10 Potential Royal Rumble Surprises (2024 Royal Rumble)

1/2/2024 11:54 AM

By using this website, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information. 🍪

10 Potential Royal Rumble Surprises (2024 Royal Rumble)

10 Potential Royal Rumble Surprises (2024 Royal Rumble)

January 2, 2024 11:54 AM
10 Potential Royal Rumble Surprises (2024 Royal Rumble)

The 2024 Royal Rumble is almost here, and as always, fans are expecting numerous surprises for the show...

The Royal Rumble is typically the match in which legends from the past, and even wrestlers from other wrestling companies make shocking appearances, and these cameos end up becoming the talk of the wrestling world.

So, with that being said, let’s examine 10 potential surprises for the 2024 Royal Rumble match.

10: Abyss

TNA legend Abyss has been with WWE for several years now, working as a backstage producer. Abyss’ work in this role has received widespread praise, and Abyss is widely regarded as one of the best producers in the entire company.

Every year since Abyss signed with WWE, there has been a push from fans to see Abyss make a cameo in a Royal Rumble match. Abyss was briefly an on-air character as Joseph Park in 2020, yet this never really went anywhere.

Could 2024 finally be the year in which The Monster finally appears in a WWE match? It would be great to see, and it doesn’t matter if the appearance is as Abyss or as Joseph Park, it would be wonderful for newer WWE fans to see how gifted in the ring Abyss truly is.

9: Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar has been absent from WWE TV since his loss to Cody Rhodes at SummerSlam in 2023. This was the match in which saw Lesnar go off script to embrace Rhodes, and seemingly turn babyface. Lesnar is still firmly with WWE and is expected to be involved in the WrestleMania 40 build in some capacity.

One match that fans firmly have their eyes on for Lesnar at WrestleMania is a showdown with Gunther. This is considered a dream match by many, and WrestleMania 40 seems like the most probable place that WWE will deliver the matchup.

Lesnar making a surprise return in the Rumble and confronting Gunther could be the perfect way to set the match up. Having Gunther eliminate Lesnar or vice versa, would plant the seeds ahead of WrestleMania, and it would wet the appetite of the fans ahead of a potential collision on the grandest stage.

8: Chris Masters

For the past several years, Chris Masters has been teasing that he could potentially be a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble match.

Whilst Masters wasn’t exactly the biggest star in the world during his time in WWE, fans will no doubt fondly remember his character, and the reaction if his music hits on January 27, 2024, may surprise fans, as Masters could receive a thunderous pop.

Masters had a solid gimmick, and seeing his iconic entrance again would be a delight.

It appears that The Masterpiece has managed to keep a solid relationship with WWE, which is a positive sign, and you never know, Masters making a surprise return at the Rumble could open the door for one final run in the company.

7: Corey Graves

When Corey Graves revealed that it would be possible for him to compete in the ring again, fans instantly began to imagine Graves taking part in the Royal Rumble match.

Whilst this has yet to happen, Graves revealed in late 2023 during an interview with Steelers Takeaways, that he would like to return to the ring for a one-off appearance:

"The transition in a weird way saved me from what could have been. Instead of grieving over the loss of my dream as an in-ring performer, it gave me something new to focus my energy on while staying in the business. I found a new mountain to climb. In hindsight it really helped me deal with that loss. I have a clean bill of health now, thanks. I actually got medically cleared a couple of years ago to perform in the ring again. I flirted with the idea and am waiting for a potential opportunity if it presents itself. More of a one-time ting like McAfee has done – not as a full-time in-ring performer…”

The Rumble therefore could be Graves’ perfect opportunity to return to the ring, and seeing the former NXT Tag Team Champion compete with modern talent such as LA Knight, Cody Rhodes, and Gunther would make for an interesting visual to say the very least.

6: Wade Barrett

Since becoming a full-time commentator in WWE, Wade Barrett has ascended to become one of the most popular commentators in recent memory.

Barrett is constantly improving his craft, and it’s apparent that Barrett has a long career ahead of him at the announcer’s table.

Despite Barrett’s success as an announcer, there continues to be rumours that Barrett could potentially return to the ring for one more run.

Barrett has never directly ruled this out, in-fact he has said that he still trains regularly, so a Rumble appearance wouldn’t be unrealistic.

If WWE were going to book Barrett as a surprise for the 2024 Rumble, one way WWE could deliver it, might be by having Barrett’s music hit whilst he’s delivering commentary.

In an epic moment, Barrett could get up from the commentary desk, enter the match, and take everyone in the match to Bullhammer City.

