'Royal Rumble' 2017: What Fans Know So Far

With just a few weeks to go before the much-anticipated Royal Rumble 2017, this writer decided to take a look at what fans know so far about the event that’s coming up on January 29 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. .@JohnCena kicks off #SDLive to set the record straight: He’s NOT done, and wants the @WWE Champion at the #RoyalRumble! pic.twitter.com/JpNB4hNvmm — WWE (@WWE) December 28, 2016 First, and foremost, the premier match in the Royal Rumble 2017 is the 30-man elimination match, according to Den of Geek. Thus far, it’s only certain that Goldberg and Brock Lesnar are scheduled to participate — and it’s interesting that the WWE creative is keeping this storyline going, to be sure. The winner of the 30-man elimination match will become the number one contender for either the WWE World Championship or the Universal Championship. This suggests that Bill Goldberg is, in fact, on his way to making a title run for his comeback, since it doesn’t sound like Brock Lesnar is interested in ever holding a title. Lesnar is, however, interested in getting back at Goldberg for that 90-second humiliation at the Survivor Series, according to his spokesman, Paul Heyman. The next match to keep an eye out for at the Royal Rumble 2017, according to Heavy, is the match between Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns. Clearly, WWE creative is going to play this rivalry into the ground, but it makes for some great storytelling, so fans can live with it. The complexity of this rivalry is, of course, two-fold: there’s the BFF (best frenemies forever) relationship between Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho, and there’s also the tag team of former Shield stablemates Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. The latter is what it is — a delight to fans of one of the greatest wrestling teams in history — but the former presents an interesting wrinkle in the storyline. Can Kevin Owens really hold on to the Universal title without the interference of Jeri-KO? No less than Raw’s general manager, “Mankind” Mick Foley, wants the answer to that question. He told Kevin Owens — and the audience — that the only way Chris Jericho is going to be allowed to watch the match between Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns is if he’s suspended from a cage at the top of the ring. Who’s taking bets on whether Jeri-KO will either figure out a way to get out of the cage or throw things at Kevin Owens from the top of the ring? WWE has a habit of booking World Title matches that NO ONE wants for the #RoyalRumble PPV. pic.twitter.com/3Rmi3qQy1z — PWM – WWE COVERAGE (@ProWrestlingMag) December 28, 2016 Finally, according to Sky Sports, the last big Royal Rumble 2017 match fans have to look forward to is the match between John Cena and AJ Styles, which is the most recent match to be announced. Roadblock fue el último PPV del año, oficialmente inicia el ‘Road To Royal Rumble’. ¡Sólo restan 41 días! pic.twitter.com/i9ER8waDVs — WWE FANS (@WWE_Fanses) December 19, 2016 The Face That Runs the Place and The Phenomenal One are facing off for the World Championship title, currently being held by Styles. Obviously, Cena is making a title run, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s making a heel turn. More than anything, according to the outlet, it seems like Cena wants to prove to the WWE audience that despite his battles with the company and his recent Hollywood success, he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And, it seems, why not make history in the process? If Cena succeeds in taking the title from Styles, he will be tied with Ric Flair for the most number of titles held. What do you think of the Royal Rumble 2017 so far? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. [Featured Image by WWE]

WWE News: Original Plans For WWE Championship Match At The 'Royal Rumble'

