Shawn Michaels and Other Potential Royal Rumble Surprises

Eric Urbanowicz
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With Royal Rumble coming up this weekend, there’s always many questions the circulate through people’s heads. Who’s going to Wrestlemania to fight for the championship? Whose going to have the greatest performance in the Royal Rumble match? However this time of the year, there’s two questions that always puzzles the minds of the WWE Universe: who’s going to return and who’s going to debut? Here are ten potential returns/debuts that could happen at the event. Also we’re only going to do the men this year, with the women’s Royal Rumble only in its second year. We’ll give it another year before we start predicting. 

  • Abyss: It was reported that former Impact wrestler Abyss will be joining WWE as a behind-the-scenes guy. However, given than that he’s one of the superstars that shined without going to WWE, it’s fair to say that there could some interest in a one-off appearance. One moment that could be interesting is if Kane and Abyss met face to face, mask to mask.
  • Sonjay Dutt: the other name that jumped to WWE from Impact is also said to have a behind-the-scenes-role. As an Impact mainstay, WWE could use him as a one-off appearance as well. While less likely than Abyss given that he’s been with Impact for so long, the intrigue could be there.
  • Bray Wyatt: What a crazy run for Bray Wyatt following the break up of the Wyatt Family. Some success turned to jobber status to moderate success back to a jobber to World Champion to jobber to tag team champion. It was recently reported that he, along with his former Wyatt Family cohorts Luke Harper and Erick Rowan were cleared for the event. Could we see a reunion in the match perhaps? It’s happened before.
  • Shawn Michaels: Following his involvement with the controversial WWE Crown Jewel, and how he had to carry his match between D-Generation X vs the Brothers of Destruction it’s safe to say that maybe there’s one more Wrestlemania run for the Heartbreak Kid. Given that the match at Crown Jewel didn’t live up to the hype, Michaels could choose to go out as the showstopper he truly is.  
  • Montel Vontavious Porter: Last year MVP made an appearance on a backstage segment involving a poker game. Given that stuff can come sometimes come around in WWE, it wouldn’t be shocking to see a return by the former United States champion.
  • Mr. Kennedy: One of WWE’s pet projects that should have worked. If it wasn’t for injuries and a suspension, Kennedy was the total package of charisma and in ring ability. However following a botched drop on Randy Orton, his time in the company came to an end. He went after the company hard in promos with Impact at times. The crazy thing is, WWE has always had an ability to mend bridges whether it was with the Ultimate Warrior or Bret Hart or Bruno Sammartino, they’ve always found a way. Last year, Kennedy posted an Instagram picture that started speculation before it was taken down. With him being in his 40’s, this could be his last chance to win the gold he missed out on years ago.
  • Lars Sullivan: WWE has a strange fascination with monsters come the Royal Rumble. From Kane to Braun Strowman to The Undertaker to The Great Khali, when a monster comes, they dominate the match. That leads to Sullivan, who is the only one from the recent NXT call ups not to be seen after the vignettes wrapped up. While everyone else has been involved in backstage segments or actual matches, nobody has seen WWE’s “freak.” With the history of the match, this may be the best place for his main roster debut.
  • Hulk Hogan: Despite all the controversy surrounding him, WWE has given chance after chance to the Hulkster. Given the pop he received following his tribute to “Mean” Gene Okurland following his death, it appeared maybe Hogan was on the good side of the fans. It’s been reported that he was asking for another match as well. If that’s true, maybe the Royal Rumble match is the way to go. That way, given the heat he’s received from some of the superstars in the back, this could help blow off some of that steam.
  • Kenny Omega: In 2016, A.J. Styles shocked the wrestling world, going from being the cornerstone of Impact Wrestling two years prior to re-debuting in WWE. Three years later, the hottest free agent in professional wrestling is deciding between WWE and the newly debuting All Elite Wrestling. With both fronts being very quiet about who has him, it means that he’s either undecided or he’s going to make a surprise appearance at an event. Given that Styles did it at the Rumble, that could be the way for Omega to go as well.
  • The Rock: Originally slated to face Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania, those plans were scrapped following Reigns’ leukemia diagnosis. That said, it would not be surprising to see The Rock come in and electrify the audience again. John Cena’s rumored matches at Wrestlemania may have been scrapped, this could be the year that the rubber match in the Cena-Rock rivalry is made. Either way, you can expect the millions…(and millions) of people to be excited should this happen.

Eric Urbanowicz


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