The road to WrestleMania 33 in Orlando is officially underway! The Royal Rumble has concluded, and Randy Orton of Smackdown and the Wyatt Family has won himself a title shot on the grandest stage in WWE. With just over two months until April 2nd, which is when the wrestling world will converge on Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, so much can change.
But one of the best parts of the Royal Rumble each and every year is that it paints a picture of what the WrestleMania card will look like. So while I had stepped away from WWE for a few months, I was not going to miss the Rumble. And by sitting down and watching the event last night, I have a pretty good feeling about some of the feuds that are going to be the big time matches down in Orlando.
Roman Reigns seems to be on a collision course with the Deadman, as he entered at number 30 in the Rumble and proceeded to eliminate the Undertaker. As the Undertaker walked off, fans could see him mouth “We aren’t through” as he stared at Reigns. Seth Rollins is calling out HHH and it is clear he won’t step down from the challenge. After getting embarrassed by Goldberg once more, Brock Lesnar is not going to just walk away. Expect to see Beast Incarnate take on Goldberg at Mania.
Kevin Owens retained his title, but it was not without some help. Now that Reigns will be busy with Taker, Owens will need a new challenger. Now he will need to get through Fastlane first, but even if he does not retain, there are two likely opponents for him come WrestleMania. Those would be Chris Jericho and Braun Strowman. This could be Jericho’s last Mania, so what better way to send him off than to put over the man who he is currently calling his best friend. Then there is Strowman, who is the reason Owens was able to hold onto his belt. Strownman is a man on a solo mission and it is clear WWE wants to push him after a string of eliminations in the Rumble. He is the type of powerhouse Vince loves and it is clear they have plans for him.
As for the Cena, who beat AJ Styles, the Elimination Chamber awaits. Cena will defend his title in the hell-ish chamber, with Randy Orton awaiting the man who walks out champ. To me, there seems like two potential men to walk out of the chamber as Champ: Cena or Bray Wyatt. If Cena retains, him and Orton will write the next chapter in their long time rivalry. Bray Wyatt is destined to become a champ sooner than later and with the recent issues within the Wyatt Family, having him win the belt with Orton waiting for a title shot would add a new layer to that story. Cena would likely join in to make it a triple threat, as a Cena-Orton-Wyatt match has some serious appeal. Otherwise, Wyatt may be set for a clash with Luke Harper (who I will assume makes it into the chamber match for added intrigue).
But with all of that, one big time superstar is left without a match. That would be Dean Ambrose, former WWE Champion and current Intercontinental Champion. He was involved in the Rumble match but was given nothing worthy to do. So now the man they call the Lunatic Fringe will set his sights on the coming months. With so many big names poised for other matches at Mania, where will Ambrose possibly fit into the card?
As the current holder of the Intercontinental title, it would make sense for Ambrose to defend that very title. Now, with two months between now and Mania, he could very well drop it between now and then. But I feel pretty confident in saying even if he did, he would still be in the match for the Intercontinental title if it were to be on the line.
He has been feuding with the Miz as of late, but a one on one match between the two would certainly not cut it. It could certainly turn into something like a multi-man match (like the ladder match from a few years ago when Daniel Bryan won or last’s year when Zack Ryder took the gold). The likes of Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler and Appolo Crews could also be involved in the match.
The other possibility is that the Lunatic Fringe finds himself in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. That match always needs a big name or two. Ambrose would obviously fit that bill.
But no matter what, Dean Ambrose’s spot on the card certainly seems poised to be a step back compared to last year’s big showdown with Brock Lesnar. Ambrose is one of the most entertaining guys in WWE, as his unhinged personality is just so fun to watch. You never know what he is going to do, making him a fantastic champion. So while this Ambrose fan will be sad to see him not get one of the headlining matches at this year’s WrestleMania, I will still be looking forward to whatever match he does end up in.
On the bright side, a multiple person match will certainly set up for some big spots. And we all know Ambrose excels at doing some crazy things. Whether it be in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, a multi-man ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship, or something else entirely, one thing is for certain: Dean Ambrose will still put on a great performance.