John Cena made a major splash in his return to WWE programming this past Tuesday night, which should come as no big surprise. Cena’s first appearance on SmackDown Live in more than two months kicked off the WWE’s final show of 2016. He declared that he’d challenge the WWE Champion in a match at the Royal Rumble once the dust settled from the evening’s main event match between AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler, and Baron Corbin. Styles, of course, emerged victorious to retain his WWE Championship to set up the third one-on-one pay-per-view showdown with Cena. Cena’s only victory over Styles came as part of a six-man tag match that also included Enzo and Big Cass and Anderson and Gallows at the Battleground show in July. However, the more high-profile decisions have gone to AJ, winning memorable singles matches at Money in the Bank and SummerSlam, the latter of which is certainly in contention for the match of the year in WWE, or any other promotion for that matter. [Image by WWE] Back in the summer, when Cena and Styles were mired in arguably the WWE’s most compelling feud of the year, the Undertaker was barely a blip on the radar screen. Granted, the Deadman will always hover over the periphery of the company until he rides off into the sunset for good, but WWE fans were fantasy-booking opponents for Styles that were part of the full-time roster seeing how AJ has been with the WWE for less than a year. But lo and behold, the Undertaker emerged from Death Valley last month to help commemorate SmackDown Live’s historic 900th episode. Cena was still on hiatus at the time, off filming the second season of American Grit for FOX. But along with WWE superstars Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, James Ellsworth, Dean Ambrose, Edge, and Shane McMahon, AJ Styles was front and center for the Phenom’s declaration. Not only did the Undertaker claim that WrestleMania would no longer define his legendary career, but he also warned the aforementioned stars as well. The blue brand was on the eve of facing off against Team RAW at WWE’s Survivor Series in what amounted to nothing more than a battle for brand supremacy. But the Undertaker added a level of intrigue to the storyline when he told Team SmackDown that they’d have to answer to him if they lost. [Image by WWE] One original idea pitched was to have Styles cost his team the Survivor Series match, thereby setting up a match with the Undertaker. But somewhat curiously, Team SmackDown won the match as Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton had their hands raised as the sole survivors. The SmackDown stars avoided any repercussions, and the Undertaker hasn’t set foot in a WWE ring since. Even with the blue brand winning that match, the plan as of late November was to have AJ Styles defend his WWE Championship against the Undertaker at the Royal Rumble. Less than two weeks later, Vince McMahon fired WWE’s managing lead writer, Tom Casiello, and creative plans changed, according to Cageside Seats. It’s not completely clear whether the two are related, but it’s awfully coincidental. Keep in mind, the Undertaker is still recovering from recent hip surgery and simply may have not gotten clearance for competition yet. There always remains the possibility that WWE officials are planning on having him enter the Rumble match as a surprise entrant, but any proposed match with AJ Styles doesn’t appear to be in the cards. One thing that hasn’t changed is the WWE’s plan to book the Undertaker and John Cena in a marquee match at WrestleMania 33. Originally, Undertaker was going to defeat Styles at the Royal Rumble and then defend the WWE Championship against Cena at ‘Mania, where Cena would win and tie Ric Flair’s record for 16 world title reigns. Tying the record still appears to be part of the plan, but in a different way than originally scripted. [Featured Image by WWE]

WWE Rumors: Will The Undertaker Be At 'Royal Rumble' 2017 And Fight John Cena At 'WrestleMania 33'?

Although there’s a better chance that we’ll see him at WrestleMania 33, The Undertaker may also be at Royal Rumble 2017, and if fantasy booking predictions are accurate, he just might set up a match against John Cena at WrestleMania 33 by costing Cena his match against AJ Styles for the WWE World Championship. The Inquisitr reported earlier this week that John Cena is on board with the idea of him facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33, and the possibility of this match does appear to get larger with each passing day. At Tuesday night’s year-ending of SmackDown Live, Cena celebrated his return to WWE television after a hiatus that lasted over two-and-a-half months, and while the main takeaway of his return promo was how he’s back to fight for the WWE World Championship, it was interesting to note the chants of “Undertaker!” during the Cena promo. As we saw on Tuesday night, fans want WrestleMania 33 to feature John Cena vs. The Undertaker. But with Royal Rumble 2017 kicking off the so-called “road to WrestleMania” that WWE hypes in the lead-up to its biggest pay-per-view of the year, Cena isn’t preoccupied — at least not yet — with a possible match against the owner of a historic 21-match WrestleMania winning streak. On Tuesday night, it was confirmed that Cena would be facing WWE World Champion AJ Styles in a title match at Royal Rumble, thereby renewing a feud that many consider one of the best WWE had in 2016. But will The Undertaker play a role in this match? TRIPLE THREAT CLE: Wrestling Lockup with Brandon 12.28.16: Smackdown Live Chicago Recap #SDLive #JohnCena #AJStyles https://t.co/aZeilhQNQN pic.twitter.com/kOasRSGLGG — TripleThreatCLE.com (@TripleThreatCLE) December 28, 2016 Forbes shared some fantasy booking scenarios for The Undertaker’s involvement at Royal Rumble 2017, and how it may all lead to a match against Cena at WrestleMania 33. While this does not make for an official spoiler, Forbes‘ Donald Wood speculated that it may be best for WWE not to use Undertaker in the weeks leading up to Royal Rumble, but believes that the “Deadman” will somehow be making an appearance at the event, which takes place at the Alamodome in San Antonio on January 29, 2017. One possible scenario, should ‘Taker be at the event, is for him to compete in the Royal Rumble match itself, and win the 30-man battle royal to earn a right to fight for the WWE World Championship at WrestleMania 33. “WWE is loading up the 30-man battle royal with legends like Brock Lesnar and Goldberg involved, so there is a possibility Undertaker enters the Royal Rumble match. If John Cena wins the WWE Championship from AJ Styles and Undertaker wins the battle royal, there is the WrestleMania 33 match fans have been hearing rumors about for months.” You Will Challenge #TheUndertaker at @WrestleMania 33 Next year pic.twitter.com/qpshYW1yLE — John G Arana ???? (@juangarana) December 28, 2016 A second potential outcome would have The Undertaker at Royal Rumble 2017, but not necessarily competing in the event’s titular battle royal. Forbes‘ Wood suggested that WWE might want to have Undertaker interfere and cost John Cena his match against AJ Styles for the WWE World Championship, possibly through the use of his entrance music and special effects. He added that the distracting element of ‘Taker’s theme song and effects could throw Cena off, and allow Styles to pull off the win to retain his WWE World Championship. If The Undertaker does appear in person, Wood believes that he and John Cena should have some face-to-face interaction to signify that they want to face each other at WrestleMania 33. “Once Styles is out of the ring, Undertaker should appear and come face-to-face with Cena. Not only would the interaction clearly indicate Undertaker wants a match against Cena at WrestleMania 33, but the Deadman attacking Cena and leaving him laid out in the ring would also be a clear indication of where the story is headed.” Once again, both of the scenarios above represent one man’s idea of how the Cena/’Taker feud should be booked, but not WWE’s official plans. Still, the chances of seeing The Undertaker at Royal Rumble 2017 and/or WrestleMania 33 appear to be more than solid, with Cageside Seats also reporting earlier this week that John Cena vs. The Undertaker is “still on the table” for the event. Now all that match needs is a setup, and if one of the two fantasy booking scenarios posited by Forbes becomes reality, that setup may take place at Royal Rumble. [Featured Image by WWE]

