Who’s going to show up? (Picture: WWE)
The iconic pay-per-view’s flagship match – check out BBC’s former royal correspondent Jennie Bond explaining the rules – is known for its unpredictability, and the only thing to expect really is the unexpected.
Bearing that in mind, the rumour mill is always in full force and 2021 is no different, with some huge debuts and sensational comebacks being thrown around on social media.
The brilliant team at BT Sport only added to that with a great cartoon poster making reference to some of these, although they were quick to insist they are the UK broadcast partner with no secret information.
Still – here are some of the main names being mentioned in the build-up to Sunday – including a bit of an explanation about where the speculation has come from.
Do you think any of these names could turn up?
WWE: Jay White in the Royal Rumble?
Could Jay White really make his WWE debut at the Royal Rumble?
It wouldn’t be the first time a standout from New Japan – hello, AJ Styles – made the jump at this historic event, so don’t rule out Switchblade appearance when the buzzer sounds.
Of course, there is no guarantee and his rumoured exit from NJPW – including a masterful promo earlier this month claiming he was done – could all be part of a brilliantly executed storyline.
Regardless, it’s got everyone talking – and his debut would be a standout moment if it did end up coming into fruition.
WWE: CM Punk in the Royal Rumble?
The roof would blow off the ThunderDome (Photo: WWE)
Another potentially outlandish one, many fans are wondering if CM Punk will make his long-awaited return at the Royal Rumble – almost seven years to the day since his final appearance at the very same event.
The issues between WWE and Punk are well-documented, although both Stephanie McMahon and Triple H have told Metro.co.uk that the door remains open.
What makes this weekend all the more intriguing is that the former world champion – who hasn’t been announced for the one-off WWE Backstage on Saturday – revealed earlier in the week he was in quarantine but not because he has Covid.
That could mean anything – and Punk returning without fans would be somewhat of a missed opportunity – but it would go down in history as one of the best surprises in Rumble history.
WWE: Ronda Rousey in the Royal Rumble?
History might repeat itself (Credit: WWE)
Ronda Rousey is a favourite with the bookies to win the Women’s Royal Rumble match, and the Baddest Woman On The Planet is no stranger to the wrestling world.
Regardless of what she’s said in interviews about the business, she is a lifelong fan who took to the industry like very few can, enjoying a fantastic in-ring run between WrestleMania 34 and the following year’s edition.
She hasn’t been seen since ‘Mania 35 when Becky Lynch defeated Rousey and Charlotte Flair in the main event to claim the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships.
Her first ever WWE appearance actually came at the Royal Rumble in 2018 when she shocked fans at the end of the night.
Can lightning strike twice?
*WWE Royal Rumble airs on Sunday, January 31 at midnight on the WWE Network.