Breaking Down Latest WWE Rumors on the Road to Royal Rumble 2023

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 15, 2023

Breaking Down Latest WWE Rumors on the Road to Royal Rumble 2023

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    With the 2023 Royal Rumble set for January 28 from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, the WWE rumor mill has caught fire.

    That's standard fare for the road to WrestleMania each year, of course. But there's a certain feel of weight to the proceedings this time out.

    After all, the rumble is not just a land of special returns and surprises this year—it's where WWE could cement how Roman Reigns' extended run as unified champion and the Bloodline saga ultimately ends at Mania.

    Add in the specter of a possible sale of WWE hanging over the proceedings and it feels like this is the start of a snowball for the company as multiple new eras could begin soon.

    Here's a breakdown of the most eyebrow-raising rumors as the march to the rumble continues.

No Cody Rhodes?

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    How's this for a shocker? The latest buzz on Cody Rhodes is that he won't get the predictable Royal Rumble surprise entry return.

    Instead, according to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Cinema Blend's Mick Joest), Rhodes will instead get a miniseries of sorts building up to his return.

    That big return might just end up happening at WrestleMania itself, which is pretty interesting to consider. Fans know it's coming, so why not try building hype a different way through documentary-styled looks at his comeback bid from the torn pec—and avoid trying to avoid making him look bad if he gets eliminated during the rumble?

    This does cast doubt on whether Rhodes gets involved with Reigns and the unified titles. But at this point, it doesn't even feel guaranteed that the titles will be unified by the time Mania rolls around.

    A fresh take on a return that might just make the actual pop all the more impressive, this is going to be an interesting saga to watch during the week of the rumble.

Logan Paul, Edge and More

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    Of the big surprises speculated about by fans, most of them don't fall into the shocking category right now.

    Take the case of Edge. Fans haven't seen him in the ring since early October's "I Quit" bout with Finn Balor.

    But according to PW Insider (h/t Randall Ortman, Cageside Seats), Edge will be back in WWE just in time for the rumble. The moment surely won't trump his initial return at the rumble from a few years ago, but it will be interesting to see who the veteran bumps heads with and why.

    Stemming from that same report is mention of Beth Phoenix also making a return and—potentially bigger than both names—Logan Paul.

    In November, Paul revealed he's out a minimum of six weeks due to an MCL tear suffered during his unified title bout with Reigns at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia. That six-week mark would put him right in line with the rumble.

    It's hard to imagine WWE or Paul risking anything major physically with Mania so close, but they will surely want to get the ball rolling on some sort of feud for the international draw who has been surprisingly great at his whole pro wrestling thing.

The Rock Hints?

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    One of the most logical, if not expected moments for WrestleMania 39 is the presence of The Rock.

    Most likely, this will come in some form of involvement with Reigns and the Bloodline given the family-based storytelling that has unfolded throughout the current era.

    But a popular theory amongst fans is that it will start at the rumble. And as Sai Mohan of Wrestling Inc pointed out, the official posters for the event sure feature a lot of lightning, seemingly at random.

    Or perhaps it's not random—The Rock is, after all, "The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment."

    Maybe it's something, maybe it's nothing, though, given the above, the stylistic choice is certainly notable. Rock seems to be the most ideal way to end the Bloodline saga and there's no bigger stage to jump-start the finale than at the rumble.

Splitting Titles?

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    Remember the suggestion the unified titles might not even be a thing soon?

    Turns out that idea might have some traction ahead of the Royal Rumble too.

    According to Xero News (h/t Cageside Seats' Randall Ortman), the unified titles on Reigns and The Usos could end up split before Mania.

    Doing so would make plenty of sense, especially with Reigns. The Raw main-event scene hasn't had a top title since Reigns' big win. The emphasis on mid-tier titles like the Intercontinental strap has been nice, but if the plan is to have someone as big as Cody Rhodes in a non-Reigns title match, there needs to be a title split—or a new title entirely.

    This sort of thing could happen at the rumble, allowing plenty of time for story growth before Mania. If they're not making a new title and just getting one off Reigns, there are plenty of storyline ways to make it happen, such as a Sami Zayn or Usos betrayal.

    Either way, this is something big to watch out for as the build to mania begins in earnest.