WWE Rumors: Hulk Hogan Return Possibly Hinted At By Curtis Axel In House Show

Hulk Hogan was seemingly wiped out of WWE history after a video surfaced of him making racial slurs. However, over the past few months, the WWE has been mentioning him on occasion, adding some video of him back into packages, and now there is another hint that the WWE might be warming back up to Hulk Hogan once again. PWInsider reported that Curtis Axel came out for his match at a house show in St. Louis using his old Axelmania gimmick. Axel used this Hulk Hogan-inspired gimmick in the past and even had Damien Sandow join him for a while using a Macho Man gimmick. However, after the WWE fired Hulk Hogan for the video release, Curtis Axel dropped the gimmick and hasn’t used it since. It was another case of erasing Hulk Hogan from anything that was connected to the WWE. [Image by WWE] The video was a tape with Hulk Hogan and Heather Clem, who happened to be the estranged wife of Hogan’s former close friend Bubba the Love Sponge. The tape was released before the racial controversy occurred and the WWE seemed to have no problem with it. Hulk Hogan sued Gawker for releasing the tape on their website and in the midst of the legal wranglings, another version of the video was released with sound. That is where the racial slurs occurred. In the video, Hulk Hogan was complaining about his daughter Brooke Hogan being involved with an African American and Hogan made disparaging comments about the man. It was the words that Hulk Hogan used and not the fact that he was involved in a tape with his best friend’s wife that caused the WWE to fire him and erase him from their history. Hulk Hogan sued Gawker and the court awarded Hogan $115 million in damages when he actually won the case. Gawker finally reached a $31 million settlement with Hulk Hogan. Curtis Axel bringing back Axelmania is just part of the reintegration of Hulk Hogan back into the WWE product. Back in September, Forbes reported that the WWE was slowly increasing the mentioning of the name Hulk Hogan on television and they were hoping to bring him back, possibly as soon as WrestleMania in 2017. [Image by WWE] WrestleMania in 2017 takes place in Orlando, which is basically the home turf of Hulk Hogan. The site also mentioned that Hulk Hogan was on the podcast of his close friend Eric Bischoff and he said that he was still keeping up with the WWE product and hoped to get involved again with the company at some point. When Hulk Hogan came to an agreement on a settlement with Gawker Media, it meant that the entire video situation had ended. This also means that the longer the mention of any racial slurs passes, the more the WWE is likely to pretend they never happened. The Ultimate Warrior made some very public homophobic rants over his life and posted many of them as videos. His speech was harsher than anything Hulk Hogan ever came close to saying. The WWE still inducted Warrior into the WWE Hall of Fame and named an award after him. RELATED WWE REPORTS BY THE INQUISITR WWE News: Mick Foley Puts Off Hip Replacement Because He Has No Insurance WWE News: CM Punk Might Still Have A Future In UFC, According To Dana White WWE News: Braun Strowman Transitioning Into A True Main Event Talent WWE News: Ryback Calls John Cena Non-Competitive and Kills Young Stars Pushes WWE Rumors: Sasha Banks Rumored To Turn Heel Years had passed between Ultimate Warrior making the public homophobic comments and his WWE honor. The video between Hulk Hogan and Heather Clem showed up in 2012, four years ago. It seems the WWE has decided that enough time has passed to at least mention Hulk Hogan again on television. The Curtis Axel angle is the next step and possibly adding him back to the WWE website in the future could be the final step. [Featured Image by WWE]

