This year’s Royal Rumble matches had a few returns and some NXT call-ups as well but no major surprise entrant on the magnitude of Edge last year.
In the women’s Rumble, Naomi made her first WWE appearance since August 2020 and came in at number two, lasting over 47 minutes in total. During her time away from the ring, Naomi underwent surgery but got her glow back last night with an ironwoman performance.
Lana also made her return to the ring after missing out on becoming WWE Women’s Tag Team champion with Asuka in December. She was written out with an injury storyline and Charlotte Flair took her place instead. Lana returned and eliminated one of her bullies, Nia Jax, in the Rumble.
Perhaps the biggest surprise entry was Christian, who came in at #24 in the Rumble. Captain Charisma last had a proper match in 2014 although last year he was supposed to have a match against Orton, a match which was super quick after Ric Flair turned on him. Christian was in the final four of the match.
And the last return was none other than Seth Rollins who entered at #29. Rollins was last seen at the Survivor Series and took time off to spend with his newborn. During the show, his fiancee Becky Lynch posted a photo of the curtain at Gorilla Position, teasing a return, but it was Rollins the one behind it. Rollins was advertised to return on the January 1 episode of Smackdown but then quietly removed from all advertising before the show.
The two NXT call-ups this year were Rhea Ripley and Damien Priest. Both have departed the yellow brand and were waiting for their time to debut on the main roster which kept being pushed back up until last night.
The WWE Legends who returned at the Rumble to fill in some spots this year were Victoria, Torrie Wilson, Alicia Fox, Carlito, Kane, The Hurricane, and the already-mentioned Christian.