The 2023 Royal Rumble brought some of the most shocking surprise entrants in the history of the Royal Rumble match. The titular Royal Rumble match brought the usual twists of turns of all the top editions of the match and kept the fans on the edge of their seats for the entire match. Each Royal Rumble match brings some shock wrestlers making a return or a debut in the over-the-top rope battle royal match.
Due to the nature of the wrestler’s entrances being staggered every 90 seconds, it is perfect for legends to come back for one last big pop from the fans that used to adore him. Previous legendry returns include Roddy Piper, DDP and Kevin Nash amongst a host of former world champions to make their returns in the Royal Rumble.
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 of read below to see the surprise entrants for the 2023 Royal Rumble match, in both the male or female editions of the match.
Royal Rumble 2023 Surprise Entrants
2023 WOMEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE SURPRISE ENTRANTS
Here we will detail every wrestler who made a surprise entrance in the 2023 Women’s Royal Rumble. This includes any legends returning to the company, wrestlers returning from injury or a long absence or any other notable unannounced stars that were not expected to be in the 2023 Royal Rumble match. We’ll include the number of their entrance and how they did in the match.
- Roxanne Perez (8) – The NXT Women’s Champion was the first surprise entrant in the 2023 Women’s Royal Rumble. She was not announced for the match but made thousands of new fans as the 21 year old impressed with some crisp wrestling skills. She was eliminated by Damage CTRL without eliminating anybody in the match.
- Natalya (11) – Natalya made a return after months away from the ring as a surprise entrant in the 2023 Women’s Roya Rumble. She entered at number 11 and immediately target Shayna Bazler, who broke her nose months prior. She was eliminated by Damage CTRL as she was locked in a sleeper hold by Bazler.
- Zoey Starks (13) – NXT wrestler Zoey Starks was the next surprise entry in the match. She entered at number 13 in the match. She was eliminated by Sonya Deville and lasted over half of the match.
- Asuka (17) – 2017 Royal Rumble winner wrestled her first match in nearly two months when she appeared a secret superstar in the 2023 Royal Rumble. Sporting some terrifying face paint and Japanese painted mask, she dominated the field and received a huge pop from the crowd for her return.
- Chelsea Green (20) – Chelsea Green made her long awaited return in the Rumble match, but it didn’t last long. The wife of Matt Cardona spent mere seconds in the match, breaking the previous record for the shortest time spent in the match. She now holds the record at five seconds, a record for women
- Michelle McCool (25) – In one of the strangest entrances of all time, Michelle McCool herself looked surprised at her inclusion in this match. She had been pictured sitting with her children in the front row during the Women’s Championship match and hopped the barricade to enter the match, wearing her normal close and Ugg boots inside the ring.
- Indi Hartwell (26) – Former NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion Indi Hartwell made her main roster debut with her surprise appearance in the 2023 Royal Rumble match.
- Nia Jax (30) – Former Smackdown Women’s Champion made her return to WWE in the 2023 Royal Rumble match. She was a shock entrant as the final member of the field and the whole ring stopped as she entered. She was surrounded by the 11 women already in the ring but fought them off with ease. The other women struggled to lift her to perform slams on her, and the group collectively eliminated her after a strong showing in the ring.
2023 MEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE SURPRISE ENTRANTS
Here we will detail every wrestler who made a surprise entrance in the 2023 Royal Rumble. This includes any legends returning to the company, wrestlers returning from injury or a long absence or any other notable unannounced stars that were not expected to be in the 2023 Royal Rumble match. We’ll include the number of their entrance and how they did in the match.
- Pat McAfee – The commentator made a shock return to the show before the Men’s Royal Rumble match. He joined Michael Cole and Corey Graves on the commentary desk in a move that completely shocked everyone, most notably Michael Cole.
- Booker T (#21) – Despite claiming he wasn’t appearing at the Rumble for months, Booker T entered as a surprise entrant in the 2023 Royal Rumble match at number 21. He hit his signature moves on Dominik Mysterio and hit the Spinarooie, much to the delight of the crowd. He was quickly eliminated by Gunter before Damian Priest entered at #22.
- Edge (#23) Returning from a multi-month lay off after his wife Beth Phoenix was attacked by Judgement Day, Edge returned to the WWE as a surprise in the Royal Rumble. He immediately set to work on Judgement Day as all three members were in the ring. He threw Damian Priest and Finn Balor out of the ring, but the trio threw Edge out of the ring while he tried to eliminate Dominik Mysterio. He also teased a further feud with Seth Rollins as the pair stared each other down in the ring.
- Logan Paul (#29) – Youtube star Logan Paul made his long-awaited return to the ring as the last surprise entrant into the men’s Royal Rumble. After downing a can of Prime, he was attacked by all the wrestlers in the match before recovering to hit Ricochet with a Buckshot Lariat. The social media star-turned pro-wrestler last wrestled for the WWE at Crown Jewel 2022 when he faced off against Roman Reigns. He suffered an injury during the match with the 2023 Royal Rumble being his big surprise return to the WWE. He eliminated Seth Rollins and lasted until the final three, before he was eliminated by the eventual winner Cody Rhodes.
Keep checking back on this page for any additional surprise entrants for the 2023 Royal Rumble. The full list of returning superstars will be posted on this page once the event has concluded. The 2023 Royal Rumble was the 36th annual edition of the show, which first began in 1988. took place on Saturday, January 28, 2023, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas as part of the Alamodome’s 30th anniversary celebration and it will be the first time it has been held there since 2017 (and the fourth time in history).
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.