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Coming up soon is one of my absolute favorite PPV’s of the year, Royal Rumble. Since I was a youngster watching the Rumble always had me more excited than any other PPV besides Mania. What gets me going is the countdown, the suspense of who’s next and even what shenanigans someone might pull. Although we’ve seen some fairly predictable Royal Rumbles, or even less than stellar ones such as when Mr. McMahon won, they always seem to captivate. The next PPV on tap is TLC which to me almost seems like a transition PPV in order to finish up the feuds that are currently taking place in order to give way to new ones. What I love about Royal Rumble is that’s when the road to WrestleMania really does start. That’s when the returns from past superstars start to commence. That’s where new storylines develop in order to carry on until Mania. This year I’m hoping we get a bunch of new ideas thrown in our faces. No, I don’t want to see John Cena or Randy Orton win the Rumble. In fact I don’t want to see anyone win it who’s already won it before. I would love to see someone like Dolph Ziggler or Cody Rhodes get the victory for once. At least we already know Cena will be busy with The Rock at Mania, so hopefully he’s either not involved in the Rumble match, or gets eliminated by a younger talent giving them a small push.

One of the things I love about Royal Rumble is the special entrants that end up making a return for the match. Sometimes they don’t stick around and it’s just for the novelty, but as we’ve seen in the past it’s made way for a return for some. Mr. Perfect and Goldust both returned to WWE at a RR. Last year we saw the returning “Diesel” get one of the loudest pops of the night. I’m hoping this next Rumble once again we get a few treats thrown in there, although we’re back to the normal 30 men participating. Last year WWE attempted to make the match a little more exciting by calling it the biggest Royal Rumble in history, with 40 entrants.

Is there anyone this year you’d like to see make a return at the Rumble? We already know something’s happening before the Royal Rumble, as we’ve seen the promo videos for January 2, 2012. Most figure it’s Jericho, so I’ll count him out as a surprise entrant in the RR. Personally I think that would be a great place for Mick Foley to return to the ring, perhaps as Mankind. The Undertaker as well could make his return, and what I’d love to see is him and “Mankind” go at it once again, reviving their great feuds they had during the attitude era. I’ve voiced this before but I would love Undertakers 20th WrestleMania victory to be over Mankind. I believe they could have an epic match, and both men know how to captivate the audience and give off such emotion.

I could also see Batista making his return at the Rumble, even if it’s just a once time appearance. The WWE likes to bring former talents in for “one time only” which I think is almost like dangling the carrot in front of their faces. WWE gives them a big payday, they get placed in a high profile match, and as soon as they hear the pop from their return…they get the itch to return. I think Vince has noticed this in the past and I’m pretty sure it works. Very smart business idea if you ask me because you know once a returning talent hears 20,000 people blow the roof off for them, they want that again. They want to feel the adrenaline.

As strange as this sounds, I would actually enjoy seeing Ultimate Warrior come back simply as an entrant in the Royal Rumble. No, not full time, and no, not given a microphone because that will seriously kill the crowd. But think of this….you’re sitting there and you have Santino, Jinder Mahal and some other midcards in the ring and all of a sudden you hear Warriors theme….holy hell! The crowd would blow up. Have Warrior come in, clear the ring and have a little freak out and shake the shit out the ropes working the crowd. Of course he would be easily eliminated by one of the main eventers who WWE actually like. For the novelty, this would be great. It would also liven up a dead crowd in the middle of the match when things usually get dull.

This year I almost have a feeling that the pinup strong girls might want to get themselves involved in the Royal Rumble, or at least Beth Phoenix. Almost like the Chyna storyline we saw years ago, but with someone who doesn’t have addiction issues and a need to make nasty pornos. Beth would be great in the Royal Rumble and I think build her up incredibly strong against the divas. She could use that in her following matches by saying she’s strong enough to play with the men, so the divas are obviously no competition. This could hopefully lead to a returning Kharma who would work incredibly well with Beth. I’m not sure where Kharma is at with her pregnancy, but I’m guessing by WrestleMania she’ll at least be able to work a small program.

Another idea would be to wait and have Kane debut at Royal Rumble, but for some reason I think he’ll end up interfering in the Mark Henry/Big Show match at TLC and actually be Mark Henrys next opponent he feuds with. I’m guessing at Royal Rumble we will actually see Mark Henry vs. Kane for the Title. I at least hope so anyways, as I hope they keep the title on Mark at least another few months. With the returning masked Kane, he could also be Undertakers next opponent at WrestleMania. The exciting part for me is just waiting to find out.

So many things start at the Royal Rumble and that’s why it’s my second favorite PPV. I love the fresh ideas that come out of it and the start of the storylines that will lead us up to Mania. For the last several years it really feels like the last 3-4 PPV’s leading up to Royal Rumble are usually very similar with few changes. I know most of you rank Royal Rumble right up there as a favorite PPV, so I’m wondering what you’d like to see happen. Who would you like to see return or make a special appearance in the Royal Rumble match? Who do you actually want to win the Royal Rumble match? What storylines do you think will start to develop at Royal Rumble? Feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for taking the time to read!

James Bones