The beauty of the wubter is seeing WrestleMania storylines slowly build in front of our eyes. What makes things even better is the various websites that love to speculate what matches are in the works and who is set to return for the biggest show of the year. Right around this time, talks begin to intensify.
The best part of WrestleMania to the common fan is seeing some of their favorite Superstars return for one night only, giving them a warm feeling of nostalgia. The WWE loves to use this concept and it seems like there at it every year, whether it be through a returning wrestler or a nostalgic segment like we saw last year with HBK, Austin and Foley reuniting or The Rock oddly torching his name on fire. Even if these moments are cheesy, we still appreciate the nostalgic feeling we get and look past the little things.
This year, like every other year, the rumor mill is full of names that might return with either a cameo or a match. Goldberg is pretty much confirmed for a return to the show after more than a decade without wrestling on the giant platform. In this article, we’ll take a look at some other rumored named we’d love to see return at WrestleMania 33, whether it be as a wrestler or even in a non-wrestling role. Enjoy the article and as always, let us know your thoughts and who you’d love to see back in a WWE ring at this year’s WrestleMania!
15 The Hardy Boyz
It’s hard to believe that Matt Hardy has been gone from the WWE since 2010. It’s even more perplexing to take note that his brother Jeff hasn’t been seen inside a WWE ring since 2009. I think we can all agree that a Hardy Boyz reunion is long overdue.
Give the brothers credit, as they didn’t drag their feet outside of the WWE. Instead, they managed to reach new heights in what was supposed to be the twilight of their respective careers. Jeff has completely altered his persona into Brother Nero, while Matt is enjoying the greatest run of his career as Broken Matt, changing everything from his appearance to the way he speaks.
According to various rumors, Triple H has taken note of Matt’s work and with the two hitting the free agency soon, many think the WWE can bring them back ASAP. If so, there isn’t a better time than WrestleMania 33.
14 Trish Stratus
The current state of the women’s divison is hotter than ever. The talent pool is stacked on both brands, which has made room for several storylines to run at once. With Charlotte penciled in to take on Bayley at WrestleMania 33, the rumor mill is slowly running rampant with the possibility of Trish taking on Sasha Banks in another women’s WrestleMania bout.
In a recent interview, Trish did admit she’d be interested in taking on Sasha. Stratus claimed that fans would always ask her to return, but a specific opponent didn’t intrigue Trish enough to come out of retirement; until now that is. A match of this magnitude would be fantastic for the division, as it would also help Sasha turn heel again, something she desperately needs. The match can steal the show at WrestleMania 33 and fans hope that this can somehow become a reality in the upcoming weeks.
13 Donald Trump
This one seems to a little out there, but what a sight it would be to have the most powerful man in America attend WrestleMania. In terms of exposure for the WWE, it would be absolutely huge. See what we did there?
Trump has maintained a close connection with Vince McMahon throughout the years, as both share a ruthless 'in your face' business style. The connection proved to be very strong when Trump hired McMahon’s wife Linda to serve as the Administrator of the Small Business Administration in his cabinet.
The connection shouldn’t be too surprising, Trump hosted several WrestleMania events at Trump Plaza and he even appeared at multiple WrestleMania’s. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. With all this mind, don’t be too surprised if Trump decides to show up at another Mania sooner or later.
12 Jim Ross
Since his departure, WWE's commentary booth just hasn’t been the same. No disrespect to Michael Cole, who’s been with the WWE since the 90s, but he's not in the same realm as Jim Ross. Had it not been for Ross, many classic Stone Cold moments would have been just moments without his iconic voice in the background.
With that said, we’d love to see Ross return in some capacity. We’ve seen the legendary commentator on WWE television several times in the past, but strictly as a fan like in his recent appearance at NXT: TakeOver Toronto, sitting ringside for the action. I think we can all agree that JR commentating a match at WrestleMania would only add to the nostalgia on a night that loves to live in the past. A WrestleMania 33 return would be welcomed by all!
