Report: Former Champion Possibly Returning in Royal Rumble Match

WWE's annual Royal Rumble event is coming up this weekend and its Women's Rumble match is expected to see a number of former stars make their returns. But another surprise return could be on the way as Fightful Select is now reporting Asuka has been "internally discussed" as an entrant. "The Empress" hasn't competed in a match since the 2021 Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match last July and has been dealing with an injury (the details of which she hasn't disclosed) in the months since then. It hasn't been determined if she's cleared to compete, but having her name get brought up is certainly a good sign. 

The Japanese star is one of the most decorated women in WWE history. She's one of only four Grand Slam Champions, won the first Women's Royal Rumble in 2018, still holds the record for longest NXT Women's Championship reign, had an undefeated streak that dwarfed Goldberg's and won the 2020 Money in the Bank. Winning that contract gave her the Raw Women's Championship for the first time. She'd trade reigns with Sasha Banks over that summer, then would win it back and hold it all the way until WrestleMania 37 last April before dropping it to Rhea Ripley. 

Other reports that dropped this week regarding the Rumble included the surprise return of Ronda Rousey, who is reportedly going to be in the Rumble match and has plans for WrestleMania 38 this coming. Neither she nor Asuka have commented on the latest rumors. Check out the updated lineup for the Rumble below:

  • WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley
  • WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
  • Raw Women's Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Doudrop
  • Men's Royal Rumble (Johnny Knoxville, Big E, AJ Styles, Angelo Dawkins, Montez Ford, Rey Mysterio, Dominik Mysterio, Austin Theory, Sheamus, Damian Priest, Happy Corbin, Madcap Moss, Sami Zayn, Kofi Kingston, Kevin Owens, TBA)
  • Women's Royal Rumble (Charlotte Flair, Mickie James, Rhea Ripley, Nikki A.S.H., Dana Brooke, Carmella, Queen Zelina, Shotzi, Natalya, Aliyah, Naomi, Shayna Baszler, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Lita, Michelle McCool, Kelly Kelly, Summer Rae, Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, TBA)
  • Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz & Maryse

h/t Fightful Select