Here we are again: looking at the forecast for in-ring returns by WWE's biggest stars.
We have seen two major episodes of Raw—the landmark 1000th episode, and the first standard Raw of the new three hour format. How has the landscape of WWE changed in that time?
I know it has not been that long since the last update, but with numerous returns expected at Raw 1000, and with my expecting them to save a few for Raw 1001 to keep things interesting, I did anticipate writing another article after such a short span of time.
From big stars like Brock Lesnar to mid-carders like Evan Bourne, there are a lot of stars on their way back to WWE ring competition in the next few months. Lets take a look at them!
The biggest news right now is last night saw the return of Randy Orton to tv after a 60 day absence due to violating the WWE's Wellness Policy.
John Laurinaitis and Ted DiBiase are both back, but at house shows only.
When DiBiase first re-appeared at a house show I wondered if fit was a test match, to see if he was healthy enough to return to television. However he has appeared at more than one house show now.
I guess WWE is looking for a feud to insert DiBiase in to.
Reports say he should be back in 2-3 months, but that's some scary stuff he is dealing with. Could this be it for The Great Khali?
I hate the man's wrestling, as do most fans, but you don't wish this on anyone.
Kelly Kelly was at Raw 1000 but WWE decided not to use her for anything.
No, I don't really understand why they flew her out only to not use her either. Must be expensive.
Kelly Kelly's return was not full time though, her hiatus will continue.
There is a limit to how many public appearances she can make money from being booked for, I would guess within a few months Kelly Kelly will be bored and be back in WWE.
She will likely miss SummerSlam, as it is so soon, and I would guess she would want a nice, tidy Survivor Series cheque to top up her bank balance. Divas are so low on the WWE food chain that I cannot imagine they are terribly wealthy people.
With The Undertaker scheduled to return at Survivor Series, it looks like WWE is serious about selling that pay-per-view this year. I am sure they would want the best known Diva to be back in time for that, right?
Every time I post one of these articles I get more "dude, I don't care about Kelly Kelly!" comments in the comments box. Do remember that if she eats up tv time, you see less of stars you do care about. Even if most of the Internet Wrestling Community are not fans of Kelly Kelly, her return will impact you in that way.
Numerous reports around the Internet said that Mark Henry was due back at Raw 1000.
Given how star-studded that episode was, I am not shocked that WWE has held off his return.
In a recent interview Henry made it clear he is getting better fast, but not as fast as he would like. He has also lost a ton of weight, and looks in good shape.
However recent tweets see Henry suggesting he might never return to the ring at all. If he has no idea when he will be back in the ring, I won't pretend to know better.
F4W Online reported that some sources stated he would be back "imminently" in an article published on the 22nd July, while another said "after SummerSlam".
They missed the boat on imminently, given the date that article was posted, so I guess after SummerSlam we will see the return of the Barage?
Otunga is off filming The Hive.
It was said previously that his boss, Johnny Ace, would return to TV either just before or after SummerSlam. It would make sense for him to return with someone like Otunga to provide a bit of muscle.
At Raw 1000 the WWE finally confirmed what we all knew would happen.
August 19th, 2012, Brock Lesnar will wrestle Triple H in the main event of SummerSlam.
Do not expect to see either of them wrestle until then. Both men are considered too special to wrestle on regular TV.
The latest update from a few weeks back saw Bourne saying he had another month of physiotherapy before he could come back.
That puts his return at mid to late August.
He was a good fit in the tag team division, hopefully he will return to there.
The Rock is set to wrestle the WWE Champion (currently CM Punk, though that could change) for the title at the Royal Rumble on January 27, 2013, which he announced two Raw episodes ago.
Previous reports did say Rocky was considering "a couple" of matches before WrestleMania, not just the one at Royal Rumble.
My only guess would be that with WWE playing up to this feud with Punk so heavily in the last two episodes, The Rock decides he doesn't want to just face the WWE Champion at Royal Rumble, he wants CM Punk at Survivor Series, as Punk may or may not be holder of the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble.
What happens after that? I have no idea. WWE probably has not planned that far ahead either.
It was initially leaked to dirt sheets that The Undertaker would return to action at Survivor Series.
Reading the fine print of the leaks though, it says he will return to "storylines." This means he will likely appear at Survivor Series in a segment to set up a match later on, presumably at WrestleMania.
It is likely with all of his spare appearance dates to use up that Brock Lesnar will wrestle a match at Survivor Series to conclude a feud of some sort. Setting up a WrestleMania match between the two would be logical.
Whoever The Undertaker goes up against it will probably be someone not on TV regularly, because a feud running that long will not feature frequent appearances until a few weeks before the match itself.
Yeah yeah, I keep saying it: Foley had a great time at the 2012 Royal Rumble, stated in interviews he could do it again, and he is still on a WWE Legends contract.
When all the other Legends show up there, he will too.
Ryan is at house shows, but not on TV.
WWE would not keep him on contract unless they planned to bring him back.
Given his awkward ring work, it is no surprise he is not on TV anymore, but three hours of Raw to fill, I am sure WWE will have to put him back on TV soon.
Still no signs this man is ever going to return to WWE.
He is still showing up on Zack Ryder's YouTube show, but it looks like Creative has nothing for him.
Like Ryan, I guess he will show up when WWE runs out of things to do with three hours of Raw a week.
Well, we wondered if she was really leaving WWE or if it was all a work.
A great loss to the WWE.
Just including this to put an end to speculation, as she has been a part of my previous articles about ring returns.
Leave a comment!
Who are you anticipating returning most?
Did I miss anyone out?
Should anyone simply never come back?
As a bonus video, enjoy Lita's return match from Raw 1000. It looks like it was a one-off, but it was still a sanctioned match so it counts for this article series.
Each time I publish one of these articles the list gets shorter. Obviously WWE usually has one or two guys taking a break, but I will continue to publish these articles until the talent roster is at that stage again, with only a few absences.