Samoa Joe, Kenny Omega Could Debut At The ‘Royal Rumble’

Aaron Sass

We’re now six days away from the Royal Rumble, which is one of the most highly anticipated WWE pay-per-views in quite some time. One of the reasons why people are so excited to see the show is because nobody really knows what’s going to happen in the Royal Rumble match, which will presumably be the main event.

Traditionally, we see three or four surprise entrants in each year’s Rumble match. These surprises can be returning legends, new signees, or longtime NXT stars who are making their main roster debut, and in this year’s match, we could see all three.

According to Cageside Seats, former NXT Champion Samoa Joe will make his main roster debut at the Royal Rumble as a surprise entrant. The news doesn’t come as much of a surprise because Joe has been absent from NXT television ever since losing an NXT Championship rematch against Shinsuke Nakamura.

Joe, who spent the majority of his pro wrestling career in TNA, has been down in WWE’s developmental system for roughly two years now, and a main roster call up is long overdue as he was ready to be called up from the moment that he debuted in NXT.

Samoa Joe in the Royal Rumble
[Image by WWE]

As of this writing, Sky Bet has Samoa Joe listed as the second most likely winner of the Royal Rumble match behind Monday Night Raw’s Braun Strowman. So that’s a pretty good indication that the 37-year-old will make his main roster debut on January 29.

Another big name that’s been rumored for the Royal Rumble is the now former New Japan Pro Wrestling star Kenny Omega, who is now a free agent. Originally, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Omega’s deal with New Japan won’t expire until January 31, but during a recent episode of The Taz Show, Omega said that isn’t the case.

“Last year we had Shinsuke Nakamura, Machine Gun, Gallows, and AJ Styles leave [for WWE]. At that point [New Japan] it really opened their eyes to saying ‘oh my god, we really have to keep these guys locked down and under contract,’ because normally the contracts expire on January 31. But because of that situation a lot of guys went under unique deals, and a lot of guys were signed immediately at that point, and their contract date started from either January 5, 6, or 7. A couple guys were under unique deals, and I was one of them. So it has essentially given me a time to be free. Right now I am free to make my own decisions, and I am accepting feelers, and I’m negotiating for the best scenario for me right now.”

Omega also went on to tell Taz that it wouldn’t take much to get him to sign with WWE, saying that all he wants is for them to pitch him good ideas, and he’ll be willing to come in.

Over the weekend, Omega seemingly dropped a major hint about his Royal Rumble status via an autograph. On Saturday, an Instagram user posted a photo of an autograph that he received from the now former New Japan star, and above the autograph he wrote “#30,” which many are thinking is his way of hinting that he’ll be the final entrant in the Royal Rumble. You can check out the post below.

Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena has also been teasing Omega’s debut on Instagram, as he’s posted two photos of him, both of which didn’t have a caption. He did the same thing with AJ Styles in January of last year, and Styles ended up debuting at the Royal Rumble.

[Featured Image by WWE]