Surprise Entrants Who Could Actually Win 2022 WWE Royal Rumble Matches

Philip LindseyContributor IIJanuary 12, 2022

Surprise Entrants Who Could Actually Win 2022 WWE Royal Rumble Matches

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    January is possibly the most exciting month in professional wrestling, as many storylines start to heat up ahead of WrestleMania season. As such, the road to WWE's biggest pay-per-view event of the year begins with Royal Rumble.

    The annual show, which hosts the iconic stipulation match, will take place on Jan. 29 at The Dome at America's Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Anticipation for this year's event has increased since WWE announced 19 of the entrants for the women's Royal Rumble match.

    The star-studded list of participants includes SmackDown women's champion Charlotte Flair, The Bella Twins, Lita, Michelle McCool and Summer Rae. However, Mickie James quickly became the most talked-about name on the list. The company revealed she would return to compete in the Rumble on the latest episode of the blue brand.

    This came as a shock to most fans because WWE controversially released the current Impact Knockouts champion last April. There haven't been many Superstars announced for the men's match, but it feels like anything could happen at this point.

    A big return could even offer a satisfying twist. Here are four surprise entrants who could actually win the 2022 Royal Rumble matches.


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    Asuka hasn't appeared on WWE programming since Money in the Bank on July 18, 2021. In fact, she remains a free agent as she didn't take part in the most recent draft.

    The Empress of Tomorrow took some time off to repair dislodged teeth and what appeared to be an arm injury. Shayna Bazsler inadvertently knocked her teeth out on the Feb. 22 episode of Raw, but the Japanese Superstar wasn't able to replace them until six months later.

    When the inaugural women's Royal Rumble winner took to Twitter to show her new smile in August, she was also sporting an arm brace.

    It's unclear if Asuka cleared to compete but The Dome at America's Center would be the perfect destination for her return to the ring.

    The second women's grand slam champion could also win the women's Rumble match given her storied rivalries with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, and her unfinished business with Big Time Becks would make for an intriguing WrestleMania 38 matchup.


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    During the pandemic era, Bayley blossomed into one of the best heels on the roster. Unfortunately, the longest reigning SmackDown women's champion sustained an ACL injury before live crowds returned to WWE shows.

    It's hard to imagine, but The Role Model hasn't wrestled in front of a live audience in nearly two years. If anyone deserved a chance to enjoy the fruits of her labor after she excelled in empty arenas, it was the precocious host of "Ding Dong, Hello!"

    Sadly, her estimated recovery time is nine months, which means Bayley is unlikely to return before WrestleMania. Still, an appearance in the women's Rumble match would undoubtedly receive the type of memorable reaction that the event has played host to in the past.

    Even more, the San Jose native would make a great option for a high-profile feud at The Showcase of the Immortals. After all, she didn't have a match on last year's card despite enjoying a strong run on SmackDown.

The Rock

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    Let's just get this one out of the way. There has been so much speculation around The Rock's return to WWE and a potential match with Roman Reigns that his absence became a major talking point during the 25th anniversary of his debut for the company in November.

    However, it always seemed far-fetched to assume The Great One could make time in his busy schedule to make his way back to the ring. A WrestleMania matchup with The Tribal Chief could still happen, but 2023 seems much more likely as the event will take place in Hollywood.

    Reigns is also still in the middle of a feud with Brock Lesnar, which will probably headline The Show of Shows in April. Nevertheless, The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment would make an incredible surprise entrant for the men's Rumble match.

    It's probably unwise to expect him to make an appearance, but the third-generation star would be a welcome surprise. Securing his second Rumble win would also be an excellent way to build toward an encounter with The Head of the Table.


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    WALTER is finishing up his time with NXT UK and heading to the United States. So, the Austrian wrestler seems like a much more plausible entrant than The Rock.

    During last week's episode of NXT UK, the commentary team seemed to indicate that the brand's most dominant champion will join NXT 2.0. This would make sense because Imperium currently holds the tag titles and The Ring General recently joined them in a six-man tag team match at New Year's Evil.

    The 34-year-old could also make his Royal Rumble debut, though. This would be a fitting way to redeem his early exit as the first elimination in the five-on-five-on-five men's Survivor Series match in 2019.

    Moreover, WALTER vs. Brock Lesnar is a dream match worthy of a big stage like WrestleMania 38. The longest-reigning NXT UK champion would also make a convincing contender for the Universal Championship.

    As stated earlier, Reigns vs. Lesnar seems like the most likely destination after months of storytelling on SmackDown. However, the leader of Imperium could easily enter and win the 2022 men's Rumble match and deliver a tremendous contest as a future main eventer.