WWE Royal Rumble 2012: Top 10 Unexpected Rumble Entrants
Every year during the January classic event of WWE's Royal Rumble, we are surprised in some way.
In 2008, John Cena came out at No. 30 after Triple H and ended up winning the match and went onto WrestleMania 24.
Cena shocked a lot of the WWE audience as he was supposed to be out much longer than expected with a torn pectoral muscle.
At the 2010 Royal Rumble in Atlanta, Edge returned from injury as the No. 29 entry and eliminated Chris Jericho and Cena to win the event.
Last year, returning legends Booker T and Kevin Nash as Diesel tested their luck in the biggest Rumble match of all time but couldn't get the job done.
I am going to list 10 different wrestlers who could be surprise Royal Rumble entrants if not named for the actual match beforehand.
In the order of less of a surprise to most shocking if it were to happen...
WWE superstar Christian should be making his way back to the WWE soon after a high ankle sprain during the Europe tour in November.
It wouldn't surprise me one bit to see Christian hit the ring during the 2012 Royal Rumble match.
9. Alberto Del Rio
Last year's shocking Royal Rumble winner suffered a groin injury during a December episode of Monday Night Raw.
What better way for Del Rio to make his return than the very event that is already one of the biggest highlights of his career.
Could the 2012 Royal Rumble also be Alberto's destiny?
8. Kevin Nash
At TLC in December, Kevin Nash was taken out of action with a sledgehammer by Triple H during their Sledgehammer Ladder Match.
Nash had to be taken out of the arena on a stretcher due to the multiple contusions he suffered. These "injuries" will require him to miss at least six weeks of action.
This puts him right on track for his second Royal Rumble entry in a row.
7. Rey Mysterio
We haven't seen Rey Mysterio since his knee injury in August at a house show event.
Mysterio is no stranger to the Royal Rumble, at one hour, two minutes and 12 seconds, he is the longest lasting Rumble entry of all time.
It was in the 2006 Royal Rumble that Mysterio accomplished this feat, coming in at No. 2 and winning the entire thing.
Could Mysterio's knee be healed in time for this year's Rumble? I think so.
6. Chris Jericho
Could the man behind "The End Begins" promos be headed for the Royal Rumble match?
Jericho made his surprise return to the WWE on January 2 during an episode of Monday Night Raw.
While we don't know much about his return, he could be gunning for one last title run and a match with CM Punk could be in the works.
If CM Punk is the WWE champion headed into WrestleMania, having Jericho win the Rumble would make that a reality.
Jericho has done a lot in his WWE career, but he has never won the Rumble match.
5. Randy Orton
During the final SmackDown in 2011, Randy Orton was pushed down a flight of steps by Wade Barrett.
According to an update on wwe.com, Orton has a herniated disc between his L4 and L5 vertebrae, which is causing him pain and weakness in his leg.
It has been spoken that Orton actually entered the match hurting and this incident was created to give him some time off to heal his body.
A return at the Royal Rumble could be just what the doctor ordered for Orton, that is, if he is healed in time.
4. The Undertaker
The Undertaker is no stranger to the Royal Rumble match.
He has competed in 10 Royal Rumbles to date, which ranks for third all time behind Kane (15) and Shawn Michaels (12).
We haven't seen The Undertaker since WrestleMania 27 in Atlanta, when he was carried out on a stretcher after his match with Triple H.
With the WrestleMania streak still in tact and only one win away from 20-0 at WrestleMania, it wouldn't shock some to see The Undertaker appear at the official beginning of the WrestleMania season.
We haven't seen six-time world champion Batista in the WWE since May 24, 2010.
Batista gave the MMA world a go but his contract fell through around the Spring of 2011 according to an article on TMZ.com.
While Batista has publicly announced his negative feelings towards WWE's current content, he did seem to leave on good terms.
I wouldn't ever rule out one more return for the 42-year-old Batista and this year's Royal Rumble could be that platform he needs.
2. Brock Lesnar
It has been a long, long time since Brock Lesnar has competed in the WWE. WrestleMania XX to be exact.
The promising young career of Lesnar in the WWE was suddenly put to rest when he decided to leave the company in 2004.
Since then, Lesnar has tried out NFL football, New Japan Pro Wrestling and, most recently, UFC.
The only problem I have with a Lesnar return to the WWE is his lawsuit due to a no compete clause in 2006.
If WWE and Lesnar are still on good terms, and only they know they are, I could see another WWE run in the near future now that the UFC career is apparently over.
At age 34, Lesnar could have a lot left to offer still.
Lesnar was the winner of the 2003 Royal Rumble.
1. The Rock
The biggest shock of the Royal Rumble possible would be The Rock returning to the Royal Rumble.
I strongly feel that it is possible that The Rock will play some sort of role in this year's Royal Rumble pay-per-view, whether it is in the actual Rumble match or not.
The only way I can see The Rock being in the Rumble is if Cena worked his way into the match as well.
It would be nearly perfect to have The Rock come in after Cena, eliminate him and fuel the fire even more headed into their iconic match at WrestleMania 28.
As far as The Rock's Royal Rumble history, he won the event in 2000 at Madison Square Garden, lastly eliminating The Big Show for the victory.