Sunday, January 28, 2018

Who should compete in WWE's 30 man Royal Rumble?

The Rumble is tonight!  Who will return?  Who should return?  Who is unlikely to return?  Here are some options.

Should be involved: Wade Barrett

It's been a while since we've seen Wade in a WWE ring. And with good reason.  WWE wouldn't push the man, despite making Bad News Barrett work.

He should've been WWE's first English-born WWE Champion, but they seemingly had no interest in that.

With WWE appreciating more wrestling-orienteShoudd wrestlers these days, I'm thinking they'd give Barrett a fair shake at actually becoming the WWE Champion.

I know he'd get a big pop if he entered. He probably wouldn't win, but a good, strong showing would position him nicely on upper mid-card level going forward and eventually a spot in the title picture.

Shouldn't be involved: Chris Jericho

I like Chris Jericho as much as the next guy, but his returns aren't surprising anymore, especially since he's made a couple of them at the Rumble or around that time.

Next time he comes back I'd like a different set-up.

No Rumble appearance this time around, please.

If he does have to show up, then at least make it different.  I want a brutal, ruthless heel Chris Jericho.  No posing for the fans.  No showmanship.  Straight focused on eliminations.

Or maybe he does a tease.  He does his grand entrance and acts as though he's going to be a big babyface, but then eliminates a popular wrestler (only to get eliminated himself).  That way there would be a little bit of curiosity built in.  Why did Chris Jericho do that?  Personal feud going into Wrestlemania?  Was it just business?

I'd like a little bit of a storyline if he's coming back.  Otherwise, save it for another time.

Unlikely to be involved: James Elsworth

WWE doesn't need to sign him again (though with Enzo gone, James would be a good replacement in the Cruiserweight division for a bit of comedy). I do feel he should've gotten a better send off than a quiet release though.

The man did whatever WWE asked of him (and by that I mean he wore a dog suit with a collar around his neck!) and made possibly Wrestlecrap-worthy angles work.

Give him a spot (a quick one) in the Rumble! Probably won't happen though.

I think he'd be valuable as a manager for someone (he helped get Carmella more over) or as a jobber in the Cruiserweight division, so I'd sign him again if I were in charge.  But chances of that are slim.

Unlikely to be involved: EC3

I wasn't sure if he'd make an appearance, but with him showing up at TakeOver, it seems highly unlikely he'll be going to the main roster right away.

WWE could pull a swerve and have him skip NXT since he was in WWE (and NXT) before.

The Philly fans should know who he is and what he's about, so I'm sure he'd get a fine reaction.

But I don't really know where EC3 fits into any of the title scenes in WWE right now.  It may be best to have him do a couple of months in NXT and debut after Wrestlemania, which is when WWE likes to bring up talent to the main roster.

At least that way he won't get lost in the shuffle.

Unlikely to be involved: Ken Shamrock

I know it's highly unlikely to happen due to Ken's mostly negative comments toward Triple H in the past.  However it would be cool to see Shamrock make his Rumble return.  He has some previous experiences and is often overlooked for his WWE contributions.

Long before Brock Lesnar, Ken Shamrock brought legitimacy to WWE with his MMA experience.

He seemed to have left under not-so-good circumstances.  Or at least his standing with the company has deteriorated since leaving the company.

It'd be nice to have a little more closure on his WWE career.

Likely to appear: Bobby Lashley

I don't know what the contract situation is like, but if Bobby Lashley is making a return to WWE, doing it as a surprise Royal Rumble entrant seems like a logical way to do it.

He's never going to be main event status.  He's just not exciting enough.

But he's a big name, has that MMA background and has a history with WWE.

He'll be mid-card at least.  He can have some decent matches before eventually retiring.

The Rumble seems like a good spot for him to make a return for one last run.

Unlikely to be involved: James Storm

I don't see this one happening.  James Storm is TNA.  He may show up in NXT, but I don't think they'd throw him onto the main roster.  He's in better shape than he was during his first NXT run.

He is older, so I can see why WWE would want to move him right to the main roster, but going into 'Mania?  Giving a spot to a TNA guy?

I don't see it happening.  I know, it happened with A.J. Styles, but he was THE biggest name in TNA history.  James Storm isn't.

I think he'll show up in NXT first or debut on the main roster after Wrestlemania season.

Unlikely to be involved: Tazz

Tazz made his WWE debut at the Royal Rumble many years ago.  It'd be a nice change of pace to see him compete again in the Rumble match.  Granted, he's probably not in anywhere close to the shape required to last a long time, but he doesn't need to be in order for him to make a quick appearance.

If his music hit, the arena would erupt -- especially since it's in Philly!

The nice thing about a Tazz appearance is that it'd be his first WWE appearance in close to a decade.  I don't know what his standing is with WWE management, but it seems like he'd be a good choice.

Likely to appear: RVD

It's been a while since we've seen Rob Van Dam in a WWE ring, but with the Rumble taking place in Philly, it seems like the right opportunity for an appearance, however short-lived it may be. A RVD / Finn Balor stand-off would be pretty impressive to see.

RVD probably doesn't have a 6 month feud in him.  He's gotten a little bit out of shape in the past few years.

I'm sure he could get in condition for another WWE, but I'm not even sure who he'd feud with on the current roster.  We already got A.J. vs. RVD in TNA.

I guess the only match that really interests me is RVD vs. Shinsuke Nakamura.  The rest of the possible matches aren't appealing or have already happened.

Should be involved: The Sandman

I know The Sandman has got to be in his 50's by now, but he's an ECW legend. He hasn't been seen in years. One quick Rumble appearance for the sake of nostalgia would be awesome to see, especially in Philly.

 The Dudleyz have both returned in the Rumble before (and just appeared on Raw). RVD is kind of expected.

I don't think a lot of people would see The Sandman coming though. Obviously WWE wouldn't sign him, but a one-off appearance as a Rumble entrant (even giving him an elimination or two) would be a fun moment.

Has Sandman ever competed in the Royal Rumble?  I feel like he may have once during the restart of ECW back in 2006 or 2007.

Should be involved: Tajiri

Another unexpected ECW alumni.  I don't think most people would expect to see Tajiri.  He was in the Cruiserweight open and, I thought, was supposed to come back for a bit before he got injured.

Tajiri is another who doesn't have to make a lot of eliminations.  A quick return, a showdown with one of the current cruiserweights would be kind of cool.  Or a showdown with another ECW original who is involved in the Rumble.  That'd be pretty cool.

While the Dudleyz are fine, I'm looking for a few of the ECW originals that we don't see that often.