The Royal Rumble is quickly approaching along with the new year. The 2023 Royal Rumble is just five weeks away and we will have the annual 30-woman match to determine who will go to WrestleMania to face the champion of her choice.
This upcoming Royal Rumble match may not have as many surprises or more specifically past WWE talent to appear. The main roster has more talent than ever and with NXT having a big roster itself they may just utilize that to fill in any of the empty spots. For instance, in 2019, WWE relied on talent from NXT to help fill out the 30 entrants. However, there’s always hope for a few legends or prior WWE talent to make an appearance.
Since the start of the women’s Royal Rumble in 2018, there have been at least 20 women who have made a return appearance to WWE for the Rumble. Some years such as 2018 and 2022 are heavier with the prior women making an appearance.
Regardless of the number of surprise legends that may or may not appear in the 2023 Rumble, here’s a list of 10 women who should at one time make a future walk out to the ring when the clock counts down to zero.
Before we get into the list, here are two honorable mentions –
Both Victoria and Jillian Hall had a moment in the Royal Rumble in 2021. The reason for wanting them to return is so that they can have it in front of a live audience. Their time in the Rumble was during the height of the pandemic when the Thunderdome was being used.
The very last WWE Women’s Champion and a former Divas Champion, we need to see Layla in a Rumble match. One-half of one of the most memorable duos in WWE’s history (LayCool – Michelle McCool), Layla has not appeared for WWE since her departure in 2015. Her tag team partner McCool has appeared for WWE since then in more than one Royal Rumble match and at WWE Evolution. Although McCool won’t be on this list, both of them appearing in the same Rumble would be a good reunion moment.
The idea of the “Forbidden Door” isn’t as buzzworthy as it used to be, but it is still an exciting concept. Kairi Sane, now going by just KAIRI in STARDOM, would be an amazing entry to the Rumble. She is currently the inaugural IWGP Women’s Champion for NJPW. We could receive a similar moment to Mickie James last year and have KAIRI appear with the belt in the Rumble.
She needs a real go at the Rumble. In 2022, Melina finally appeared in the Rumble but was eliminated quite quickly. This time, have her back and give her a true moment to shine. WWE has a habit of not recognizing the women who came in prior eras as much as they do the men. Melina deserves more flowers and an eventual Hall of Fame induction. Her showing up and getting a good Rumble go could help that.
Much like Layla, it is way overdue for Eve Torres to make an appearance. She is a former three-time Divas Champion (the first to do it prior to AJ Lee) and believe it or not, January 2023 will mark 10 years since Eve has graced a WWE ring. Eve quit WWE on air when she lost the Divas Championship to Kaitlyn on an episode of Raw. She went out arguably at the peak of her career. Seeing her appear for the first time in 10 years would be a treat for Diva fans.
Mickie James returning to WWE fully at the Royal Rumble would be a perfect way to get back to the company and have a successful run. Her time may be up in January from IMPACT as she is putting her career on the line against Jordynne Grace for the Knockouts World Championship. If she indeed loses and wants to end her career in WWE, she can do so by entering the Rumble. Even better would be if she were to win it and go on to WrestleMania. She received a huge ovation last year when she entered the Rumble as the Knockouts World Champion. Imagine her returning, and winning.
Aksana was a backup choice for last year’s Royal Rumble as she was backstage during the event in case needed. This year she should be on the list of 30 and get her moment. She was released from the company in 2014 and hasn’t appeared since. She could add a lot of character to the Rumble match.
She’s got legs! She knows how to use them! Who wouldn’t want to hear this theme play as the clock hits zero?
One of the biggest names from her time period in WWE, Stacy Keibler hasn’t had too many appearances after leaving the company in 2006. Stacy’s name is synonymous with WWE Hall of Famer Torrie Wilson and even inducted her into the Hall of Fame. Wilson has appeared in the Rumble twice now, and now it is time to see Stacy.
It is time for the most famous strut down the runway to return. What better way to reintroduce it than down the ramp to the Royal Rumble? Although she was an in-ring competitor, Kristal oozed charisma as a valet/manager as well during her time in WWE. She has also gone on record to say she would certainly be up to a Rumble appearance.
For some women on this list would be just an appearance in the Rumble match itself, however, for someone like Billie Kay, this could be her return to the company. As a former Women’s Tag Team Champion, she did have a short run as a singles competitor following her split with Peyton Royce as half of the IIconics. Kay is one of the released superstars over the past two years that has yet to be brought back officially. Plus can we get a Billie and Jillie reunion?
This may be the least likely to happen on this list (which is why she is listed last). It all depends on where Jazz stands with the company to this day, but her making a Royal Rumble appearance would receive a great response. Jazz is a veteran, she is a polarizing character and to a certain generation, she struck fear in them when she made her way to the ring. She could be a star in a Royal Rumble match and it would be fun to see her show up for anything WWE related again.
Who would you like to see return in a Royal Rumble? Discuss below!