WWE News: American Alpha Comment On 'SmackDown' Title Win — Claims Uncharted Tag Team Statistic

The SmackDown Live tag team division has been one of the strongest factors since the brand split occurred in the summer of 2016. Desperately needing to properly showcase divisions and not have competitors shrouded and unnoticed, the blue brand decided to use a portion of its draft picks to showcase young talent and revive veterans. While names such as Heath Slater, Rhyno, and the Usos have experienced character changes and revivals, teams such as American Alpha, the Hype Bros, and Breezango have the chance of gaining credibility that most likely would not be available with just one oversized roster. This was particularly true on the previous episode of SmackDown Live, in which a four corners match was scheduled for the Tag Team Championship on the last episode of the year called “Wild Card Finals.” Previously, Zack Ryder was able to outlast other tag teams in a battle royal to determine the No. 1 contender after former champions Heath Slater and Rhyno were unable to recapture the titles from the new Wyatt Family version of Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, and Luke Harper. Unfortunately, Ryder was not able to celebrate his victory, due to suffering a knee injury during the match. As a result, he is expected to be out between 4 and 9 months. Thanks Mom for taking these staples out of my knee. I was going to post the video but it was too gross. #ReturnOfTheZack #SDLive pic.twitter.com/qW9yt9EKdz — Zack Ryder (@ZackRyder) December 28, 2016 This gave a chance for another team to capitalize on the unfortunate opportunity, and that they did. Recent NXT call-ups American Alpha were able to defeat the duo of Randy Orton and Luke Harper in the four-team elimination match, winning their first championship on the main roster. The team showed a great deal of excitement during the interview following their win. “[This journey] is all about us together,” said former Olympian Chad Gable. “We had something to prove on the main roster once we got called up to SmackDown. We’re starting over, in my opinion.” Teammate and former collegiate wrestling all-star Jason Jordan added, “I needed [Gable] to get me to that next level, and that’s exactly what he did. He helped me get to that next level, and now, we’re there together. This was the next level. Now, we’re solidifying our legacy.” Hear what #AmericanAlpha had to say minutes after winning the #SDLive Tag Team Titles. @WWEGable @JasonJordanJJ pic.twitter.com/XhQFu9fTfB — WWE (@WWE) December 28, 2016 The team’s journey from NXT to SmackDown Live is not simply a call-up. They also stand alone in an interesting statistic, being the only team to win both the NXT and WWE (SmackDown Live) Tag Team Championships. The other team who could partially include themselves in this statistic is the Wyatt Family, as they became the second NXT Tag Team Champions after the titles were unveiled. However, the NXT tag team version of the Wyatt Family consisted of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. So, although Luke Harper is the first person to achieve both feats, American Alpha is the first official tag team to do so. While one can argue that the title win could have been a bit premature, and should have been done on a bigger stage such as Royal Rumble or WrestleMania, American Alpha showed that they are such an amazing tag team for a pure wrestling standpoint, showing so much similarity to former champions the “World’s Greatest Tag Team,” Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. While Haas is pretty much done with full-time professional wrestling, Benjamin was scheduled to return on SmackDown Live, but was derailed with an injury. Perhaps, the WGTT could make a one-time appearance on SmackDown to give the fans a wrestling clinic of a tag team match that it would be against American Alpha. [Featured Image By WWE]

WWE Rumors: Who Is 'La Luchadora'? Becky Lynch's Mystery Rival May Be Returning Or Debuting Superstar

