WWE WrestleMania 2018: Samoa Joe and Stars Most Likely to Make Shock Appearance

Aaron Bower@@aaronbowerFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2018

Dean Ambrose arrivesin the ring during the WWE show at Zenith Arena on may 09, 2017 in Lille, north France. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN        (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

With WWE's biggest pay-per-view of the year Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, there's ample speculation for WrestleMania 34.

As is often the case with a huge show, there are bound to be one or two surprises. Mania traditionally sees former greats returning to the squared circle for one-off appearances, and this weekend will be no different.

There are also sure to be one or two full-time stars who are currently out of the picture who could make their mark. Here's a look at the most likely candidates.


Samoa Joe

With WWE intent on pushing Roman Reigns as a babyface, he'll need an instant challenger should he win the Universal Championship at WrestleMania. Of course, it's likely Brock Lesnar will step away from the company for now.

The best fit? Samoa Joe. There are plenty of ways he can be introduced to Mania, such as this theory from editor Thomas Broome-Jones of CultVultures:

Thomas Broome-Jones @TBroomey

I want the gong to go off tonight while John Cena is cutting his promo. Lights go out. Lights come up. Samoa Joe is behind him and chokes him out. There's your Mania match.

Joe has been involved in some great feuds since stepping up to the main roster, including one against Roman. He also had what was arguably the most enjoyable feud with Lesnar seen on TV for a few years.

It's obvious Joe can compete for the Universal Championship, and if Reigns prevails, the fan backlash would be countered quite easily by having Joe come out and take down the new champion.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t CBS Sports) reported late last month that Joe is healed up from his foot injury suffered Jan. 8 and is ready to work the company's upcoming tour of Europe.

But he needs a way back onto TV, and doing this would be a spectacular way to welcome him back.


The Rock

There are a host of ways WWE can fit The Rock into its programming for WrestleMania 34.

The chances he steps into the ring and wrestles are remote, but as fans have seen in the past, the possibility of a cameo appearance somewhere else on the card can't be ruled out.

This year? Draft him in to help put one of Raw's most promising stars over even more.

Elias has been slowly building momentum on Monday nights, but he doesn't have much creative direction for WrestleMania this year.

Have Elias put on a musical performance at Mania before being interrupted by The Rock, who responds with a performance of his own. As fans have seen in the past, he's useful when it comes to a guitar and clever lyrics.

It would be one of the more entertaining non-wrestling aspects of the card...that's for sure.


Dean Ambrose

It's only four months or so since WWE confirmed that Dean Ambrose would be out for approximately nine months with a high-grade triceps tendon injury.

PWM @ProWrestlingMag

A look at people who defended their titles at Mania 33 last year. Goldberg: Now done. Bray Wyatt: Now 'dead'. Jericho: Done for now. Ambrose: Injured. Neville: Done. The Club: Battle royal. Bayley: Hmm... Bliss: Same level.

But that still doesn't rule out the possibility of The Lunatic Fringe showing up at WrestleMania.

The company also recently pulled Ambrose from a schedule WrestleMania Axxess appearance, which could hint at either a setback or a breakthrough.

Ambrose could return to TV in a number of ways at Mania if he is nearing full fitness.

One of the best options would be setting up a feud with Seth Rollins, who he looked likely to be wrestling at Mania this year before the plans were changed due to his injury.

Ambrose doesn't need to take any bumps, but if he can be squeezed into the card, it would be a huge boost for WWE.


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