The WWE Royal Rumble is expected to have many surprises, but the WWE Universe could be blown away by Rey Mysterio’s unexpected return to WWE during the Royal Rumble match on Sunday. There is a lot of speculation about what WWE officials have in store for the match because a few NXT superstars are likely to make their debuts on the main roster, but Rey Mysterio returning to WWE would be something else.
The last time Rey Mysterio was seen on WWE programming was during the post-Wrestlemania 30 edition of Monday Night Raw. He lost to Bad News Barrett and then took an extended hiatus from WWE television until his contract with WWE finally expired on February 26, 2015. Since then, he’s been wrestling for AAA and for Lucha Underground because he prefers the style of Lucha Libre in those promotions to WWE’s style of wrestling.
Rey Mysterio has found some great success outside of WWE over the past two years, which includes helping Lucha Underground reach new heights. However, it was reported when some new rumors began to circulate about a possible return for Mysterio around Wrestlemania 32 that he would be unavailable for the grandest stage of them all, but would likely make a return to WWE after his commitments to Lucha Underground were up.
According to a recent report, Rey Mysterio’s contract with Lucha Underground has reportedly expired. The WWE Universe was aware that his contract would be set to expire at some time in 2017 because it killed the rumor that Mysterio could return for Wrestlemania 32 or WWE Summerslam last year. Just because Rey’s not under a deal with another promotion doesn’t mean he’s a lock for the WWE Royal Rumble on Sunday.
However, it’s been teased by Konnan on his podcast that Mysterio could be one of the thirty participants in the Royal Rumble match. Nothing is confirmed, but it is plausible for the former WWE World Champion could return at the PPV. Even if he does make his WWE return, there is no way to know if he would be back for good, be under a WWE Legends deal, or be there for a one-off appearance for a fun surprise on Sunday.
A big factor that may determine if we see Rey Mysterio inside a WWE ring again is his health. He has a long list of injuries throughout his career and especially during his 13 years working with WWE. During the latter part of his WWE career, he was consistently injured, which hurt his momentum. He’s been healthy for the past few years, but Lucha Underground’s schedule has also been easy on him because of his star power.
It would be very interesting to see how Rey Mysterio fits into WWE’s roster in the present day. On paper, he could fill the role that WWE was trying to fill with Alberto Del Rio before his release last year. WWE has not been able to replace Mysterio’s appeal and marketability with the Latino audience since he left, so bringing him back to the company would make a lot of sense for WWE officials, especially on a limited schedule.
There is a bunch of new talent for him to work with on Raw or SmackDown. For instance, Mysterio and AJ Styles were able to have a dream match last year before the latter debuted with WWE. Rather than have it be a one-time thing, the WWE Universe could see that at WWE Summerslam or even Wrestlemania 33.
There are many possibilities for Rey Mysterio to continue to work with WWE going forward while still being able to commit to outside projects. Recently, he’s begun training his son Dominick to wrestle. A part-time deal with WWE would allow him to do that, work a few shows outside of the company, and have some huge matches to add to his legacy. The fact is Rey Mysterio returning to WWE during the WWE Royal Rumble would be best for business. It’s just a matter if the two sides can work out a deal in time for Sunday’s PPV.
[Featured Image by WWE]