, eliminating both Cesaro & Sheamus!
A former Royal Rumble winner would then enter at #23 as Wyatt Family member Randy Orton enters the Royal Rumble Match. “The Viper” would RKO every Superstar in sight with the exception of Bray Wyatt, whom Orton helps to his feet before Dolph Ziggler comes in at #24. The third member of The Wyatt Family then enters the Royal Rumble Match as Luke Harper comes in at #25. Luke Harper is quick to eliminate Apollo Crews before Harper comes face-to-face with Randy Orton with Bray Wyatt standing in between his two Wyatt Family members. This is when Luke Harper would shock his leader by leveling Bray with a clothesline! Harper would then look to add insult to injury, going for Sister Abigail to Bray Wyatt, but Randy Orton would intervene with an RKO to Harper.
Business then picks up with the #26 entrant into the Royal Rumble Match as “The Beast” Brock Lesnar enters the Royal Rumble Match with a vengeance. Brock would toss Dean Ambrose out of the Royal Rumble Match, followed by Dolph Ziggler! “The Beast” then ravages the other entrants with suplexes and F-5’s before #27 had the unfortunate fate of coming face-to-face with “The Beast” as Enzo Amore enters the Royal Rumble Match. Brock makes quick work of Enzo, dropping Enzo with a clothesline before tossing Enzo to the outside. The #28 entrant would then paint a very intriguing picture as Goldberg would come to the ring to go face-to-face with Brock Lesnar and, much like their match at Survivor Series, Goldberg would immediately blast “The Beast” with the Spear before eliminating Brock Lesnar!
As Goldberg stands dominant in the ring, the bell would toll to signify the arrival of the #29 entrant as, ten years after winning the Royal Rumble Match, The Undertaker would appear in the ring, coming face-to-face with Goldberg! The Undertaker then grabs Goldberg by the throat before it’s broken up and Goldberg would eliminate Rusev before The Undertaker eliminates Baron Corbin! Goldberg would then hit The Undertaker with the Spear before Goldberg eliminates Luke Harper. “The Phenom” then gets to his feet before eliminating Goldberg from the Royal Rumble Match! With The Undertaker the only man left standing in the ring, #30 would be the man who was cost the WWE Universal Title by Braun Strowman earlier in the night, Roman Reigns. Roman would come face-to-face with The Undertaker with Reigns and Undertaker trading shots before “The Phenom” plants Reigns with a chokeslam.
The Undertaker then eliminates The Miz and Sami Zayn from the Royal Rumble Match before Roman Reigns is able to surprise The Undertaker and the world by eliminating The Undertaker from the Royal Rumble Match, leaving it down to Roman Reigns, Chris Jericho, Bray Wyatt, & Randy Orton. After lasting over an hour in the Royal Rumble Match, a Superman Punch would eliminate Chris Jericho from the Royal Rumble Match, leaving Roman Reigns against Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton. Roman Reigns would catch both Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton with the Superman Punch before Roman eliminates Bray Wyatt. Reigns then goes for the Spear to Randy Orton, but “The Viper” counters with the RKO before Orton tosses Reigns over the top rope to the outside as Randy Orton wins the 2017 Royal Rumble Match, earning himself a shot at the WWE Championship at WrestleMania!