11 Rey Mysterio
Looking back at WrestleMania moments, Rey Mysterio was at the forefront of some epic victories on The Grandest Stage of Them All throughout his career. His biggest victory came at WrestleMania 22 when Mysterio was regarded as the ultimate underdog in a Triple Threat World Title match that featured himself, the champion Kurt Angle and Randy Orton. In a shocking WM moment, Rey won the match and escaped WrestleMania as the champion, in one of the more ionic moments in the show’s history.
In this case, a return would be best served for something else aside from a World Championship. With the Cruiserweight Championship coming back to the WWE, you can’t help but think of the value Mysterio would add to the division. Looking at possibilities involving Rey and Cruiserweights, your heart starts to race a little quicker. Without a doubt, we’d all love to see Mysterio take part in some type of Cruiserweight action at WrestleMania 33.
It's been weird to see the decline of Paige over the last couple of years in the WWE. Paige went from being in the only women’s match on the card at WrestleMania 31 to getting thrown into a 10-Diva Tag Team match on the pre-show of last year’s Mania. Fast-forward to a year later and things have somehow gotten worse, with no sign of Paige returning anytime soon.
2017 is a new year and, for a lot of wrestlers, a new beginning. Looking at the entire locker room, that statement is valid for Paige more than anybody else. A return at WrestleMania would help bolster her credibility again. With so much depth in the division, Paige can easily feud with various women on the Raw roster, which includes Bayley, Nia Jax, Sasha Banks and Charlotte. Either way, we hope Paige returns soon and WrestleMania 33 would seem pretty darn fitting.
9 Stone Cold Steve Austin
Despite our willingness to see Steve Austin compete in one more match, he’s made it crystal clear that his wrestling days are behind him. Austin is content with the legacy he left behind and has no intent of ever stepping foot in the ring as an active performer again.
Despite that, we still want to see the Texas Rattlesnake return in some capacity, even if it is a cheesy segment backstage or an in-ring promo. Either way, just hearing that glass shatter is worth the price of admission, as for long time wrestling fans, there’s no better feeling of nostalgia than hearing that glass break as Steve stomps his way to the ring. Even if he doesn’t wrestle, fans want to see Austin return at WrestleMania 33.
8 Samoa Joe
We're going to throw in a couple of curveballs with some NXT flavor in the next two entries. We'll start with the former NXT Champion, Samoa Joe.
Many fans were shocked to see Joe debut with NXT on May 20th, 2015. Looking at his legacy around the indie scene, surely, you thought he make the jump to the main roster right away, but that was not the plan. Thanks to Joe’s contributions, he’s managed to help the NXT brand by adding a credible heel into the mix, as he’s feuded with the likes of Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura. Without Joe, they might've struggled to find suitable opponents for the two.
What’s done is done and it’s now time to give Joe that long overdue call up that everyone’s been waiting for. Whether he joins Raw or SmackDown doesn’t really matter, what does matter is that he finally get a chance to perform with the big dogs in the WWE. With WrestleMania around the corner, there isn’t a better time for Joe to debut. Looking at his body of work in the company so far, he deserves a big moment and WrestleMania 33 is the perfect platform to do so.
7 Shinsuke Nakamura
Speaking of overdue call-ups, we now turn our attention to Shinsuke Nakamura. Looking at his talent and charisma, The King of Strong Style has no business staying in NXT and should be main eventing with the biggest stars of the company, which includes his long time buddy A.J. Styles and his other friends, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.
Without a doubt, Triple H is keeping Nakamura down in NXT to add credibility to the show. However, this doesn’t mean he should only stay in NXT. Sami Zayn did it last year, when he competed in back-to-back events going toe-to-toe with Shinsuke Nakamura and performing in the IC Title ladder match the very next night at WrestleMania. If need be, Nakamura can work a similar schedule. At the end of the day, his talents need to be showcased on a big stage and there’s no better one than WrestleMania 33.
6 The Young Bucks
This list would not be complete without some indie flavor. In order to fulfill this,we decided to take a look at the best tag team in the world, The Young Bucks.
