Post-WrestleMania is usually a tricky time for the WWE. Storylines tend to fade as the dust settles from the biggest show of the year. However, the company loves to turn things up a notch for SummerSlam. So much so, that they’re planning to have the event in a stadium next year. With all the hype surrounding the event and with Survivor Series in the fall (which is another event the company loves to book returns for), it opens the door for speculation regarding wrestlers making a comeback. We feature eight fan favorites that might return to WWE programming very soon.
On the flip side, the WWE is going to need all the help they can get in 2019. Vince signed a massive deal with Fox worth a billion dollars. With that deal, he’ll want to put on an optimal program. He’s got dollar bills to spend, meaning, recruiting new talent might be a little easier. We speculate eight rumored names that might make it to the WWE just in time for the Fox launch.
From Shawn Michaels making a surprising return to the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega flipping the WWE upside down, these are eight emotional returns that can take place before the end of 2018 and eight rumored debuts in 2019. We begin with a trending story related to an all-time great making a return. Let’s begin!
16 Return – Shawn Michaels
Oh yes, we start with one of the most trending rumors at the moment and that is the possible return of HBK. Sean Waltman, Michaels’ Kliq buddy opened up about the situation, even making the claim that Shawn was offered a huge money deal to show up as a talent for the Saudi Arabia event.
Waltman also mentioned that Vince wasn’t shy with his money offer.
Now Shawn didn’t take part, though he did state that he would be willing to return if something was built properly, such as a story with the likes of AJ, Rollins or Bryan. WWE loves to bring back a wrestler for Survivor Series, just imagine that performer being HBK?
15 Debut – Marty Scurll
Here’s Scurll’s take on a WWE debut;
“In terms of 'The Villain' and WWE, I'm pretty sure if they saw opportunity in me to make money, I'm sure they'd let me have a lot of creative freedom. But who knows if they do. I do see a lot of Villain shirts on their programming though. I would love to pick the brain of Vince McMahon. 'The Villain' and the 'Evil Genius' discussing the business over a steak dinner sounds divine."
He definitely seems open to the idea and with the WWE getting huge money from Fox, look for them to bolster their roster while not being afraid to spend some serious dollars.
14 Return – Rey Mysterio
The Rey Mysterio situation seems to be puzzling. He returned at the Royal Rumble and received a massive pop. Most fans thought a return was going to take place, though he continues on with indie bookings despite appearing at the Saudi Arabia show.
It seems as though the plan is for Mysterio to retire with the WWE during his final run. He’s enjoying one last run on the independents and his final appearance might take place at the All In event. This means, he’ll be free to join the WWE as of September. We hope he returns and goes back to his old stomping grounds with SmackDown Live.
13 Debut – Jay Lethal
Triple H loves to sign veteran talent for NXT. In fact, look at all of his recent champions for the developmental brand, most being over 35 and closer to their 40s. Lethal is another veteran that can serve a major purpose with the brand and later, join the main roster.
Lethal is a little fed up of answering the question; he’s been asked numerous times and for the time being, he is more than content with his current gig on the indies and with ROH. However, in 2019, it might be time to make the jump and join Hunter’s brain child, NXT.
12 Return – Batista
Batista has been open to a return for quite some time now. Despite all of his Hollywood success, The Animal wants to right his wrongs from his last run. In addition, he doesn’t only want to return but he wants to take part in live events as well.
This would be a welcomed return, especially with Survivor Series looming in the fall. He has expressed interest in working a story with Triple H and although that’s fine, we would rather see him back on SmackDown competing against the likes of Joe and Nakamura - and even perhaps, reuniting with Rey Mysterio on the Tuesday program.
11 Debut – Matt Riddle
For Riddle, he’s open to joining the WWE, however, the price must be right;
“Honestly, right now I make six figures. I make my own merch. I’m the main or co-main event of every show I’m on. I get to be me and I get to wrestle like I want to. Can they promise me that? If not, why would I go to WWE to probably make less money and be gone more? By the time they do pick me up, if they decide to, I’ll be worth so much more.”
Signing a billion dollar deal with Fox, money really shouldn’t be an issue with the WWE. You can even take a look at their stocks which have been reaching record highs in the last couple of months. If they really want Riddle, he’ll be with the company by 2019.
10 Return – The Undertaker
This one is pretty much confirmed, in early July, Undertaker is set to return at a live event in MSG. However, when it comes to his future involvement, that remains unclear.
Fan speculation sees two scenarios taking place. The obvious would see Taker back on PPV next year, taking on Cena at WrestleMania 35. However, with the women set to headline the event, some theories suggest he’ll compete in his final match at this year’s Survivor Series. Why would this be so special? Because this would be the same event that The Deadman made his debut at. Just imagine how special it would be to see his career come full circle at the PPV?
9 Debut – Eddie Edwards
Just a couple of months ago, rumors swirled that the WWE was interested in signing the veteran Eddie Edwards. However, he ended up re-signing a deal with Impact. After taking a bat to the eye by accident, we believe he might have some regrets....
