With the WWE Royal Rumble 2017 match coming up in several weeks from now, speculation over who will be in the match as far as surprise superstars entering has been a hot topic. Among the names being tossed around are several NXT superstars, and of course former legends of the ring from WWE or even TNA. Many fans are looking towards a potential appearance from former NXT champion Samoa Joe, the "Perfect 10" Tye Dillinger, or even former WWE stars Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels. So what are the chances that these superstars will actually make their way down to the ring as part of the 30-man field?
In a recent report here at The Inquisitr, the WWE Rumors for Finn Balor returning at the Royal Rumble were discussed. Balor has been out of action ever since SummerSlam when he defeated Seth Rollins for the new WWE Universal Championship. Despite Balor saying he probably won't be back to the ring until WrestleMania, it has still kept his odds for winning the Rumble high at various sports books. Balor is among the favorites at Paddy Power, listed with 5 to 1 odds. He trails Braun Strowman (4 to 1), Chris Jericho (3 to 1), and The Undertaker (2 to 1).
While Balor may not be able to return to the ring in several weeks to win the match, there may be several other NXT stars who make their debut at a major WWE pay-per-view. As reported today by WWE Leaks, there are betting odds for superstars who might participate in the Royal Rumble match. That means they would simply make an "in-ring appearance," but not necessarily win it. Paddy Power lists nine superstars for this category, with NXT star Tye Dillinger leading all the favorites at 3 to 10 odds. He's followed on the list by Samoa Joe at 4 to 7, and then Kurt Angle at 5 to 6 odds.
There's been a lot of speculation that Tye Dillinger makes sense to enter the Rumble at the No. 10 spot, which fits with his "Perfect 10" gimmick. There's a lot of fans who would love to see Samoa Joe mix it up in the ring and then transition to the main roster, and Kurt Angle's music hitting the speakers would probably give diehard fans goosebumps while sending the arena into a frenzy. However, the way it currently looks, Angle may be a few months away from a WWE return.
As Forbes recently reported from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Angle is planning a return to WWE around WrestleMania 33.
"For whatever this is worth, and keep in mind this wouldn't be the first time this has been said, but Kurt Angle has told promoters he's doing no more indie dates except one match with Alberto and another with Cody Rhodes, and then going to WWE in April. Keep in mind his people have claimed that for some time and WWE sources have denied it."The interesting aspect with Angle is he seems like he could fit well with a team like American Alpha. In prior years with WWE, Angle was aligned with "The World's Greatest Tag Team" which consisted of Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. It would certainly make things interesting if both Angle and Benjamin returned to the Rumble, but it seems highly unlikely. Dillinger and Joe make way more sense from an availability standpoint.
If those three rumored entrants aren't enough, there are several other interesting names listed. Shelton Benjamin is right behind Angle on the list. Also included are "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels, both Jeff and Matt Hardy, Rey Mysterio, and the guy who inspires chants at pretty much any live WWE event: CM Punk. It's probably with good reason that Punk appears as the biggest underdog on the betting odds to actually make an appearance. In addition, Michaels, Mysterio, and The Hardy Boys seem like longshots, but the rest of the names certainly have some potential for getting into the ring in a few weeks during the big match.
WWE fans, of the rumored entrants for the Royal Rumble, which ones would you like to see the most? Who do you think is most likely to appear out of the mentioned superstars?
[Featured Image by WWE]