As we saw on the December 20 episode of SmackDown Live, La Luchadora and Becky Lynch were one and the same, as it was part of Lynch’s plan to get into the head of SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. But the female wrestler in a purple mask and blue bodysuit was back again on this Tuesday’s episode, and it obviously wasn’t Becky this time around, as she helped Bliss defeat Lynch and hold on to her title to close out the year. Could La Luchadora be someone who’s expected to return to WWE programming for the first time in quite a while, or could she be a new NXT call-up promoted to add more depth to SmackDown Live‘s women’s roster? The storyline began last week on SmackDown Live, when Alexa Bliss, who had been complaining about a lack of quality competition, was booked against “La Luchadora,” the purported granddaughter of Mexican wrestling legend Mil Mascaras. Although many fans had expected La Luchadora to be Becky Lynch all along, the “Irish Lass Kicker” did, to her credit, try to wrestle in a different style, with the only serious hint at her real identity being the use of her finisher, the Disarm-Her, to make Bliss tap out in the non-title match. Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch are currently in a heated feud for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. [Image by WWE] As Becky removed her mask to reveal her identity to an irate Bliss, what was obvious to many was officially confirmed, but it was quite the surprise when La Luchadora returned on the December 27 SmackDown Live, this time giving an assist to Alexa and helping her retain her SmackDown Women’s Championship. And that started what has become an interesting guessing game, a whodunit of sorts, for wrestling fans. With people divided on the possible identity of La Luchadora, and unsure of why she cost Becky Lynch a chance to regain the SmackDown Women’s Championship, Cageside Seats took a look at the three most likely “suspects” at this point. As The Inquisitr has reported, Mickie James is on her way back to WWE after a long absence from the company, and she is expected to be signed to SmackDown Live and make her return in January. And since it may have made more sense to bring her back as a babyface challenger to Bliss’ title, Cageside Seats wrote that it would be “weird” to have Mickie team up with Alexa rather than fight her for the SmackDown Women’s Championship in a veteran vs. youngster feud. Still, having James tease her re-debut with appearances as a masked wrestler wouldn’t be entirely surprising, should she be the woman behind the La Luchadora mask. Who is La luchadora? @WWE #SDLive #Laluchadora pic.twitter.com/eo4xHR3sFQ — Pablo A.O. (@pabloama15) December 28, 2016 Tamina Snuka is another woman expected to make her return to WWE programming after a long absence, though unlike James, she hadn’t left the company – Tamina has been recovering from a knee injury that has taken her out of action since May, and has been rumored to be close to a return. As Bliss is one of WWE’s smaller female wrestlers at 5’1″, it’s plausible to pair her up with the 5’9″ Tamina, though Cageside Seats noted that she’s expected to return as part of the Monday Night RAW roster. Brian Zane of the Wrestling with Wregret YouTube channel likewise expressed his doubts that Tamina is La Luchadora, saying that he “doesn’t think the height was there.” #LaLuchadora @BeckyLynchWWE may wanna check @DeonnaPurrazzo thinking the identity confirmed in the face #SmackDownLIVE @AlexaBliss_WWE pic.twitter.com/7kReSnGR8u — Gabrielle mcknight (@gabymck235521) December 28, 2016 A third name mentioned has been that of Deonna Purrazzo, who is expected to debut for Japanese women’s wrestling promotion Stardom in January 2017. Earlier this month, Purrazzo was the “local talent” scheduled to face Alexa Bliss, but the match never took place, as Bliss mocked her opponent, calling her “Jane Ellsworth” —a reference to how James Ellsworth was also introduced as a local jobber – and beat her up before the match could begin. While Purrazzo may seem like an unlikely suspect in this SmackDown Live whodunit, several Twitter users have pointed out how she and the masked La Luchadora seem to have matching features. Just who is La Luchadora, and what’s her beef with Becky Lynch? It’s a question that boggles the minds of wrestling fans as 2016 draws to a close, and one that should make for some interesting storylines on SmackDown Live‘s Women’s Division once 2017 kicks off. [Featured Image by WWE]

WWE Rumors: John Cena Assures Fans That He's Not Ditching The WWE, Will He Take Home World Championship?

