WWE Rumors on Royal Rumble 2023, Johnny Gargano's Return, Karrion Kross Behind Reigns

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 9, 2022

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Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

Royal Rumble 2023 Reportedly Expected to Be Held in San Antonio

WWE is reportedly expected to head back to a familiar city and venue for the 2023 Royal Rumble in January.

According to PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson, WWE is targeting San Antonio, and possibly the Alamodome, which would mark the fourth time the Royal Rumble has been held in the city.

WWE previously did the Rumble in San Antonio in 1997, 2007 and 2017, with the 1997 and 2017 editions being held at the Alamodome.

The Alamodome provides a unique viewer experience since it is significantly bigger than a normal arena with a capacity of up to around 60,000 for wrestling.

The first Royal Rumble in San Antonio was built around Shawn Michaels' homecoming and saw him defeat Sid for the WWE Championship after Stone Cold Steve Austin won the Rumble match.

Ten years later, The Undertaker won the 2007 Royal Rumble match by last eliminating Michaels.

In 2017, the Rumble match was won by Randy Orton, marking the second time he accomplished that feat in his illustrious career.

The upcoming Royal Rumble pay-per-view promises to be one of the most exciting, unpredictable ones in recent memory with Triple H at the helm of creative following the retirement of Vince McMahon.

Triple H has brought back several former WWE Superstars in recent weeks, and one can only assume he will have some fun surprises up his sleeve for the Rumble.

Also, if the 2023 Royal Rumble does take place in San Antonio, it will be the first time that a women's Royal Rumble match has been held in the city, as it was first implemented in 2018.

WWE Has Reportedly Contacted Gargano

Amid a flood of returns to the WWE roster, the company has reportedly reached out to free agent Johnny Gargano about coming back as well.

According to Fightful Select (h/t WrestlingInc's Tyler Miller), WWE has tasked WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels with contacting Gargano, and he has reportedly already done so.

Michaels is essentially the head of NXT, and Gargano worked closely with him during his time there. It is also well documented that Gargano is a longtime fan of The Heartbreak Kid.

Gargano also worked under Triple H in NXT, but Triple H is focused on the bigger picture, as he is the head of WWE creative and responsible for booking both Raw and SmackDown.

Triple H has only been in his new position for a few weeks, but he has already re-signed several former NXT stars who were released from their contracts when McMahon was at the helm.

Dakota Kai returned at SummerSlam as part of a stable with Bayley and Iyo Sky, Karrion Kross and Scarlett resurfaced last week on SmackDown and Dexter Lumis appeared as Monday night's episode of Raw went off the air.

It seems obvious that Triple H would have interest in signing Gargano since he was pushed as a top star in NXT for the vast majority of his time there and was referred to as the heart and soul of NXT.

Gargano allowed his WWE contract to expire in December, and he is not known to have signed elsewhere. Instead, he and his wife, Candice LeRae, have focused on caring for their infant son.

With former members of The Way in Lumis and Theory on the main roster, plus Indi Hartwell still in NXT, it isn't outside the realm of possibility that the popular group could be reunited on the main roster if both Gargano and LeRae re-sign with WWE.

Kross' Reported Spot in SmackDown Pecking Order

Triple H apparently has big plans in mind for Karrion Kross following his return to WWE on SmackDown last week.

According to PWInsider.com (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News), Kross is listed internally as the No. 2 heel on SmackDown behind only undisputed WWE universal champion Roman Reigns.

On Friday's SmackDown, Kross made a statement by attacking No. 1 contender Drew McIntyre just as McIntyre was about to confront Reigns.

Additionally, Scarlett left an hourglass in the ring in front of Reigns, seemingly announcing Kross' intention to go for the titles.

Kross and Scarlett were a hugely popular act in NXT due to their look, entrance and overall presentation. As a result, Kross was a two-time NXT champion.

The massive disconnect between NXT and the main roster at the time spelled doom for Kross' initial WWE run, however, as he was called up without Scarlett and forced to wear a strange, gladiator-like outfit.

Both Kross and Scarlett were released from their WWE contracts in November, but since becoming head of creative, Triple H has clearly made it his mission to bring back Superstars he believes in.

Kross has already made a bigger impact on the main roster during his second stint than he did in his first, and all signs point toward him being pushed to the top in the near future.

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