The 2013 Royal Rumble is less than a week away, and the excitement over the possible surprise entrants into the 30-man battle royal has the WWE universe buzzing.
According to PWInsider (h/t Wrestling Inc.), the following names are being considered for the Royal Rumble match Sunday in Phoenix:
It was recently reported that Tommy Dreamer's name was brought up in a WWE creative meeting about surprise Royal Rumble entrants. MVP and Shelton Benjamin were also discussed for the Rumble. Their names have came up a lot within the company lately. They are part of the list of talents WWE would like to bring back to help with the roster depth and attendance. The problem with MVP returning is that he's under contract to New Japan.
One team we can expect to see in the 30-man Rumble match is The New Age Outlaws - "Road Dogg" BG James and Billy Gunn.
Every year around this time, the rumors about which superstars will make their re-debut with the company or who the WWE will pull out of the woodwork whips the fans into a frenzy.
The rumors that surround the mystery entrants to the Royal Rumble are the biggest reason this show is such an annual success.
While a one night return is exciting, the WWE is hoping to get more from these stars than a one-off appearance; the company is looking for these wrestlers to make a long-term impact.
While the WWE won’t get the instant pop that a star returning from outside the company would receive, allowing injured stars like Christian, Mark Henry or Evan Bourne to return in the Royal Rumble match is the easiest way to infuse them back into story lines.
Instead of trying to force the WWE creative team to come up with a way to get these veterans back on TV, having them return at the Rumble and writing them into the plans starting the following Monday is the easier solution.
As a business, the WWE has many different obligations to fill and many hours of programming to make entertaining. Adding veteran talent back to the roster will bolster depth and give the current lineup of superstars a fresh makeover.
The WWE knows what it is getting from the currently employed stars, so they will be able to book accordingly. Besides the injuries that kept them temporarily sidelined, there is no reason to believe these superstars won’t have a big impact on the product upon their return.
There is a contingent of fans that remember MVP and Shelton Benjamin fondly, but it is uncertain how many members of the WWE Universe actually care about these two former stars.
While their reported return to the company could have been done on free TV in lackluster fashion, allowing it to happen at the Royal Rumble builds an aura around each to start their latest run in the WWE.
Fans shouldn’t expect Benjamin or MVP to be fighting for the world title, but with so many hours of television to program each week—on top of the daily house shows the company puts on—the WWE needs all the help they can get.
MVP and Benjamin are veterans of the business and have spent years in the WWE, so making the transition back to the midcard will be flawless for the pair.
There are few wrestlers from the original ECW days that can still hold their own in the wrestling ring in 2013, but Tommy Dreamer is one of the workers left standing.
As seen by his last appearance at the 2012 Slammy Awards, Dreamer can still wrestle and can still get the crowd to pop. If the WWE is looking for a one-off surprise entrant, there may be none better than the hardcore icon.
As much as the WWE Universe loves Tommy Dreamer, there is no future in the ring for the former ECW star. With his age and the damage from over 20 years of hardcore wrestling, Dreamer’s place is behind the scenes.
If Dreamer does make a surprise appearance at the Rumble as an entrant in the 30-man battle royal, the fans should expect a huge crowd roar followed by a quick elimination.
The New Age Outlaws—Road Dogg and Billy Gunn—are one of the greatest tag teams in wrestling history, so whenever the boys get back together, the WWE Universe will be on their feet showing their support.
The duo will be introduced at different times during the Rumble, but when they unite in the ring and perform a few tag team moves, the crowd will explode. Add in the heat the heel that eliminates the pair will receive, and the New Age Outlaws could help the company once again.
Just like Tommy Dreamer, the return of the New-Age Outlaws at the Royal Rumble is a one-time trick that will not turn into anything more for the veterans.
Both men are working with the WWE behind the scenes, so sporadic appearances are always possible, but the former tag team champions will not be returning to the ring in any full-time or part-time capacity.
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