We’re counting down the days for the first PPV of 2018 — and one of the top four WWE PPVs in the calendar year. The anticipation surrounding Royal Rumble builds, as we now shift our attention to WrestleMania 34.
Brock Lesnar will defend the Universal Championship against Braun Strowman and Kane, but it is almost certain that he will face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 34. On the other hand, AJ Styles will find his fate soon, as the WWE Champion awaits his next challenge.
However, the biggest intrigue will surround the Royal Rumble match itself, and understandably so. Every year, the 30 – man Royal Rumble throws quite a few surprises. Who can forget Diesel and Booker T making their return? How about ‘The Phenomenal’ AJ Styles shocking the world during his WWE debut?
We take a look at five potential surprise entrants during the men’s Royal Rumble match.
#1 Chris Jericho
We know the hype surrounding Jericho – Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12 has caught fire. What initially started as an online banter soon transformed into something unthinkable. The former WWE Champion appeared on NJPW programming, to lay out a challenge to one of the hottest properties in the wrestling world.
However, in the past, Jericho has made it clear that WWE is, and will always be his home. While the allure of competing in Japan, and against one of the top talents in the world would’ve persuaded Jericho to compete at Wrestle Kingdom, the fans won’t be expecting Jericho to turn up at the Royal Rumble.
Which, if we remember our history, plays right into Jericho’s hands!
#2 The Undertaker
We haven’t heard from ‘The Phenom’ since his WrestleMania defeat to Roman Reigns earlier this year. However, arguably the greatest WWE Superstar in history might not be done just yet. The Undertaker came face to face with Goldberg last year at the Royal Rumble, which, while at the time seemed rather innocuous, could’ve had more significance than what meets the eye.
The Undertaker might have one last match left in him, and if that is indeed the case, WrestleMania 34 could be the epilogue to his remarkable story. The journey to The Undertaker’s final chapter can begin at the Royal Rumble, as The Deadman returns to seek vengeance, and for the last time, ‘The Reaper’ brings his scythe to claim his final few victims.
Recent rumours suggest that Ricochet is finally on his way to WWE. While we can never trust the ‘sources’, it has been a long time coming. Ricochet is one of the best athletes in the world, and after plying his trade at almost all the other major organisations, he could finally find his home in WWE.
It won’t be the first time WWE brought someone new directly to the main roster — and that too during the Royal Rumble. The wrestling fans would be aware of Ricochet, and considering the fact that Royal Rumble will attract the “smart fans”, it would also be the perfect platform to introduce Ricochet to the casual WWE fans.
#4 Jeff Hardy
“Woken” Matt Hardy might’ve done enough to make the WWE fans not miss his brother’s presence, but that doesn’t away his star power. Jeff Hardy is one of the most marketable faces WWE has at the moment, and losing him to an injury dented the company’s plans for the brothers.
However, while Jeff’s recovery period was previously reported to be a long one, WWE has a knack of springing surprises by bringing back the injured Superstars well before their recovery period. Jeff Hardy could very well return at the Royal Rumble, and aid his brother in his quest to rid the world of the sinister Sister Abigail.
#5 Kenny Omega
Now we address the elephant in the room — the looming, impending discussion about Kenny Omega’s move to WWE. ‘The Cleaner’ has been one of the most consistent performers in the wrestling world over the past year, and has earned a reputation of being one of the best workers in the business.
Omega and Jericho are currently embroiled in a rivalry that has got the world buzzing, and if conspiracy theorists have their say, it could all be a ploy by Vince McMahon! Whether Vince allowed Jericho to compete at WK 12, to pacify NJPW into sending Omega to WWE or not, Omega is destined to make it to the biggest professional wrestling promotion in the world.
And one can surely hope that it would happen next month!