With the Royal Rumble right around the corner and the road to WrestleMania about to kick into high gear, there are a number of noteworthy rumors making the rounds involving some of the top Superstars in all of professional wrestling.
The buzz surrounding Brock Lesnar's return to World Wrestling Entertainment on Monday's Raw, WrestleMania XXX plans for The Rock and Batista's impending return headline this week's WWE rumors.
The Beast Returns: What's the Deal With His Contract?
The December 30 episode of Raw saw the return to television of former WWE champion Brock Lesnar. With Paul Heyman by his side, he made his intentions to challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, then dominated and manhandled Mark Henry to really showcase his dominance and put him over as a threat.
In the days leading to his return, rumors swirled that Lesnar may be eyeing a return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
That bit of news should not be surprising.
Why would Vince McMahon sign Brock Lesnar to a very lucrative contract without protecting himself from a scenario where his asset goes to another company and puts his health at risk fighting for them?
Also per F4WOnline, Lesnar's contract runs through WrestleMania XXXI in 2015, ensuring the former NCAA collegiate wrestling champion will deliver a handful of marquee matches against top Superstars in WWE, and only in WWE, for the next 15 months.
Original WrestleMania XXX plans for The Rock
Long story short, there are none.
But there were, at least according to the Great One himself during a Twitter Q&A session Tuesday afternoon.
The Rock versus Brock Lesnar is a definitely a WrestleMania-worthy match and one that would be easy to setup given Lesnar's win over the People's Champion 11 years ago at SummerSlam.
Unfortunately, a busy shooting schedule for Rock, coupled with the injury he suffered during the WWE Championship match against John Cena potentially and adversely affecting his willingness to return for a match this year, will prevent wrestling's most electrifying man from competing at the history-making 30th WrestleMania.
How Long Will Batista Be Back For?
On the December 23 episode of Raw, the wrestling world was shocked when a video package hyped the return of "The Animal," Batista.
It has been nearly four years since the former World Heavyweight and WWE champion has stepped foot inside a WWE ring, and there is a great deal of anticipation surrounding his impending return.
But how long will Batista stick around for? Will it be a one-and-done WrestleMania match or will he stick around throughout 2013?
Keeping busy with backstage rumors, F4WOnline revealed via WrestlingInc.com that, "The idea is that this is not a one-time WrestleMania deal, but rather a 'last run' for Batista that could go as long as two years. Through his new deal, he's expected to take at least some time off this summer to promote Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy movie."
If those rumors prove to be true, WWE will get an immediate boost in star power from the blossoming action star and will be able to help fill the void left by The Rock's absence on this year's Showcase of the Immortals.
Is This The Year Austin Wrestles at WrestleMania?
No, at least according to PWInsider.com (via WrestlingInc.com).
"Regarding speculation surrounding Steve Austin making an appearance at WrestleMania XXX, word is that if he does appear, it won't be as an active wrestler."
Being the 30th WrestleMania, the company will go all out in its attempt to celebrate the history of the event, and they cannot adequately do that without arguably the biggest star in company history making, at the very least, an appearance before the WWE Universe.
Austin made his last appearance on the grandest stage in wrestling in 2011, when he refereed the horrific Michael Cole-Jerry Lawler match.
The Texas Rattlesnake deserves a far better moment than that come April 6.