The Royal Rumble is everybody’s second favorite PPV. The yearly event headlined by its one of a kind, thirty-man over-the-top rope battle royale is every wrestling fan’s fresh start to the new year. It’s the sign that WrestleMania is just around the corner and that WWE will start to feel more exciting again... or at least be more tolerable to watch for the next three to four months.
There is no match more engaging for its audience than the Royal Rumble. The structure of the match is genius. In combination with the over-the-top rope eliminations, the simple pacing of the entrances keeps fans on the edge of their seats, wondering who will hit the ring next, who’s left to come out, and who holds the coveted number 30 spot in the match. And with the WWE Title on the line in this year's match, nothing is more high stakes.
For the past several years, WWE has done a successful job establishing the tradition of surprise entrants into this annual match. In 2002, Mr. Perfect made a surprise return to WWE by entering the match at number 25. In 2008, John Cena made a quicker than expected comeback from injury, entering at number 30 to win it. Just last year, Bubba Ray Dudley, Diamond Dallas Page, and The Boogeyman all made surprise entrances in the match, helping further cement the tradition of surprise entrance in the match.
So, what does this year’s Royal Rumble have in store? The following is a dream list of 12 superstars that could, hypothetically, be surprise entrants. Keep in mind, this list is going to be somewhat based in reality. For instance, Hulk Hogan is not on this list because he obviously still has heat from his racist comments and Hogan isn’t going over the top rope with his bad hip… brother! With that in mind, the following are 12 possible surprise entrants that we would like to see make an appearance in the 2016 Royal Rumble.
13 12: New Japan Pro Wrestling Stars
12 Santino Marella
11 The Sandman
10 Samoa Joe
9 Finn Balor
7 Sami Zayn
6 Triple H
5 Daniel Bryan
Now months after sustaining a career threatening concussion during his Intercontinental Title reign, it is still unclear whether or not Daniel Bryan will ever return to a WWE ring. If he is in fact well enough to make a return, why not have it be at the Rumble to garner some excitement for the Wrestlemania season? Though, if he returns and does not win the match, WWE fans may leave the arena that night feeling burned and ripped off as they did when he lost in the 2015 and 2014 Royal Rumbles. However, his return in and of itself may bring just enough joy to the audience, even if coupled with understood ‘take it or leave it’ deal for his fans.
3 Scott Hall
2 Kurt Angle
1 The Rock
This is completely possible but would be a BIG surprise. Keep in mind, Dwayne Johnson made a return to WWE following the end of the 2015 Royal Rumble to raise the hand of his cousin and 2015 winner, Roman Reigns. Could it be that The Rock comes back to in-ring action in this year’s Rumble and wins Roman's WWE Title? If WWE really wants to pack 100,000+ plus people into Cowboys Stadium for 'Mania, WWE needs a big box office draw. There is no bigger draw than The Rock. He could defend the title versus Lesnar or Hunter, but we've never seen The Rock versus Roman. If WWE really wants Roman Reigns to be at the next, next level, having his cousin put him over on wrestling’s grandest stage is certainly one way to go.
Sources: f4wonline.com, mlwradio.com
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