Let’s face facts, WWE's Tag Division is still issues with depth. The women’s project has thrived, but the Tag Division remains inconsistent in terms of teams and booking credibility. The division needs some established faces and there’s no better ones than The Young Bucks.
You’d have to believe they’d skip NXT entirely and join the main roster ASAP. Can you image the team mixing it up on The Grandest Stage of Them All and helping to reboot the struggling tag team scene? I think we can all agree, that’s something we’d love to see at WrestleMania 33!
5 Finn Balor
We now switch our focus for this entry and look at the injured reserve list, which features the WWE’s hottest commodity, Finn Balor.
2016 was a huge year for The Demon, as the WWE booked him dominantly on the Raw brand, having him defeat the likes of Roman Reigns and going over Seth Rollins at SummerSlam to claim the WWE Universal Championship. Sadly, his big push came to an end when Finn was forced to relinquish the title due to an injury.
He’s been out for a while and the rumor mill is now starting stir with the possibility of Balor returning at the Royal Rumble. With that in mind, you can’t help but think how great it would be to see Finn highlight WrestleMania with another big victory in front of that thunderous crowd. We can all agree that his return would only help the WrestleMania 33 program.
4 Hulk Hogan
July 24th, 2015, was a shocking day for long time wrestling fans, as the WWE announced Hulk Hogan’s release from the company due to racist remarks he had made which were caught on tape.
As bad as those comments were, it’s hard to believe the WWE would throw out those lasting memories forever. With that said, as WrestleMania looms, his possible return also continues to emerge, as several wrestling websites are talking more and more his potential return. Recently, at a WWE Live Event, Curtis Axel brought back the Axelmania gimmick, which is leading fans to believe Hulk might not be far behind. He had dropped the character following Hogan’s abrupt exit, but he’s now back at it with the parody gimmick.
Whatever it means, it’s definitely a good sign that the company is finally openly talking about Hogan. You can’t think of a better place for Hulk to return than at the stage he pretty much built, WrestleMania.
3 Shawn Michaels
Like Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels has expressed time and time again that he’s okay with being retired and that he’s enjoying his time away from the ring. However, fans aren’t buying it and it seems like every time WrestleMania rolls around, HBK’s name is at the center of the rumor mill for a possible return.
Rightfully so, as he is Mr. WrestleMania and you can't blame fans for discussing his possible return. He appeared last year in his full attire, looking to be in the best shape of his life and all that cameo did was increase the speculation on his possible in-ring return.
Even if he doesn’t appear as a wrestler, we’d still love to see Shawn at WM 33. Seeing The Showstopper never gets old and he’ll only add to the prestige of the event with his presence.
2 Daniel Bryan (In-Ring Return)
In terms of iconic WrestleMania moments in the last decade, it's hard to find anything that was better than Bryan’s triumphant victory at WrestleMania XXX. Bryan holding the titles at the end of the show was one of the best moments in WWE history.
Since that moment, things have gone south for Bryan. He struggled with various injuries and was forced into a devastating retirement in 2016. He’s comeback since the announcement, working as SmackDown Live’s General Manager, but we can all agree we’d rather see him in the ring doing what he does best.
An in-ring return at WM 33 would certainly bring the house down. With Bryan feuding with The Miz since the brand extension, his in-ring return still seems like a real possibility. In terms of returns we’d love to see, Bryan finishes in the top two on most fantasy lists.
1 Kurt Angle
Regarded as one of the greatest of all-time, it’s hard to believe that Angle’s last WrestleMania appearance was at WM 22. Over a decade later, he still hasn’t appeared at the show.
What made Angle so special is that, like Shawn Michaels, he had the ability to steal a show from any part of the card. WrestleMania highlighted that quality, with Angle putting on five star matches every time he was featured on the show. Looking at WWE’s depth today, you wouldn’t doubt that Angle could still pull that off with someone like Rusev.
No matter what the role or match, fans want to see Angle back in a WWE a ring and the best time to have him compete is at WrestleMania 33. If the WWE wants to make the event special, bring back Kurt!