One of the best parts of each Royal Rumble match is the possibility of surprise returns, and the 2021 edition of the show could be chockfull of big names making a triumphant comeback.
From the possibility of Brock Lesnar returning to a WWE ring for the first time since WrestleMania 36 to the chance to see a young star like Rhea Ripley get her official call-up, this year's men's and women's Battle Royals should be unforgettable.
Here are the possible surprise entrants fans should be looking for during the 2021 Royal Rumble.
The WWE Universe has not seen Lesnar since he lost the WWE Championship to Drew McIntyre at last year's COVID-impacted WrestleMania. Amid questions about whether The Beast Incarnate is even employed by the company, his status for this year's Royal Rumble is unknown.
What is certain, though, is that if his music hits, fans everywhere will mark out.
If Lesnar does surprise the WWE Universe by entering the men's Battle Royal, he will do serious damage and instantly be a favorite to win. He deserves to be victorious at the Royal Rumble as the biggest star in the business, but he doesn't need the achievement.
Instead, Lesnar should be eliminated by the man he'll face at WrestleMania.
While fans instantly think about the possibility of Lesnar squaring off with Roman Reigns again due to his association with Paul Heyman, the more interesting storyline is McIntyre beating Goldberg earlier in the night and coming down to the ring to cost The Beast a win.
McIntyre vs. Lesnar again would be a rematch worthy of the WrestleMania stage.
There were already rumors that Rhea Ripley was destined for a spot on the main roster, but instead of letting her debut during a meaningless episode of Raw or SmackDown, she should be a surprise entrant in the women's Royal Rumble match.
Not only should the Australian be a surprise entrant, but she should also shock the world and cement her status as a top star in the division by walking away victorious.
At only 24 years old, Ripley is one of the brightest stars in the business and has been a highlight of NXT programming since making the jump to the United States. At the Royal Rumble, she should dominate the field by amassing the most eliminations.
Once Ripley makes it to the final four participants, she should eliminate the other women one-by-one until she is the last person standing. The marquee victory would ensure the WWE Universe considers her a serious threat to win a championship at WrestleMania 37.
One of the biggest possible surprises would be WWE signing former Impact Wrestling world champion Tessa Blanchard and booking her to win the women's Royal Rumble in her first match in the company.
Blanchard has been a free agent since she and Impact parted ways earlier this year, and rumors have run rampant about whether WWE, All Elite Wrestling or another company would attempt to sign her.
While Blanchard's wrestling credentials aren't in doubt, she was accused of bullying and racism from a number of former colleagues in January 2020.
Blanchard denied the allegations, and she wouldn't be the first WWE employee to have faced similar accusations. Despite the potential controversy, Blanchard's ability between the ropes makes her capable of walking in and instantly challenging for a women's title at WrestleMania or being involved in a possible dream matchup with any of WWE's top women.
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