Every year the WWE puts on the ‘Royal Rumble” pay-per-view with much fanfare. The 30-man battle royal is one of the most popular matches of the year. The winner receives a title match at wrestling’s biggest event, ‘Wrestlemania’. Over the past decade, many old WWE superstars have come back to appear in the event. Kevin Nash, Booker T., Honky Tonk Man and Mick Foley are some of the names who were surprise entrants.
The Rumble match itself has taken a backseat to the return of The Rock. He comes back to face CM Punk for the WWE Championship. It is expected that a few big surprises will happen in their match, since The Rock has already been slated to appear at this year’s ‘Wrestlemania’.
There is speculation who this year’s surprise entries will be. No need to speculate. Here are ten possible surprise entrants in this year’s WWE ‘Royal Rumble’.
*in no particular order
1. The Rock – Since the event is slated to last over an hour, The Rock could appear as the #30 entrant. He could lose to CM Punk and win the rumble match to headline ‘Wrestlemania’. It makes a lot of sense, but does a ‘Wrestlemania’ match with The Rock need the extra caché of being a title match? I think his involvement alone is hype enough.
2. The Undertaker – He hasn’t appeared on television since the 1000th episode of ‘RAW’ and this would be a good way to introduce him into a storyline for ‘Wrestlemania’. I don’t see him winning the Rumble match, because of the same argument I made about The Rock. Undertaker’s streak of 20 wins without a loss is enough. I do see him as a surprise entrant.
3. Brock Lesnar – He is also slated to wrestle at ‘Wrestlemania’, so I expect him to make an appearance at the ‘Royal Rumble’…but maybe not in the Rumble match. Since Vince McMahon added a stipulation that if The Shield interfered in CM Punk’s match with The Rock, Punk would lose his belt, Lesnar could be the interference. He’s another “Heyman Guy” and he needs to introduced right now.
4. Mick Foley/Bob Backlund – They are both scheduled to be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in April, so I’m grouping these guys together. They have been surprise entrants in the past, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they showed up. Foley and Backlund have both appeared on ‘RAW’ recently, so there might not be enough of of a surprise factor to pull the trigger.
5. Batista – The Animal’s name has been appearing on dirt sheets lately. There was even a rumor that a possible reunion of Evolution could have taken place at the 20th anniversary of ‘RAW’. He has stayed in great shape by training for MMA, so he would fit right in.
6. Road Dogg/Billy Gunn – ‘The New Age Outlaws’ have worked a couple WWE house shows recently and both are still employed by the WWE. Road Dogg has worked as an agent (among other jobs) and Gunn was recently hired as a trainer for FCW/NXT, their developmental territory. I don’t see them appearing, since their ‘pop’ may have been used up from the DX reunion…but it would be an easy last-minute fill-in if someone cancels.
7. Shelton Benjamin/John Morrison – WWE has been reconnecting with past mid-card talent in hopes of getting them back in the company to get the young guys over. Benjamin and Morrison are two names with the most buzz. Benjamin is no longer taking future independent bookings, which is a sign he is headed back to the WWE.
8. Christian/Mark Henry – They have been rehabbing injuries and is said to be very close to a return. This would be a perfect place for one of them to emerge as an entrant.
9. Jack Swagger – The All-American American hasn’t appeared on WWE television in months. In 2012, he went on a horrible losing streak after parting ways with tag team partner Dolph Ziggler. He has been working house shows recently and sporting a new rugged look (darker hair and beard). I would like to see him get a push when he returns. There is a possibility they could wait until after ‘Wrestlemania’ and have him help cure the yearly ‘Wrestlemania hangover’.
10. Papa Shango – This one is an out-of-the-box prediction. Charles Wright, the wrestler who portrayed Papa Shango in the early 90’s, has been a surprise entrant in the past. He didn’t appear as Papa Shango, but as another character who was much more popular, The Godfather. It would be a very unexpected surprise. Fans need at least one WTF moment in every Rumble match.
As of right now, there are seven entrants yet to be named. A few names could be announced before the Rumble. There is also a mini-Royal Rumble match that will be held during the Royal Rumble Pre-show. The winner will earn a spot in the real event.
Here is the current list of WWE Superstars already entered in the 2013 Rumble match.
- John Cena
- Randy Orton
- Dolph Ziggler
- Antonio Cesaro
- Wade Barrett
- Daniel Bryan
- The Miz
- Cody Rhodes
- Damien Sandow
- Darren Young
- Titus O’Neil
- Heath Slater
- Jinder Mahal
- Drew McIntyre
- Kofi Kingston
- Brodus Clay
- The Great Khali
- Jimmy Uso
- Jey Uso
- Michael McGillicutty
Who do YOU think will be the biggest surprise entrant in this year’s Rumble?