WWE Rumors on Ronda Rousey, Asuka at 2022 Royal Rumble; Randy Orton Talks RetirementJanuary 26, 2022
Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
WWE Reportedly Met with Rousey About Returning
WWE reportedly flew an official out to California to meet with Ronda Rousey about making her return to the company.
According to PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson, sources have said coming out of the meeting that it is "all on Rousey" regarding whether she wants to come back for WrestleMania 38 and perhaps this weekend's Royal Rumble,
It was also noted that Rousey's makeup artist and stylist when she last worked for WWE is scheduled to be at the Royal Rumble and Raw, although that has been planned for "weeks and weeks."
Earlier this week, Fightful Select (h/t H Jenkins of Ringside News) reported that WWE has been pushing for the return of Rousey and it is a "poorly kept secret" within the company.
Fightful added that while discussions were had about Rousey being an entrant in the Women's Royal Rumble match, it wasn't known if any agreements were made.
Rousey has not appeared in WWE programming since competing in the main event of WrestleMania 35 nearly three years ago.
Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Rousey became the first women to headline WrestleMania, and Lynch won the match in controversial fashion by pinning Rousey despite Ronda's shoulder being off the mat.
Ever since then, fans have assumed that Rousey would eventually return to face Lynch one-on-one, and since Becky is the reigning Raw Women's champion, having Rousey return to win the Rumble would be a great way to set the stage.
Rousey is one of the biggest stars WWE could potentially bring in because of what she accomplished in WWE previously and her status as a former UFC champion and Olympian.
Lynch has become a big star in her own right within the realm of WWE, and a singles match with Rousey would undoubtedly be deserving of a main event slot on one of WrestleMania's two nights.
Asuka Reportedly Expected to Be in Royal Rumble
Many within WWE reportedly believe Asuka will be a surprise entrant in the Women's Royal Rumble match on Saturday.
According to Fightful Select (h/t Michael Perry of Ringside News), "several" WWE talents expect Asuka to be part of the Rumble.
Asuka has not wrestled since July because of injury, although WWE hasn't said anything publicly about the nature of her injury or how long it was expected to keep her out.
Fightful added that it has been unable to confirm Asuka's Royal Rumble availability since WWE has been "tight-lipped" about potential Rumble surprises.
The Empress of Tomorrow would be a huge addition to the WWE women's division at an important time of the year, as Royal Rumble represents the start of the road to WrestleMania.
Asuka is one of the most accomplished female Superstars in WWE history, as she has held the Raw, SmackDown and NXT Women's Championships and the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships in addition to winning the Women's Royal Rumble and the Women's Money in the Bank ladder match.
If Rousey does not return for the Rumble and the road to WrestleMania, Asuka could make sense as a potential opponent for Lynch at WrestleMania.
Asuka has beaten Lynch before, and Becky relinquished the Raw Women's title to Asuka in 2020 when she took time off because of her pregnancy.
Even if Asuka doesn't figure into that equation, WWE could utilize her in myriad ways and make the women's division far deeper and more entertaining.
Orton Wants to Retire at 50
Randy Orton is still at the top of his game at 41 years of age, and he doesn't see himself stepping away from WWE any time soon.
During an appearance on The Ringer Wrestling Show (h/t WrestlingInc's Eric Mutter) this week, Orton said he is enjoying his work in WWE and doesn't plan to hang the boots up until he is 50:
"I'm 41. By the time I'm 50, I think I'm done. ... So I've taken it upon myself to make sure I'm doing everything I can on the daily that physically I'm able to continue. But if it was up to me, and I knew physically it wouldn't be a problem, I'd say I'd wrestle until I'm 50 years old. And I would go out and have that last match when I'm 50 and be able to say I did it on my own terms. That's nine years from now. But I don't see an end to my career any time soon. I'd like to continue to go."
Orton also shot down the possibility of doing an Undertaker-esque schedule that would essentially see him take most of the year off besides WrestleMania season.
The Viper expressed his belief that those types of schedules "burn you out," and said his preference would be to wrestle once per week.
Given Orton's standing in the company and all he has accomplished, there is little doubt that he can essentially call his own shots from here on out.
Orton is one of the most decorated Superstars in WWE history with 14 world title reigns to his credit, putting him behind only John Cena and Ric Flair, who are tied at the top with 16.
For now, Orton is doing something a bit different, as he and Riddle have formed the RK-Bro tag team.
Orton plays a more straight-laced character to counteract Riddle, but it is clear that he is having fun with his unconventional partner and all the unique things they have been able to do.
Considering Orton has essentially seen and done it all, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him continue to test his range for as long as he decides to remain an active competitor.
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