One of the most anticipated parts of the Royal Rumble match is the surprise entrants appearing in the 30-person Battle Royal. Whether it is returning stars or debuting stars, the WWE Universe is always looking to see which unexpected performers take part in the annual Rumble.
While current or returning wrestlers often make returns to WWE in the match, NXT stars have also become a staple of the Rumble season. NXT started having performers compete in the Royal Rumble beginning in 2016 as Sami Zayn debuted for the WWE main roster. In the following years, the likes of Tye Dillinger, Andrade, and Adam Cole both made surprise appearances in the match.
In 2019, Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano, and Pete Dunne were in the bout while Keith Lee and Riddle appeared in the Rumble match last year. So what's in store for NXT and the 2021 Royal Rumble match?
Here are five current NXT stars that could be in the upcoming Royal Rumble.
#5 Bronson Reed could appear at Royal Rumble
Bronson Reed triumphantly returned to NXT on the latest episode of the Black and Gold brand. He squashed Ashante Adonis and reminded everyone that he was back to cause some disarray in NXT.
Reed has been like Keith Lee during Lee's first year and change on the Black and Gold brand - hovering around the NXT mid-card and waiting to move up. He was a part of the North American Championship Ladder match that saw Damian Priest capture the title.
Since then, he's either been battling other NXT mid-carders or off of TV. Reed seems more than ready for either a move to the main roster or a push up the card in NXT. One way that push up the card could happen is with an appearance in the 2021 Royal Rumble. He's a big guy, and those types of performers are always pushed well in Rumble matches.
If he appears and has a good showing, it could prove to NXT higher-ups that he's ready to move up the ladder. While Karrion Kross is likely slated to battle Finn Balor for the NXT Championship soon, Reed would be a great challenger for Kross if/when he reclaims his title. Kross already beat the Thicc Boi, but Reed could claim that he's changed and offer a more serious challenge. The Royal Rumble could be just the spot to showcase that change.