Opinion: Reason why there will be no legendary returns in the Men's Royal Rumble match
The Royal Rumble match is always the most exciting and anticipated match of the year. One of the big reasons behind it is the element of surprise. You never know who will show up.
Other than superstars from RAW and Smackdown, the Rumble is also open to cameos/debuts from stars of the NXT roster and cameo appearances from WWE legends. These legendary appearances in particular often provoke the biggest pops of the night from the live audience.
Although we may get an NXT debut or cameo, unfortunately, it seems highly likely that we may not get to witness the big-ticket return this year, and there are three reasons as too why.
Firstly, there were rumors back in 2016 that WWE was going to downplay the appearances in of legends in future Rumbles and that seems to be very true. The 2016 Royal Rumble may have had the debut of AJ Styles, an NXT cameo from Sami Zayn and a surprise entry from eventual winner Triple H, but there were no legendary cameos.
This would happen again last year as the only surprise entries in the Rumble match were Tye Dillinger and Roman Reigns, who unsuccessfully challenged Kevin Owens for the Universal Championship earlier on the show.
Secondly, there are only 19 active women's performers on the main roster that can enter into the women's Royal Rumble match. This means the remaining spots can only be filled by NXT roster members, potentially Mae Young Classic participants, and some legendary women's wrestlers.
In fact on this week's Monday Night RAW, General Manager Kurt Angle was shown to be talking on the phone with an unnamed legendary women's wrestler who was informing him about her entry in the match.
Finally, the Rumble go-home edition of RAW will also be the 25th Anniversary show and will feature appearances from several WWE legends such as Steve Austin, the Dudley Boyz, APA, New Age Outlaws and many more, and thus will not want to rehash the appearances just 6 days later.