Nearly one year ago, former WWE and WCW champion Kevin Nash made his shocking return to the WWE. Appearing in his Diesel persona, Nash electrified the TD Garden crowd and left an indelible imprint on the Royal Rumble match.
At Raw last Monday night, Mick Foley announced his plans to make a similar return at this year's Royal Rumble, but Raw GM John Laurinaitis was quick to dash his hopes in an angle that transpired to begin the show.
A kayfabe video posted on WWE.com on Thursday featured Foley backstage following Raw's closing moments. When asked about his Royal Rumble plans after Laurinaitis' proclamation that he would not be allowed to participate in the match, the Hardcore Legend sounded less-than-optimistic in his response.
"I don't know how many more paths I can go down, you know. I mean the buck kind of, as far as I know, stops with John. I don't want to be the guy trying to appeal. I mean he talks about the WWE Universe—it seems like the Universe was behind that."
The Raw angle and video response could simply be devices to build heat for Laurinaitis as his feud with current WWE champion CM Punk continues to evolve, or for Dolph Ziggler, who denounced Foley's intentions and is scheduled to face Punk for his title at the pay-per-view. However, it wouldn't be surprising to see Foley in the ring at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Jan. 29.
The reaction to Foley's Rumble announcement was overwhelmingly positive among the Anaheim crowd, and given WWE's propensity to feature surprise combatants in the Rumble (a la Nash and Booker T last year and Rob Van Dam, the Honky Tonk Man, etc. at past events), all signs point toward Foley participating in his first WWE match since 2008.
Perhaps the real question is just which of Foley's faces will be featured: Mankind, Cactus Jack or Dude Love?