He’ll turn 35 later this year, meaning his window is slowly closing. Reports indicate that the deal might be a short-term one. If it is a one year deal, it is more than likely that he’ll be with NXT by the time 2019 rolls around. It would be foolish not to take such a deal, especially looking at the recent success of past Impact stars such as AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode.
8 Return – Hulk Hogan
Since his controversial 2015 departure, rumors have continued to swirl as to whether or not Hogan will rejoin the WWE family. Lots of wrestlers seem split when it comes to Hulk’s future. However, what matters most is what the higher ups think. Triple H has expressed a willingness to allow the Hulkster back in the company. It seems like more of a “when” and not “if” type of ordeal at this point.
It is very possible that we see Hogan back with the company in 2018. Perhaps he’ll be kept off television but serve a purpose as brand ambassador to further his charitable causes. It would be a big time plus as he would continue to resurface some positivity to his name. Hogan also stated just days ago that he's closer than ever to a return.
7 Debut – Pentagon Jr.
Last summer, Pentagon Jr. made the headlines for leaving AAA Mexico. It led to rumors that he was set to join the WWE. However, in a recent statement just months ago, the talented masked wrestler made the claim that he’s never been contacted by the WWE. That’s a big time no no.
Since the departure of Rey Mysterio, the company has failed repeatedly in finding the next masked star. Perhaps because of that, they’re unwilling to book any masked wrestler strongly and instead, pretty much pigeonhole them with 205 Live. With such a talent like Pentagon Jr, despite the past failures, he’s worth the risk. He can become a huge star and potentially, a rival of Rey Mysterio.
6 Return – Trish Stratus
Trish proved to all of us that she's still “got it”. She was perfect in the Royal Rumble cameo and Trish even shared quite the stare down with Sasha Banks. Could they work a future program in 2018? Most fans would hope.
Trish has admitted to being open for a return as well, though she makes the claim that something different is needed, perhaps even a heel turn;
"Something that's different and unique, like playing a heel again, which would be super cool. I've gone back as a babyface, so it would have to be something challenging and something that would elevate either the division or the talent. Not just for my own s***s and giggles to raise my brand."
5 Debut – Tessa Blanchard
Speaking of talented women’s wrestlers, Blanchard might be among the very best outside of the WWE. She continues to thrive, however instead of joining the WWE, she opted to join Impact. Still in her early 20s, you can understand why such a decision was made.
She is going to join WWE, it just remains to be seen when. Blanchard also admitted that she keeps in touch with the company;
"I am still in touch with them. We are both on very good terms, contrary to what people think, we are on very good terms. I don't get my hopes up or anything, I am really enjoying what I am doing right now by having the matches, the inter-gender matches that I am having. I am getting to travel all over the world doing what I love and making a living out of it. That is a huge blessing to me. I am not necessarily in a rush to go anywhere.”
4 Return – Neville
We needed to include a long shot. With Neville moving back to the UK, it seems like his days with the WWE might be done. There was a time when he was linked to rejoining the company, possibly returning with SmackDown Live. However, that ship has sailed back to the UK. Perhaps this is wishful thinking, however fan speculation is now linking Neville to the WWE’s UK Division.
He’s always had a good relationship with Hunter and it would make sense for him to elevate the brand,
especially seeing that he moved back home. With the UK Tournament now under way, can we possibly see Neville back in the WWE UK scene in 2018?
3 Debut – Will Ospreay
Neville was a far-fetched entry and the same can be said for Will Ospreay given his recent comments. He doesn’t have the biggest desire to join the WWE given the travel that would be involved. He is also set to take some time off in order to recover some nagging injuries.
Again, the WWE isn’t afraid to make big money offers these days, especially with the Fox agreement in place. How great would it be to showcase one of the best high flyers in the world when the WWE debuts on Fox? That alone might be enough for the WWE to offer a big money deal and perhaps, one that Will just can’t say no to.
2 Return – Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho found out the hard way that money isn’t the same outside of the WWE. Jericho recalled his recent negotiations with New Japan. He was insulted by the company’s first offer of $10,000. Y2J joked about the offer claiming he made the same amount for appearing at a small Alberta based appearance. Chris almost ended negations completely following the lackluster offer.
He continues on with New Japan, even winning a championship bout against Naito. He’ll stay on board for a little longer it appears, though at the end of the day, he’ll come back home to the WWE. Whether that takes place during Survivor Series or in early 2019, he’ll be back with the company in the very near future, at least as a solid to Vince for giving him all this freedom.
1 Debut - The Young Bucks/Kenny Omega
The Young Bucks started all of the speculation when they stated that in 2019, they’ll explore all their options. Of course, fans took this to another level and wrestling news outlets are now reporting that the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega are interested in starting a massive bidding war between New Japan and Young Bucks.
Money, for the Young Bucks, is a big reason as to why they won’t join the WWE. The duo has stated that given the amount they make these days, it would be almost impossible for the WWE to offer a similar wage. Nonetheless, just imagine the impact it would have if the company got a hold of these talents on route to their Fox show. If the price is right, we might see these three with the WWE.
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