The amount of rumors and speculation coming into and surrounding this week of WWE action is perhaps unparalleled. Between Raw 25 and the Royal Rumble, pro-wrestling news has been nothing but guesses and ideas as to how Monday's 25th Anniversary show is going to go, who will be there and how they'll be involved.
Names that are no longer able to show are starting to pop up and names that weren't confirmed prior to are being confirmed now. There's no telling how much actual wrestling with current WWE Superstars will take place or how much of the two Royal Rumble matches will be filled by current roster talents, but, in a way, that's what makes this all the more fun.
Here are your biggest WWE rumors this week.
It's difficult to say if Goldberg was added to the Hall of Fame earlier than some might have expected but there was talk New Japan Pro Wrestling was interested in offering Goldberg a run with the company before he was set to headline this year's WWE Hall of Fame class. With the way NJPW has come on strong in the last year, it's not surprising WWE didn't want to give their rival promotion another way of gaining ground in North America.
It could mean that a program is in the works for Goldberg to return to the ring for WWE if he was thinking about doing so for NJPW.
EC3 (Ethan Carter) has a free schedule to join the WWE at any time. What's interesting about this is that he was set to wrestle for a smaller indie promotion on January 28th but has canceled that appearance leading to speculation he'll show up in the Royal Rumble.
Rockstar Spudd is also rumored to be joining WWE right away and the two are often linked. Spudd posted a tweet with a picture of he and EC3 suggesting there is a lot of WWE to take over. The two might debut as a unit.
Reports are some of the bigger names not yet listed to be at Raw 25 are not going to make it. Edge, Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, Batista and Rey Mysterio have all either said they are not coming or nothing has been mentioned of them being at the show. Kevin Nash has also noted he now can't make it due to travel issues with a knee that is recovering from surgery.
Those are some pretty big icons that were a huge part of Raw over the years now not attending. The Rock is rumored to join the WWE via satellite but not be there in person.
Amazingly, oddsmakers have jumped Daniel Bryan from 160/1 to 10/1 odds of winning the Royal Rumble despite there being no evidence to suggest he's actually entering the match. That makes things interesting and since he'd said in a recent interview that if he didn't wrestle by WrestleMania 34, he likely never would. That's giving the impression he might actually be more healthy than anyone has mentioned.
The actual favorite by oddsmakers to win the Rumble is Shinsuke Nakamura.
There is some outside speculation that CM Punk might return to wrestling and despite the Raw 25 show and Royal Rumble being the perfect setting for a surprise return, if Punk does come back, it won't be with WWE. Instead, rumors are that he might be a part of Cody Rhodes self-funded show called All-In that is taking place in Chicago.
Punk wouldn't even need to wrestle on the card for his appearance to be hugely impactful and hurt WWE in a major way. All he'd need to do is show up and that has Punk intrigued since he's rumored to be looking for a way to stick it to Vince McMahon.
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