The Royal Rumble is always the highlight of the wrestling calendar and 2023 is no different. It stars the road to Wrestlemania and locks in who will compete in the main event of Wrestlemania, which this year will earn themselves a match with WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns.
Many surprise wrestlers are always rumoured for the Royal Rumble. We have collated the best surprise Royal Rumble entrants in this article, so you can click that link to see who topped the list, or read below to see the surprise entrants for the 2020 Royal Rumble match, in both the male or female editions of the match.
Both the men’s and the women’s edition featured a number of surprise entrants in their matches. While the Women’s version featured a lot more legends coming back for one more match, both bouts had similar amounts of returns in their matches.
Women’s Royal Rumble 2020 Surprise Entrants
The following women were surprise entrants in the 2020 Royal Rumble and made either one-off appearances or full-time returns in the match. This included legends, superstars returning from injury and one former WWE Intercontinental Champion (sadly, not China)
- Mighty Molly (#3)
- Naomi (#18)
- Beth Phoenix (#19)
- Kelly Kelly (#21)
- Santina Marella (#29) – Santina Marella was Santino Marella in drag, a reference to his title-winning performance at Wrestlemania 25.
MEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE 2020 SURPRISE ENTRANTS
The following men were surprise entrants in the 2020 Royal Rumble and made either one-off appearances or full-time returns in the match. This included legends, superstars returning from injury and celebrity guest appearances, among others.
- MVP (#12) – returning to the WWE for the first time in a decade, MVP entered in Black Panther-inspired gear in the 2020 Royal Rumble. He chased Paul Heyman around the ring prior to entering but was ultimately quickly thrown out by Brock Lesnar.
- Keith Lee (#13) – the NXT North American Champion was a surprise to everyone, including Brock Lesnar. He mouthed “Big Boy” as Keith Lee walked to the ring, surprised at his inclusion. He put on a good show against The Beast but was ultimately eliminated by him and Braun Strowman.
- Edge (#21) – Coming back from a 9 year hiatus, Edge returned in the 2020 Royal Rumble to one of the biggest pops of all time. The WWE Hall of Famer had been forced to retire in 2011 due to a neck injury, but proved doctors wrong by making his surprise return in the 2020 Royal Rumble in one of biggest feel good moments in WWE history.
- Matt Riddle (#23) – NXT Star Matt Riddle made his debut as a surprise guest in the Royal Rumble. He looked good in his short spell in the match but was soon eliminated by King Corbin.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.