A former WWE superstar could be back for the Royal Rumble although there are other things in the mix that could lead to those plans changing.
It’s the end of 2022, which means it’s the time of year when the rumors really crank up as far as major WWE shows like Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.
One of the biggest stories in wrestling these days is about Sasha Banks expected to appear at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4th. It has been reported that while Banks came close to a deal to return to WWE, they were apparently far apart on money, so for now she’s not likely to return to WWE soon.
Banks, using her real name Mercedes Varnado, is expected to work with current NJPW Women’s Champion Kairi, who is also in the news as far as a potential WWE return, at least for one night.
While writing about the Sasha Banks story, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter mentioned the possibility of Kairi being in WWE’s Royal Rumble match on January 28th in San Antonio.
“An interesting part of that story is that it had been rumored Kairi would be in this year’s Royal Rumble, but those rumors were prior to the decision changing with her getting the IWGP women’s title, which could change the dynamic.”
As Meltzer noted, things could change due to Kairi holding the IWGP Women’s Title, so NJPW may not want her in the Royal Rumble match if she is booked poorly.
A WWE-contracted superstar, Karl Anderson, is working the NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 event on January 14th since he’s the Never Openweight Champion. That was agreed upon before Anderson re-signed with WWE several months ago.
Kairi Sane worked for WWE in 2017 and had a lot of success during her three-year run in the company including winning the Women’s Tag Team Titles with Asuka. In July 2020, Kairi Sane left WWE to return to her home country of Japan. After her WWE deal expired in December 2021, she started wrestling again for companies like Stardom and NJPW.
At the 2022 Royal Rumble, WWE opened the proverbial “forbidden door” when Mickie James entered the Royal Rumble match while she was the Knockouts Champion in Impact Wrestling. Since Mickie is a former six-time Women’s Champion in WWE, the fans were very familiar and she got a huge ovation for her entrance in the match.
As is the case every year when WWE does a Royal Rumble event, there will be a lot of rumors about possible entrants. Sometimes they come to fruition and other times they do not.