7 Surprise Entrants Who Could Actually Win 2021 WWE Royal Rumble Matches
The Royal Rumble is one of the most beloved pay-per-views because it produces so many memorable moments every year.
Ever since WWE started holding men's and women's Rumble matches each year, we have been treated to even more entertaining returns and encounters.
This PPV is also the beginning of the Road to WrestleMania because whoever wins the matches gets to challenge the champion of their choice at the biggest event of the year.
One thing this event is known for is big returns. Whether it's a special appearance from a legend, somebody coming back from an injury or someone returning to the company, these surprise appearances always create a lot of buzz.
Heading into this year's Rumble on January 31, there are several people who could not only make a comeback but also win the whole thing.
Let's take a look at seven men and women who could realistically defeat 29 other Superstars to earn a title shot.
If you have been following the ratings for WWE programming lately, you know the company needs something to create some hype for WrestleMania 37.
On Monday's WWE Raw, John Cena made a surprise appearance during a news segment hosted by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. He was just there to reveal a future PPV location, but his appearance is bound to get people talking.
The 43-year-old is still one of the most recognizable WWE Superstars in the world despite not competing since WrestleMania 36. His growing career in Hollywood has kept him in the limelight.
A surprise return and victory during the men's Rumble match would get people talking, which is exactly what WWE needs right now.
Cena already did this once in 2008 when he returned from a pectoral injury a few months ahead of schedule and won, so it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for him to do it again.
Maybe he can make a special entrance in a yellow Volkswagen Beetle?
The first time Ronda Rousey appeared in a WWE ring as a contracted Superstar was at the 2018 Royal Rumble PPV, so it would be poetic if she made her triumphant return at the same event three years later.
Rowdy Ronda hasn't been in action since WrestleMania 35 when she lost the Raw Women's Championship to Becky Lynch, so if she showed up at any time, it would be a genuine surprise.
The former UFC star was a somewhat controversial figure among fans. Many liked how she brought more attention to the blossoming women's division, but others were unhappy to see her dominate the roster so easily in most of her matches.
Regardless of what you think of Rousey, you can't deny how much buzz she would create by returning in the women's Rumble and winning the whole thing.
Rousey and WWE have been coy about when or if she will make a comeback, but that could just be so her arrival has a greater impact.
Brock Lesnar hasn't been seen since he lost the WWE Championship to Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 36. Since the Scot still has the title around his waist, The Beast Incarnate could be eyeing a return to reclaim what he feels is rightfully his.
The other option would be Lesnar winning the men's Royal Rumble and challenging Roman Reigns for the universal title, forcing Paul Heyman to choose between his two biggest clients.
Both options are worthy of being the main event of WrestleMania 37, but we have seen The Tribal Chief fight Lesnar enough times over the years. McIntyre is the better option.
Having him show up at No. 30 to win would get him a lot of heat, but if WWE wants him to be the babyface against a heel Reigns, he should enter first and last until the end.
Whenever a big event comes up, people speculate about Lesnar possibly returning. If he does come back, though, he will be an instant betting favorite.
Trish Stratus is one of the most popular women to ever step foot in a WWE ring and there is always speculation about a possible return.
Since The Boss is the current SmackDown women's champion, the quickest way for Stratus to earn a title shot would be to win the women's Royal Rumble. It wouldn't be the easiest way but nothing in pro wrestling is ever simple.
They had a showdown during the first women's Rumble three years ago, so WWE would have something to build this story from.
Stratus has the popularity and skill needed to prevent most of the WWE Universe from freaking out about a legend coming in and taking a spot from a current Superstar, so there is little downside in booking her to win the women's Rumble match.
When it comes to full-time Superstars who could make a surprise return, Seth Rollins is at the top of the list.
The Messiah took time off after Survivor Series in November ahead of the birth of his daughter with Becky Lynch on December 7, so he could return at any time.
It wouldn't matter if he returned as a babyface or heel because he would have great options for opponents with McIntyre and Reigns no matter what.
Even if you are not a huge Rollins fan, it's hard to deny how good he is between the ropes. He is one of those people with the conditioning needed to last from the beginning of the Rumble all the way until the end.
This is one of the most likely scenarios listed here because everybody expects him to return eventually. We don't know when, but it would be a nice surprise to see him arrive at the PPV.
Rhea Ripley has been ready to move on from NXT since before she faced Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 36, but for some reason, WWE has held off on moving her to Raw or SmackDown.
She continues to be one of the best performers on the black-and-gold brand whenever she makes an appearance. The only reason not to call her up would be if the company didn't feel it had the time to give her a proper push.
The last thing anyone wants to see is another NXT Superstar brought to the main roster and not given a proper push. It has happened in recent years with names such as Aleister Black, Apollo Crews and others.
Ripley is a main event star just waiting for her chance to shine. Winning the women's Royal Rumble match would instantly elevate her to the level she should have been at for the last year.
WWE doesn't have as many women as it does men, so it will probably have to use a handful of NXT stars to fill up the 30 spots. The Nightmare needs to be one of them.
'The Fiend' Bray Wyatt
During Monday's Raw, Randy Orton spoke about how Alexa Bliss burning his face with a fireball will not prevent him from competing in the men's Rumble match, so the seeds have been planted for The Fiend to return at the event.
The Viper seems more determined than ever to become the most decorated WWE champion in history. He may still be in a feud with Bray Wyatt and Bliss, but he also has his eyes focused on gold.
If WWE wants to reignite his feud with Orton (no pun intended), then having him spoil the 14-time world champion winning the men's Rumble would be a great way to put them back together.
What would be an even bigger kick in the pants for The Legend Killer is if The Fiend wins the whole thing and gets the title shot.
Orton could find some way to insert himself into the bout to make a Triple Threat with McIntyre. This would allow the WWE champion to retain his title while The Viper and The Fiend carry their feud beyond WrestleMania 37.