The Royal Rumble is almost upon us. One of the biggest events on the WWE calendar and the pay per view that marks the start of the Road to WrestleMania. This year the event is bigger than ever before as there will be two Royal Rumble matches, one for the men and for the first time ever one for the women. Aside from there being twice as much Rumble, one of the things that makes this Sunday's event so exciting is how hard it is to pick a winner in both 30 person matches. Nothing makes a Royal Rumble worse than knowing who is going to win heading into the thing. Aside from an unpredictable winner the other thing that makes a Royal Rumble match great is its surprise entrants.
This Sunday night that clock counting down to the next entrant will be thrown up on the titantron a massive 56 times. You only have to look at the last couple of Rumbles to know how well an unexpected entrant coming through the curtain is received. Bubba Ray Dudley's return during the 2015 match got the loudest reaction of the entire night, and the entry of AJ Styles at number three had the WWE Universe's collective jaw on the floor. The question is who will be shocking us this year by showing up in the Royal Rumble matches on both the male and female side of things.
As it stands almost half the spots in the men's Royal Rumble match are still up for grabs, 13 of them to be exact. All three members of The New Day will be in the match, so you can expect some acrobatics from Kofi Kingston, and the likes of John Cena, Finn Balor, and Shinsuke Nakamura will be joining them. What returning legends could we see though? One man who may show his face is Batista. Although his return and eventual win in the 2014 Royal Rumble was something of a disaster, The Animal has expressed his desire to return to the ring for one last run. Plus following the successful movie star he has become in the past few years, the reaction to his return would likely be a lot more favorable this time around.
There are a few other names that we are a lot less likely to see return on Sunday night, although the chance is still there. The Undertaker didn't retire on Monday like some would have expected him to, and perhaps that long awaited match between him and Cena will begin its build inside the 30 man bout. There is also the question still hanging over us regarding Daniel Bryan's career. Will he wrestle again for WWE? Could he be in the Rumble on Sunday? If he is then he had better win or else there could be riots on the streets of Philadelphia, and not the fun ones like there were last weekend with the Eagles. Then, as always there is the extremely unlikely chance of a CM Punk return. Never give up hope right?
While there will be the odd surprise in the men's Rumble, what's more exciting is how many returning names there will likely be in the women's equivalent. Even with every single, fully fit female who is not currently holding a championship on Raw and SmackDown Live entering the match that still leaves 12 spots available for other stars. Some of those spots will likely be filled by NXT stars, but you can rest assured there will be some legends too. The list of potential comebacks is as long as your arm. Trish Stratus, Lita, Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, those are just a few of the names that could feature in the landmark match for WWE's females. They all played a part in getting the women's division to where it is today so they all deserve to reap some of the rewards.
Regardless of who comes back for this weekend's Royal Rumble matches, all most fans will be asking for is that we don't finish watching the show feeling disappointed. It has happened all too often in recent years from the infamous Roman Reigns win to the aforementioned Batista victory back in 2014. All that we as fans ask is WWE give us a Royal Rumble PPV to remember. They are already halfway there by making it almost impossible to call who is going to win the respective matches. Make the first ever women's Royal Rumble one that will never be forgotten and give us an unexpected winner in the men's match who we can get behind and root for on the Road to WrestleMania. All of that plus some great surprises and we could be in for the greatest Royal Rumble ever.