The Royal Rumble is always a fun match. It's probably my favorite event of the year, beating out Survivor Series (which has become a boring Raw vs. Smackdown event) or even Wrestlemania. One of the main reasons I love it is because it's like a giant Avengers movie. You see people cross paths who normally don't cross paths. You have history and new feuds all happening at the same time.
Another reason is the surprise returns. I always hope for at least a handful of them. We've seen Kevin Nash, Goldust, Booker T, Bubba Ray Dudley and others blow the roof off of the arenas with some of their surprise Royal Rumble returns.
So who should appear this year? Which surprises would be refreshing and/or memorable? Here's my list:
He recently stated he’d like to return in some capacity for one more run. Why not give him a return at the Royal Rumble? He’s one of the most talented guys of the 90s and deserves some shine.
This one may seem a bit odd, but I’d love to see some WCW flavor in a Royal Rumble match. Disco has one of those gimmicks that is memorable and would get a pop from fans in the arena or watching at home. Certainly, he wouldn’t be a contender to win the match, but I’d prefer seeing him over a Hornswoggle or Santino.
Even James Elsworth would be preferred over the regulars that WWE brings back over and over (and over) again. A little comedy. A familiar face. In and out. He’s not a bad option.
I always hold out hope that Shamrock’s music will hit on a legends night or at a Royal Rumble. It probably won’t happen but I hope does because he’s so severely underrated and way ahead of his time, transitioning from MMA to pro wrestling back when not many people even knew what MMA was.
I’m not sure what Heath’s current status is with Impact, but if it’s a pay-per-appearance or not an exclusive deal, then why not a Royal Rumble return? They don’t need to hire him back full time but a return for a night and to pop the crowd wouldn’t be bad at all.
His longtime former tag team partner, Edge, returned last year. It’d be really cool for Christian to have a Royal Rumble return as well, even if it doesn’t lead to additional matches.
The only way CM Punk should return in the Rumble is if he wins it. He’s too big of a name to return for a quick elimination. So, I'd like to see him return and win and feud with Roman or Drew or whoever the red or blue brand champions are.
This was a well-liked character from a few years ago. With the NWA situation being up-in-the-air due to COVID, a one-night return at the Royal Rumble would be a welcome surprise.
David Hart Smith
Tyson Kidd recently said that he’s been trying to get Davey Boy’s son to resign with WWE. With years of experience in Japan, MLW and other organizations, I’d also like to see that. Even if he’s not the most charismatic on the mic, give him a manager like Robert Stone and push him. Brock Lesnar isn’t a great talker either but that’s why he has Paul Heyman.