Now that John Cena has returned to the ring — and in a big way — the latest WWE rumors are swirling about whether John Cena will follow the path of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and ditch the wrestling ring for the three-ring circus of Hollywood. In fact, these WWE rumors about John Cena’s next move have been so loud, and so prevalent, that John Cena had to take to the press rounds to assure his fans that he wasn’t going anywhere! “It sounds like we have a few @AJStylesOrg fans here tonight… and you can ADD ME TO THAT LIST!” – @JohnCena #SDLive #WildCardFinals pic.twitter.com/dMACpLUVKz — WWE (@WWE) December 28, 2016 According to Fox Sports, the latest WWE rumors about John Cena leaving wrestling behind are, in fact, not true. During last night’s episode of SmackDown Live — the last of 2016 — Cena assured the audience that he wasn’t a fan of this new wave of wrestlers who solely use wrestling as a platform for bigger and better things, and assured the crowd that he wasn’t like that at all. “I’m not done, I’m not leaving, and I’m sick of this New Era BS. It ain’t the New Era, it’s the My Time Is Now Era. ‘Never Give Up’ means when you get knocked down like I did this year, you don’t stay down. You get up, you fire up, and you kick ass.” Welcome back Sir! @JohnCena. #SDLive pic.twitter.com/Y6NLQpgrOy — PWM – WWE COVERAGE (@ProWrestlingMag) December 28, 2016 Fans learned, last night, that John Cena will be fighting AJ Styles for the World Championship in the Royal Rumble. And, according to the latest WWE rumors from Bleacher Report, there’s a good chance he just might take the title home. As it stands right now, Cena is one title away from tying with legendary wrestler “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (woo!) for the most titles ever held by a wrestler. Whether Cena stays on after the title win is irrelevant, after that, and this Royal Rumble match with Styles may just be the swan song someone like Cena needs. “Cena vs. The Phenom has the chance to be one of the biggest and greatest WrestleMania matches of all time, and it would give two legends of the business an opportunity to add to their already-impressive resumes. Regardless of what the plans are for Cena moving forward, he adds a ton of credibility to SmackDown, and his mere presence promises to increase interest in the blue brand.” THE WALL – Official TRAILER (2017) John Cena War Sniper Movie HDhttps://t.co/eiukYDx30F#DesertIslandDiscs pic.twitter.com/Ir8MRavYPC — VEVOZ (@_VEVOZ) December 18, 2016 Finally, according to the latest WWE rumors from ESPN, John Cena is well aware of his legacy in the WWE, and he’s proud of what all he’s accomplished in his tenure with the company. Despite various reports that he wasn’t happy with the way things were going in the company — especially after Goldberg made his momentous, and much hyped, return — and constantly holding out for more money, he’s proud of his wrestling career. Furthermore, the outlet spoke with Cena directly, and he emphasized the importance of focusing on the “best product” for the brand, and how much things have changed since he first started with the company. “I’ve always said we need to put forth the best product we can, and it seems like we’re doing our best to do that,” said Cena. “It seems like the dynamic itself is changing. Many years ago, you could look at the brand essentially as a one-man show with one man leading the way and him being held up by a cast of supportive players. I think Attitude Era was a bit of a segue into this [modern era]. Now you see more of a multitiered show, where it’s a lot of talented superstars being able to showcase their talents.” What do you think of this latest round of WWE rumors? Leave your thoughts about John Cena — and the latest WWE rumors — in the comments below. [Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]

'WWE SmackDown' 2016 Results: John Cena Is Back And Gunning For AJ Styles

Boxing Day gave us a curiously understated version of WWE Monday Night Raw, but Tuesday gave us fireworks as the WWE SmackDown event rounded out the WWE Chicago double-header. Where Monday Night Raw had the feel of “Groundhog Day” SmackDown gave us three title fights, new champions and the return of 15-time world champion John Cena. What’s more, Cena ramped up the rhetoric in advance of a promised title fight, against 2016 sensation AJ Styles at next month’s Royal Rumble PPV. There have been numerous rumors in recent weeks that Cena would crown his return with a Royal Rumble match against AJ Styles, and it didn’t take Cena long to throw down the challenge. Cena, the 15-time World Champion, kicked off the Wild Card Finals by having some fun with the huge Chicago crowd. [Image by JP Yim/Getty Images] Cena declared that “wrestling’s ‘new era’ was bulls**t” before declaring that “my time is now.” Cena went on to challenge the winner of the WWE Championship Triple Threat Match between AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler, and Baron Corbin to a Title Match at the upcoming Royal Rumble. With the challenge laid down it was hardly a surprise to see AJ Styles come through against Corbin and Ziggler. The scene is now set for the Cena vs Styles faceoff, the only question remaining is whether The Undertaker will make that championship fight a triple header. The Philly Inquirer reflects on the fact that WWE fans in Chicago had experienced two evenings of wrestling that could not have drawn a greater contrast. Monday Night Raw had dragged on for more than three hours and left fans wondering if anything had actually happened. WWE SmackDown Live had three championship matches and more action in Cena’s pre-fight announcements that Monday Night Raw managed to produce across the entire show. Cena is clearly itching to get back in the swing and lambasted those who have declared that his time is over. Cena said he is sick and tired of being written off, and of hearing people claim that he is no longer invested in WWE. Cena did admit that people will be surprised that he has walked straight back into a title match at Royal Rumble, but explained it away by saying that he is “John Cena and people better recognize that fact.” Fight fans will be itching to see Cena take on AJ Styles at Royal Rumble. As fans will know Styles has won their last two one-on-one encounters and he pinned Cena at the No Mercy triple threat. In the circumstances, many will expect Cena to gain his revenge in a championship fight. AJ Styles Just Keeps Winning At WWE SmackDown Live There can be no doubt that AJ Styles has been the highlight of the 2016 WWE SmackDown year. Last night’s SmackDown was no different as Styles triumphed over Ziggler and Corbin. According to Forbes Corbin was “a monster” who dominated most of the match. The match came to a thrilling finale as Corbin landed an End of Days on Ziggler. Sensing an opportunity, Styles hopped in the ring to land a huge forearm smash, Corbin rolled out of the ring and Styles pinned Ziggler to retain. [Image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images] Cena showed up at the end of the match to offer a handshake to Styles who accepted in gracefully and the scene was set for a Royal Rumble championship match between the two. Of course, while the main event of the evening may have been an epic, there were two other championship matches on offer, one of which saw new champions emerge. Sky Sports report that American Alpha managed to prise the WWE SmackDown tag team title from the Wyatt Family. Excitement was at a premium in the Four Corners Elimination Match. Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Usos, American Alpha and Randy Orton, and Luke Harper all were looking to leave as champions, but it was American Alpha who won out in the always competitive Team Blue Tag Team division. In the final championship match of the evening Alexa Bliss beat Becky Lynch. It looked like the title was going Lynch’s way, but while the referee was tending to an injured Bliss, the new La Luchadora smashed Lynch’s head into an exposed turnbuckle. Bliss capitalized with a DDT to retain her title. [Featured Image by John Palmer/ MediaPunch/IPX/AP Images]