5: Zack Ryder

When Zack Ryder departed WWE, Ryder immediately picked himself up, and decided to make a name for himself on the independent scene.

Ryder, who now uses his real name, Matt Cardona has become a mega-star outside of the WWE bubble, and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Ryder finds himself back in WWE sooner rather than later.

A Rumble return could be the perfect re-introduction to Ryder, who has evolved into a completely different animal since his last WWE run.

Appearing on Fightful’s The Hump, the former Intercontinental Champion discussed what it would take for him to return to WWE, and as always, Ryder had a smart and savvy answer:

“Listen, if I get a phone call right now, of course I’d pick it up and we’d have a conversation. I’d be lying if I said I never wanted to wrestle at Madison Square Garden again or wrestle at WrestleMania again, but for right now, I’m having the time of my life, I’m having so much fun, I’m making so much money.”
“What would it take? Cash and creative, you know? There’s no guarantees in wrestling, but I’d need some intention, you know what I’m saying? I don’t just want to be another guy on the roster, been there and done that, and nothing against that, but I did that. I’m over it…”

4: X-Pac

In September 2023, X-Pac revealed during an interview with Chris Van Vliet, that he would be able to take part in a Royal Rumble matchup.

This is an exciting concept, as X-Pac as a surprise entrant would be incredibly special, especially because his WWE appearances have been limited, and X-Pac hasn’t wrestled a featured match for the company since the year 2002.

An X-Pac Rumble appearance seems like a possibility, especially when you consider that X-Pac’s long-time friend, Triple H is running WWE, and will be in charge of any surprise entrants.

One of the criticisms directed towards surprise entrants in recent years is that WWE have booked names the fans have seen before.

X-Pac being a surprise entrant would offer something completely new, and there will even be a selection of fans in attendance, as well as watching at home that have never watched X-Pac in the ring.

3: AJ Lee

When CM Punk made his shocking return to WWE in late 2023, fans instantly began to fantasy book a WWE return for AJ Lee.

AJ during her first run in WWE became one of the most popular female talents ever, and she also became a legitimate draw, with her segments often becoming the highest rated segment of the respective show.

AJ retired in 2015, due to a neck issue, and in 2022, AJ described a potential return to the ring as “one step at a time”, implying that it is something AJ has considered.

In recent years, names such as Edge, Saraya, and Bryan Danielson have all managed to wrestle again following neck injuries, and hopefully, the same goes for AJ.

It wouldn’t be too drastic to say that AJ’s theme hitting in the women’s Rumble would send everyone into a frenzy, and the possibility of seeing AJ across the ring from modern-greats such as Becky Lynch, Bayley and Bianca Belair could be a moment that fans never forget.

2: Stone Cold Steve Austin

The wrestling world was stunned in 2023, when it was reported that WWE had pitched numerous matches for WrestleMania 39 for the legendary, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Austin was pitched matches with both Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, yet he turned both of these down.

Reports and rumblings of Austin wrestling again picked up in late 2023, when it was reported that WWE believed that Austin vs. CM Punk was a genuine possibility.

It looks like WWE are moving forward with a Punk vs. Seth Rollins program for WrestleMania 40, yet this doesn’t mean that Austin won’t be involved in the show.

If Austin has agreed to work WrestleMania 40, a Rumble appearance may be the best way to plant the seeds for his future program.

There are so many options for Austin to face at WrestleMania in April. 1 vs. 1 matches with the likes of Lesnar, LA Knight, and even Randy Orton, are all considered dream matches that would lead to extensive interest from the casual audience heading into WrestleMania in Philadelphia.  

1: The Rock

Is it finally time for The Rock to take on Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 40? Well, The Rock hasn’t ruled the match out, and according to The Great One himself, it almost happened at WrestleMania 39.

If WWE is moving forward with the dream match, then The Rock will no doubt have to play a part in the Royal Rumble match. The Rock simply showing up and challenging Reigns would work for a Premium Live Event such as SummerSlam, but this is WrestleMania, where the title opportunities are earned, either in the Rumble itself, or in the Elimination Chamber match.

The Rock returning in the Rumble would receive an earth-shattering reaction, yet there are so many solid options for the 2024 Rumble winner, including CM Punk and Cody Rhodes, that WWE may question if The Rock winning is the right move for the direction of the company.

Whatever WWE has planned for the annual matchup, one thing is clear, the 2024 Rumble may be one of the most interesting and unpredictable WWE events of the past decade.