The anticipation that has built toward the Raw 25 show that is set to go live on Monday for WWE is unparalleled. At no time in the WWE's history have more former WWE Superstars been rumored to return on one night. The list is growing daily and the WWE's bill to fly these performers in and out of New York must be astronomical. With all that said, is there a way WWE can save costs?
What I mean by that, is, WWE is bringing in all of these formers talents for a one-time appearance. Each likely has a return ticket after Monday comes and goes (with the exception of perhaps a select few who might appear in the Royal Rumble). Are there any returnees that might not need the second half of that flight itinerary?
We know that performers like Christian, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Scott Hall, and others aren't likely to stay. Their physical health just won't allow a full or even part-time return to the company. There are other names that likely aren't welcome. WWE is doing their best to let that past be the past, but in some cases, these wrestlers have a pretty bumpy history with the company, namely Vince McMahon.
But, among the many names confirmed for the show are talents who still offer something on a semi-regular basis to the professional wrestling industry. Many can wrestle, others have built a huge reputation in the blog and podcast community and some could offer value to the WWE in a number of capacities.
If we specifically look at a few names, would these former WWE talents still offer something of value to the WWE? Should the company consider canceling their return flight and simply ask them to stick around?
5. Trish Stratus
She's in better shape than she's ever been and could, without a doubt, hang with the women of today's WWE during the Women's Revolution. Stratus was hugely popular at a time the company was about sex appeal and bra and panties matches, but she also set herself apart in matches with the likes of Lita and others who were talented wrestlers.
Stratus would bring a huge boost to the Women's Division of either brand and she's definitely worth keeping around for the Royal Rumble.
4. Bruce Prichard
Even though he'll likely show up as Brother Love, he doesn't really offer the company value in that perspective. Where he could be a huge asset is his knowledge of the WWE, producing shows, ability to tell a story and character progression.
Prichard is insanely popular with the Something to Wrestle With podcast right now and there may not be many returning Superstars who have more of a buzz around their return than he does.
He was just announced as returning for Monday's show and he's one of the latest and least likely talents you'd want to form the show around but that doesn't mean he can't offer some use as a full-time performer again.
There were rumors at one time he'd be returning when the WWE did their brand split but it turned out those rumors were false. He recently had runs in NJPW and Impact Wrestling and he could be of use again, much like Shelton Benjamin is now.
X-Pac has a history unlike anyone in the WWE. He's loved and hated but the one thing we can't deny is how good he looks right now. He's in arguably the best shape of his life and could be a big draw for 205 Live, despite his age.
The WWE Cruiserweight Division lacks true star power and even if on a one-year deal, X-Pac could offer some interesting storylines, especially if you were to put him up against Enzo Amore. Amore would have a field day teeing off on X-Pac and it would be fun to watch.
1. Jim Ross
Call-for-call, Jim Ross is still one of the best announcers in the business and he deserves to have a bit larger role in WWE broadcasts than he currently does. One can make an argument that he should replace Booker T who has made a mockery out the Raw announcer's job.
Who wouldn't want Good Ol' J.R. back on a more regular basis? Considering his expanded role in NJPW, it might also be beneficial for WWE to play a little dirty when it comes to one of their competitors.
There are a number of other candidates as well. From many of the women returning to some of the most popular male Superstars of Raw's past. The WWE should enjoy the moment of all these talents being the same place and the same time, but perhaps it would make good business sense for them to consider keeping a few names around.