'WWE SmackDown' 2016 Results: John Cena Is Back And Gunning For AJ Styles

Boxing Day gave us a curiously understated version of WWE Monday Night Raw, but Tuesday gave us fireworks as the WWE SmackDown event rounded out the WWE Chicago double-header. Where Monday Night Raw had the feel of “Groundhog Day” SmackDown gave us three title fights, new champions and the return of 15-time world champion John Cena. What’s more, Cena ramped up the rhetoric in advance of a promised title fight, against 2016 sensation AJ Styles at next month’s Royal Rumble PPV. There have been numerous rumors in recent weeks that Cena would crown his return with a Royal Rumble match against AJ Styles, and it didn’t take Cena long to throw down the challenge. Cena, The 15-time World Champion, kicked off the Wild Card Finals by having some fun with the huge Chicago crowd. (Image by JP Yim/Getty Images) Cena declared that “wrestling’s ‘new era’ was bulls**t” before declaring that “my time is now.” Cena went on to challenge the winner of the WWE Championship Triple Threat Match between AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler, and Baron Corbin to a Title Match at the upcoming Royal Rumble. With the challenge laid down it was hardly a surprise to see AJ Styles come through against Corbin and Ziggler. The scene is now set for the Cena vs Styles faceoff, the only question remaining is whether The Undertaker will make that championship fight a triple header. The Philly Inquirer reflects on the fact that WWE fans in Chicago had experienced two evenings of wrestling that could not have drawn a greater contrast. Monday Night Raw had dragged on for more than three hours and left fans wondering if anything had actually happened. WWE SmackDown Live had three championship matches, and more action in Cena’s pre-fight announcements that Monday Night Raw managed to produce across the entire show. Cena is clearly itching to get back in the swing and lambasted those who have declared that his time is over. Cena said he is sick and tired of being written off, and of hearing people claim that he is no longer invested in WWE. Cena did admit that people will be surprised that he has walked straight back into a title match at Royal Rumble, but explained it away by saying that he is “John Cena and people better recognize that fact.” Fight fans will be itching to see Cena take on AJ Styles at Royal Rumble. As fans will know Styles has won their last two one-on-one encounters and he pinned Cena at the No Mercy triple threat. In the circumstances, many will expect Cena to gain his revenge in a championship fight. AJ Styles Just Keeps Winning At WWE SmackDown Live There can be no doubt that AJ Styles has been the highlight of the 2016 WWE SmackDown year. Last night’s SmackDown was no different as Styles triumphed over Ziggler and Corbin. According to Forbes Corbin was “a monster” who dominated most of the match. The match came to a thrilling finale as Corbin landed an End of Days on Ziggler. Sensing an opportunity, Styles hopped in the ring to land a huge forearm smash, Corbin rolled out of the ring and Styles pinned Ziggler to retain. (Image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images) Cena showed up at the end of the match to offer a handshake to Styles who accepted in gracefully and the scene was set for a Royal Rumble championship match between the two. Of course, while the main event of the evening may have been an epic, there were two other championship matches on offer, one of which saw new champions emerge. Sky Sports report that American Alpha managed to prise the WWE SmackDown tag team title from the Wyatt Family. Excitement was at a premium in the Four Corners Elimination Match. Heath Slater & Rhyno, The Usos, American Alpha and Randy Orton & Luke Harper all were looking to leave as champions, but it was American Alpha who won out in the always competitive Team Blue Tag Team division. In the final championship match of the evening Alexa Bliss beat Becky Lynch. It looked like the title was going Lynch’s way, but while the referee was tending to an injured Bliss, the new La Luchadora smashed Lynch’s head into an exposed turnbuckle. Bliss capitalized with a DDT to retain her title. [Featured Image by John Palmer/ MediaPunch/IPX/AP]

