It’s almost that time of year! WWE is gearing up for their annual “Royal Rumble season” in January, which generally serves as the beginning of the road to WrestleMania. As eWN reported recently, WWE has officially started making calls to talent they would like to see appear as some of their “surprise entrants” in the Royal Rumble match. In part one of a two-part series called “Cool Surprise Royal Rumble Possibilities,” I’m going to take a look at some of the guys I hope WWE has called. Time will tell, and some of these are more unlikely than others, but this is my own personal “wish-list” of guys I’d like to see appear in the 2014 Royal Rumble match.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at part one of my list …
Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Jake Roberts is actually campaigning for this specific opportunity. Personally, I see zero reasons not to give it to him. It’s not asking for much. He’s not asking for some lengthy run on top in the largest promotion in the North American wrestling scene. He’s asking for a one-time gig. A chance to get one more big pop and have a chance to perform one more time in the ring on a major stage. He’s never been in better shape, or in a clearer state of mind, so why not reward him with a surprise appearance in the Royal Rumble? As a life-long Jake Roberts fan, I really hope this guy gets his wish granted. It’s not asking for too much in my book, and I feel like he’s worked hard and really wants this. If I’m WWE, hell, I give it to him.
New Age Outlaws
In keeping with the tag-team column I recently wrote, why not bring back the New Age Outlaws to help establish some new tag-teams? The WWE Universe was clearly asking for the company to bring these guys back for “one more match” during their Slammy Awards presentation, so why not do it? Both guys work for the company, all they’d have to do is throw their boots on again. The pop for their entrance would be cool, having them back on television for another run would be cool. It actually serves as two separate surprises in the same match. Why not do it? If you’re going to bring in some surprises for the Royal Rumble, I say bring back the Outlaws!
Any excuse to get another run in WWE out of Chris Jericho is a good one for me. The only problem with this one is it’s been done before. I’m not sure how big of a surprise it would be, as when the Royal Rumble season gets closer, I’m almost positive this is one of the names that will continuously pop up as a possibility for the match. Whether or not that’s a good enough reason not to do it is a different question. If WWE wants to really stack the deck at WrestleMania XXX, then Chris Jericho is one of a handful of past Superstars with legitimate name recognition to today’s fan base that can also still perform at a high level in the ring. For Jericho, it’s an easy way to get some promotion for his new podcast and for Fozzy. Might as well, right?
Rob Van Dam
Anyone remember this guy? All of the confusion about his contract status? Rumors that he was only taking a little break and then coming back? eWN reported last week that WWE has started making their phone calls to past Superstars that they’d like to use as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble match. I’m almost positive this is one of the guys they called. Much like Jericho, he’s a guy with name recognition in today’s wrestling world and one that as he proved during his recent brief run with the company, can still go in the ring with the best of them. Also like Jericho, it gets him back into the picture in time for a match at WrestleMania XXX, which is rumored to, and rightfully should, be a card loaded with as many high-profile names as WWE can secure.
This one is pretty unlikely, but it would be a cool one to see. A surprise Royal Rumble entrant is almost strictly about the initial pop and surprise they receive. The unexpected arrival is what a good Royal Rumble surprise is all about. If WWE really wants to get Goldberg back in the mix for a match with Ryback at WrestleMania, this would be a decent way of bringing him back. Maybe it’s too big of a surprise for a match like the Royal Rumble, but if you’re going to bring Goldberg back, this is one way of doing it. I can tell you this much — WWE fans would never see it coming!
Much like Goldberg, AJ Styles is pretty unlikely. Unlike Goldberg, Styles is someone every wrestling fan is going to be hoping to see pop up during the Royal Rumble match next year. If WWE is interested at all in doing business with Styles, and can fork out some legitimate dough (instead of their rumored “low ball offer”) then why not book him? Time and time again WWE claims to “listen to the WWE Universe and react accordingly.” Often times they do the exact opposite, as the recent use of Daniel Bryan proved, but other times they will give their fans exactly what they want. The moment the news broke that Styles is parting ways with TNA, almost immediately fans began chirping about a run in WWE. Not too long after that, fans were speculating about the possibility of him popping up in the Royal Rumble. Give the fans what they want, bring in AJ Styles and shock them all by having him come out of nowhere as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble!
Who would YOU guys like to see return as a surprise entrant in the 2014 WWE Royal Rumble match? Leave your feedback in the “Comments” section below, and keep an eye out for part two of my list of “Cool Surprise Royal Rumble Possibilities.”
Matt Boone is available on Facebook at Facebook.com/MattBooneWZR.