Predicting the Next Big WWE Star to Return

Philip LindseyAugust 4, 2022

Photo credit: WWE.com

It seems cliche to say it’s a great time to be a wrestling fan, but recent changes in the industry have made the sport more volatile and entertaining than it has been in a long time. More to the point, there is good reason to be optimistic about WWE right now.

The recent changes following Vince McMahon’s retirement on July 22 have paved the way for a new era of sports entertainment. This is uncharted territory for the largest wrestling company in the world as the former chairman and CEO has been at the helm for 40 years.

Nevertheless, Triple H has stepped in as the new head of creative and executive vice president of talent relations.

Viewers familiar with his work in NXT immediately became hopeful about what this could mean for the company’s stagnant product. In just one week, the promotion has seemingly already paid off for WWE.

SummerSlam earned praise from fans and critics alike, and Monday's Raw generated its highest ratings boost in two years. In addition, Fightful Select reported that this “renewed optimism” extended to the locker room as Dakota Kai made her surprise return alongside Bayley and Iyo Sky at The Biggest Party of the Summer on Saturday night.

The Role Model’s new stable became the biggest talking point following the event and they were a focal point in the following episode of WWE’s flagship series.

Yes, Bayley’s long-awaited return was bound to make a splash, but Kai’s emergence after her contract expired in April is a good sign. If the recent change in direction and newfound plans for her and Sky were enough to convince them to stay put, it could mean we will see other big names come back soon.

Johnny Gargano

Much like King Kota, Johnny Gargano surprisingly chose not to renew his contract after an emotional farewell to NXT in December. This led many fans to believe that the brand's first triple-crown champion wouldn't venture elsewhere.

However, the 34-year-old has remained a free agent all year, opting to take time off and enjoy being a father instead.

Now that other black-and-gold mainstays such as Ciampa and Sky are on the main roster working major storylines, though, it could be enough to entice Gargano to return to WWE.

His former tag team partner, Ciampa, became the No. 1 contender for the United States Championship on the latest episode of Raw. This seems to indicate Triple H has plans for the man who stayed off the main roster for as long as possible.

If The Blackheart finds success this soon under the new creative team, Johnny Wrestling may not be that far behind.

Gargano has also spoken highly of Triple H and Shawn Michaels, and he cherished his time with NXT. So, we think he will return to WWE later this year.

Bray Wyatt

Under the new creative team, Bray Wyatt seems like a no-brainer. He seemed like a lifer before his abrupt release last year.

Ever since, the 35-year-old has remained off the grid, leaving many fans to speculate about where he could show up next.

Honestly, WWE was always the perfect place for him because it relies so heavily on larger-than-life characters. His knack for theatrics also made great use of its high production value and major marketing machine.

Unfortunately, the third-generation star stumbled with WWE because the higher-ups never gave him enough free rein to grow. It seemed to stifle his creativity or pull the rug out from under him when he gained momentum. That could change with the new regime in place.

Wyatt told Busted Open Radio in 2016 (h/t Still Real To Us) that Triple H was instrumental to his reinvention with NXT. So, it’s a safe bet that he could return to WWE to work with the man who saved his career.

Sasha Banks and Naomi

Sasha Banks and Naomi were at the heart of one of the biggest stories of 2022 when they reportedly walked out during the May 13 episode of Raw.

The two Superstars have been a topic of discussion ever since, as their current status remains unclear.

Many believed WWE had released them, but the plot thickens. Although PWInsider reported they were no longer on the internal roster, the latest update is that a source claimed they have reached an agreement to return.

This is in line with what Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc initially reported, as well. He stated that WWE released Banks in June but the company was attempting to “smooth things over.”

It wouldn’t be unprecedented for the global wrestling juggernaut to convince one of its top stars to come back. We’ve seen more implausible scenarios before now.

If you’re seeing a recurring pattern here, it’s that many of the Superstars who have the highest probability of return are NXT alum. Banks is no exception as she originally made a name for herself with the black-and-gold brand.

And SummerSlam also proved WWE has reignited interest in its women’s division.

With Triple H in the driver's seat, the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship could finally gain prestige. That could be enough to lure its last set of titleholders back later this year. More importantly, the new Head of Creative has a rapport with the wrestlers.

If anyone can convince Banks and Naomi to return, it’s The Game.


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