WWE Rumors: Drew Galloway Considering Return To WWE? TNA Star Confirms Contract Expiring Soon

The last time he was on WWE television, he was a jobber, taking the loss in virtually every match and often getting beat down with the rest of his stable, 3MB. But Drew Galloway might be returning to WWE if the offer is right, even if he claims he’s still happy wrestling for TNA. A huge star in the U.K. despite only being in his early-20s at the time, Drew Galloway signed a deal with WWE in 2006, debuting full-time on the main roster in 2009 under the name Drew McIntyre. Billed as the “Chosen One,” the Scotsman was hyped on-air as a personal favorite of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and a “future World Champion,” and had held the Intercontinental Championship fairly early on in his main roster run. But it wasn’t long before the “Chosen One” lost his big introductory push. Drew McIntyre, as he was still known, was relegated to lower-card status in 2011, and placed in the stable 3MB (“Three-Man Band”) in 2012, a comedy faction that also included current WWE Superstars Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal. 3MB was known for almost always losing their matches, while not actually playing any instruments despite their rock band gimmick. By 2014, the group had run its course, as WWE released both McIntyre and Mahal from their contracts. McIntyre would then sign with TNA in early-2015, this time using his real name of Drew Galloway. Drew Galloway held the TNA World Heavyweight Championship earlier in 2016. [Image by TNA Impact Wrestling] But is a return to WWE possible for Galloway, considering how his run in TNA has turned out to be much better in almost two years than his WWE main roster run was in five years? Last week, Uproxx cited the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which stated Galloway’s current TNA deal expires in mid-February, and that the 31-year-old wrestler isn’t interested in signing a contract that would prevent him from wrestling independent shows in the United Kingdom. The publication speculated that both WWE and New Japan Pro Wrestling may be interested in Drew’s services should he choose not to accept TNA’s big-money offer, just like he has reportedly rejected previous offers to re-sign in recent months. At the moment, it may still be too early to expect Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal (who returned to WWE earlier this year), and Drew Galloway/McIntyre to “bring the band back together.” But in an appearance on the Dirty Sheets podcast, Galloway admitted that his TNA deal is indeed due to expire in a few months, and that he’s considering some offers, including those from TNA. He also brought up the neck injury he suffered earlier this year, which took him out of the company’s Bound for Glory pay-per-view in October, as SEScoops noted. Drew Galloway Talks About His Future in Wrestling https://t.co/iSjThMwpHc #tna #impactwrestling #drewgalloway — WrestlingNewsSource (@WNSource) December 27, 2016 “My contract is up after these (January) tapings but in February, officially. We are talking and trying to figure things out. I’d be lying if I said that there weren’t some offers there that I really have to think about and consider. I have to consider my future and my family’s future. I am only 31, but that (neck) injury obviously gave me a little fright. I’m happy doing what I’m doing now and I’m happy with the relationship we have.” As WWE is hoping to add to its roster in the light of the upcoming United Kingdom Championship tournament, WrestlingNews.co said that it would be plausible if Drew Galloway returns to WWE to beef up the company’s U.K. roster. But the publication cited Galloway’s further comments from the Dirty Sheets podcast, as the Scotsman still “doesn’t want to be locked down” to a contract that wouldn’t allow him to work independent shows. Galloway also declined to name the companies that have been offering him deals, as he remains under contract with TNA. Whether he wrestles under his old ring name of Drew McIntyre or his real name of Drew Galloway, a return to the WWE just might be in order at some point in the future. The question, however, would be whether he’d still be booked in the lower-card like he was in 3MB, or pushed as a legitimate U.K. Championship contender, as many are hoping. [Featured Image by WWE]