In one of the most noteworthy and discussed moments of the pay-per-view, Bubba Ray Dudley entered at No. 3 in WWE's annual Royal Rumble bout, eliminating R-Truth and The Miz before being tossed out of the ring by rising heel Bray Wyatt.
According to reports from F4WOnline (via WrestlingInc.com), people in the company are working under the assumption that Dudley's appearance was strictly a one-off.
However, the possibility that Dudley could remain with the company past the pay-per-view remains up in the air. In fact, during a post-show interview with the company's official website, the former TNA performer even hinted that he'd very much like to return to WWE full-time, if given the chance.
The star noted when talking with WWE.com that he was perfectly willing to come back if the fans demanded it.
"If the WWE Universe and the WWE higher-ups want to see us here, then yes, hopefully there is a future," Dudley said. "I really say it’s up to the fans. By the reaction tonight, I’d say the fans would love to see us back. And hopefully we can do it."
The prospect of Dudley returning to WWE on a full-time basis remains a deeply intriguing one. Certainly, the potential is there for WWE writers to do some genuinely great things with him.
As the evil heel Bully Ray in TNA, the performer thrived. Week in and week out, he was easily the highlight of an otherwise-patchy and incoherent TNA Impact. During his stint in America's No. 2 promotion, the former ECW performer proved in his matches and promos that he could be a tremendous and effective main event heel.
Of course, in order for Dudley to succeed in the company, Vince McMahon and his writers would have to acknowledge that TNA's version of Dudley was far superior to their own.
Whether or not they would be willing to do this is another matter entirely.