The 2023 Royal Rumble coming up in in January and fans are already speculating which WWE legends could could up at the event. Last year saw the one-off return of Shane McMahon to the company and the former Tag Team Champion lasted until the final four of the match eventually won by Brock Lesnar.
Previous years have proven to be chocked full of legends making their one-off returns to the WWE. 2021 had Christian, Carlito, Kane and The Hurricane making huge appearances, while previous years have given legends like Roddy Piper, Mick Foley, Trish Stratus and Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) the chance for one-off appearances and one final pop from the crowd that adored them for so long.
2023 is likely to have many more legends returning to the fold, but one man who has been rumoured to make a shock return to the ring is somebody you see (and hear) every week on Friday Night Smackdown. Colour Commentator Wade Barrett is rumoured to be returning to the ring at the 2023 Royal Rumble, 7 years after he was last seen wrestling in a WWE ring. Some fans will have never seen him wrestle before but will “Bad-News” Barrett return to wrestle at the 2023 Royal Rumble?
Will Wade Barrett Return At The 2023 Royal Rumble?
Wade Barrett will be at the 2023 Royal Rumble as part of the Smackdown commentary team. He will almost certainly be on commentary for the matches involving the Smackdown superstars, including the rumoured Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns match for Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Barrett performs on commentary alongside WWE’s legendary head commentator Michael Cole, where the pair have form some good chemistry since their debut together on October 6th, 2022.
However, it is unknown whether or not Wade Barrett will wrestle in the Royal Rumble match. He has not wrestled a single match for 7 years, with his last match taking place on the night after Wrestlemania 32. In that bout he teamed with his League of Nations-teammate Sheamus, and took the pin as the group failed to win the WWE Tag Team Championships from The New Day.
Although Wade Barrett hasn’t wrestled since 2016, he has done commentary work all over the world, including for WWE, NWA and the ill-fated World of Sport wrestling show reboot on ITV, which only lasted one season. It featured big stars like Grado and Will Ospreay as well as Barrett but failed to garner an audience.
He has not wrestled since then but his appearance at Royal Rumble weekend has revived discussion about him coming out of retirement. Wade Barrett could be a surprise entrant at the 2023 Royal Rumble, taking up one of the legends spots in the match. Other commentators like JBL and Jerry Lawler have previously competed in the match so there is a good chance Barrett will too.
Do you want to see Wade Barrett return at the Royal Rumble? Let us know in the comments or click below to read about the CM Punk vs Undertaker match at Wrestlemania.
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.