It was announced on yesterday’s edition of Monday Night Raw that for the first time ever, there will be an all women’s Royal Rumble match at January’s event.
Some of the details have been left to speculation, such as how many women will be involved, but we can assume it will be the standard 30 affair, even though there’s also a chance WWE plays it simpler with 20.
Earlier this month, I broke down the logistics of a women’s Royal Rumble match, including the full scale of the company’s roster from Raw, SmackDown, NXT and outside sources, and now that it’s been confirmed to be taking place, my thoughts go straight to asking who the surprise participants can be.
Just to preface things, let’s just assume the 20 women on the Raw and SmackDown rosters are all guaranteed, while the 2 champions (Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair) are sitting this out, opening up 10 spots for outside sources. That will give us a much better indication of how realistic some of these choices are and how we can’t have everybody, but we can have at least a few surprises pop up.
In no particular order, here are my thoughts on some suggestions I’d like to see in the discussion for those 10 spots:
Does this one even really need any explaining that you haven’t already heard a million times? I doubt it, but let’s run down just a few thoughts very quickly for those who want a refresher course.
Rousey is the leader of the Four Horsewomen of MMA, who have been constantly compared to the Four Horsewomen of WWE. She’s made her appearance at WrestleMania 31 with The Rock, scuffling with Stephanie McMahon, and since then, multiple other minuscule appearances in the stands and in backstage interviews and such.
Recently, not only has Shayna Baszler competed in the Mae Young Classic and been signed to NXT, but Rousey herself has trained at the WWE Performance Center, clearly preparing for something, which may or may not be a match at WrestleMania 34.
The question is what type of match that could be, as the Royal Rumble may play a major factor in that.
The winner of it receives a title opportunity at WrestleMania just like the men’s match normally does, and if Rousey were to compete here and win, she could challenge Charlotte Flair, allowing the three others on both sides to be in their respective corners.
However, that match can still happen without Rousey being in the Royal Rumble, allowing Asuka to get the win and challenge Alexa Bliss.
There is a very, very good chance Rousey is in this match, but it is far from a guarantee.
For months, Michelle McCool has been talking about how she wants to make a return to face a handful of people, and she continued to add to that fire last night by tweeting out that her birthday is January 25th, so it would be a “flawless gift”.
We haven’t seen her compete since her retirement in 2011, as she’s focused her efforts on family life with The Undertaker and their children, but this is clearly a passion of hers and making one appearance could open the doors for more work in the future if she’s willing and able to work at least a limited schedule.
In my mind, McCool is one of the criminally underrated women of the previous generation, holding her own as a solid in-ring performer with a good character to go along with it when most of the other women on the roster were just models with very little talent. McCool happened to have the looks to go along with it, so she outclassed most of her peers, and I’d love to see more recognition go her way.
Earlier this year, Kelly Kelly popped up backstage mostly to say hi to some people and to throw out the standard “never say never” suggestion on whether or not she’d like to return to WWE.
Immediately, speculation began that she would be coming back imminently, even possibly taking over the Emmalina role that went absolutely nowhere, but that didn’t come to pass in any way whatsoever, outside of an appearance on Table for 3.
Still, it’s a sign of good faith that she is not only potentially interested in making a return, but that WWE welcomes her with open arms, as it’s one thing to talk about such things on a Twitter account and another to be interviewed by WWE.com
She’s young, she’s fit, she’s got some popularity on her side with her WAGS show, and she’s a beloved former top star, so it all checks out.
This past year, Beth Phoenix was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame for her contributions to the Women’s Revolution despite how she actually wasn’t on the roster for around 5 years.
Regardless of the time frame, she made a huge impact as one of the most physically intimidating and talented women the company had seen in a long, long time, even going so far as to be one of the three women to actually compete in the men’s Royal Rumble match when she eliminated The Great Khali in 2010 before she was unceremoniously dumped out by CM Punk.
If she were to compete here in this match, she would be the first and only woman to ever wrestle in both the men’s and women’s Royal Rumbles, which would be a massive accolade to add to her list of achievements.
Trish Stratus / Lita
You can’t make a list about influential women in professional wrestling without mentioning these two, and there isn’t anything that can be said that hasn’t already been said in every article out there about how they could ever return.
They’re legends, they’re Hall of Famers, they were revolutionary, they’re revered as two of the best to ever step foot in the women’s division in not just WWE but all of professional wrestling, and they’re firmly implanted in the WWE family where they are always brought back any opportunity they get.
I honestly don’t feel like they have much of a chance of competing here, but there’s pretty much no argumentative stance I can think of for why they shouldn’t if they’re able to.
Unfortunately, I can’t help but to feel that Kia Stevens’ time has passed her by, since her brief stint in WWE was so many years ago and she didn’t really do all that much when she was there.
Yes, she competed in a Royal Rumble, but what else did she do? It’s almost as if WWE didn’t want to use her for some reason and didn’t let her really start her career. Soon enough, she was out due to her pregnancy, and before long, she was gone from WWE entirely.