The Women's Royal Rumble match became an annual WWE tradition back in 2018 and has since seen a number of former female champions and legends make their return to be a part of history.
The likes of Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly Holly, Michelle McCool, Mickie James, Alicia Fox, Kelly Kelly, and even Vickie Guerrero have all been part of the match over the years, but there are several women who have been forgotten.
The following list looks at just five former Women's Champions who are yet to receive the call about making their return as part of the annual Women's Royal Rumble match.
#5. Former WWE Women's Champion Layla
Layla won the 2006 RAW Diva Search. This led to the British star having a lengthy career in WWE, which came to an end in 2015.
Layla announced her retirement from the business when she left the company and has since become a real estate agent after training for a career change for several years. The former champion also married fellow superstar Ricky Ortiz and it appears that Layla is now happy to remain out of the spotlight.
In a rare interview back in 2021, Layla revealed to Ring The Belle that she was happy with the career that she has had and doesn't want to return to spoil that.
“I just feel that I had a very fruitful, long career. And I attained everything I possibly could have attained in WWE, and I was given every opportunity. That door’s closed, and I’m okay with that. And I feel just happy that I was able to have that. I look at my past, and I’m like, ‘Wow I did all that stuff,’ and that was just how I’d like to keep it.”
Given that Michelle McCool has returned several times, it's clear that WWE would have tried to tempt Layla to return alongside her former tag team partner. The former star is adamant that she has retired and hasn't made any kind of return to the company since her departure in July 2015.
#4. Former WWE Women's Champion Candice Michelle
Candice Michelle became the first-ever former Diva Search contestant to win the WWE Women's Championship in 2007. The "Go-Daddy" promoter was able to climb through the ranks in the company for several years before finally being awarded the Championship.
Michelle retired from the company in 2009 and has since gone on to start her own family. The mother-of-three retired from in-ring competition in 2017 following a match against Victoria at House of Hardcore.
Interestingly, Michelle has returned to the company and was able to become 24/7 Champion back in 2019. Back in January 2021, the former star was advertised to be one of the stars returning for "Legends Night" something that she later went on to deny.
“It was falsely promoted. I was never asked to be there. I would have loved to be there. I love WWE anytime they call me, super honored to go there and be called a legend. And as we know, for whatever rhyme or reason, I just wasn’t meant for that show...”
It's clear the former champion would be open to a return, so it's unclear why she hasn't been contacted ahead of this year's show.
#3. Former WWE Women's Champion Jazz
Former Women's Champion Jazz hasn't been seen in a WWE ring since 2006. Jazz was a woman who was ahead of her time in the ring and has remained an integral part of the business in the years that have followed.
Jazz has appeared in Shine, Chikara, AEW, NWA, and IMPACT Wrestling throughout the course of her career and is still contracted to the latter at present.
With rumors that a "forbidden door" could be opening between WWE and IMPACT Wrestling, it's likely that this could be her big chance to be part of the Women's Royal Rumble match.
At the age of 49, Jazz is still part of the Women's Division currently working as the manager of Jordynne Grace, following her farewell match with IMPACT as part of Hardcore Justice last year.
It's unclear why Jazz hasn't been called by the company in recent years since the likes of Victoria and Jillian were part of last year's match. The former Women's Champion was a huge part of the era alongside Trish Stratus and Lita and deserves a chance to step in the ring against the women who currently compete in the company.
#2. Former WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres
Despite leaving the company in January 2013, the former champion has continued to work as an ambassador. Torres asked for her release in order to concentrate on her role as an instructor for the Gracie Women Empowered Self-Defense program.
The former star has since welcomed two children and has made several WWE returns, but none of these have seen the star return to the ring.
It's unclear why Torres has been omitted from any plans for the Women's Royal Rumble match since the former star's last appearance came on the pre-show panel for Evolution back in 2018.
Torres was advertised for "Legends Night" in January 2021 but failed to be a part of the show, despite the company promoting her as a main star who could be making her return to the company.
It's unclear if Torres is still working as an ambassador for the company, but given her choice of career, she has remained in fantastic shape and could be a legitimate threat in the Rumble.
#1. Former WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee
One woman that would be a huge catch for WWE ahead of the Women's Royal Rumble match is AJ Lee. The former Divas Champion was a popular star throughout her career and has since gone on to become a New York Times Best Selling Author.
Lee retired from the business in 2015 and has failed to step back into a wrestling ring in almost seven years. Lee noted in her autobiography that an injury to her cervical spine was the main reason for her WWE retirement.
Lee's husband CM Punk recently returned to the ring with AEW and noted that his wife's health is the most important thing, whilst also refusing to rule out any kind of return.
Lee herself has returned to wrestling as a commentator for WOW in recent months and could be taking small steps towards a return to the ring.
Given her injury, a Royal Rumble return would be the best option for Lee since she could be carried through with a few moves before quickly being eliminated.
It would allow her to be part of the show and give the fans what they want whilst also ensuring that she doesn't suffer any more injuries.