Ranking the 3 Free Agents Most Likely to Make WWE Return amid Rumors
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The Triple H era of WWE has already featured some fascinating returns.
Under new creative control, WWE has brought back notables like Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman and Karrion Kross in notable roles, plus smaller-but-quality names like Hit Row and Emma, to name a very few.
There’s no reason to think this trend stops in 2023 either, not with Royal Rumble season here and plenty of interesting names left out there as free agents. Sean Ross Sapp (h/t Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats) has already speculated more returns are on the way, with one potential return even liking that tweet.
As such, here’s a look at some names who could return to WWE.
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Some honorable mentions worth a quick blurb:
- Matt Cardona
- Drake Maverick
- Eric Young
There are plenty of lesser-known names with potential big impacts like the above.
Cardona was beloved by fans and there’s almost an air of unfinished business, especially now that he should have better creative backing him and he’s shown so much in other promotions.
Marverick was always one of the most entertaining on-air personalities. He has already been in a behind-the-scenes role, but it would be fun to have him back in actual segments and feuds.
And Young had fun roles both solo and in supernatural groups. That sort of versatility and reliable performance would be a welcome addition to pretty much any role wherever he’s needed.
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Remember Curtis Axel?
The third-generation star and son of Mr. Perfect had a really fun run in WWE for 10-plus years, peaking as a handpicked Paul Heyman guy and intercontinental champion. He’s since been spotted in a backstage segment here and there after being a budget cut in 2020.
Axel just feels like a Triple H rehire. He’s too versatile, too charismatic not to have around if he’s interested in performing. At this stage of his career, maybe that’s not as a full-time in-ring talent. But even if he’s a member of a group or in a managerial role, there’s value in Axel coming back and being a part of weekly programming again.
Given the heavyweights Triple H has already brought back, this is where most of his potential top returns are now—incredibly valuable, if not underrated workers who improve the quality of the product.
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The aforementioned Superstar who liked a tweet about upcoming returns?
That was Eva Marie, who had a brief return to the company in 2021 with a reworked character, only to leave again in what felt like rather quick fashion.
While the celebrity character she portrayed maybe didn’t land with fans, there was still some interesting feuds and work done with the likes of Alexa Bliss and Doudrop. There’s always room in the women’s divisions for fresh faces and characters, especially if Marie can lean into a heel role that provides a foil for the up-and-comers.
Capable of getting big reactions in front of live audiences, Marie could provide a boon in this area that fills out WWE’s extensive hour count of weekly programming.
Former Champion Naomi
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Much of the talk on returns has consistently centered on Sasha Banks given her history, feuds and prominence within WWE women’s divisions.
But while speculation runs about Banks appearing in other promotions, perhaps the spotlight should really be on Naomi.
Both Banks and Naomi were suspended indefinitely by WWE for walking out, though Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Nitish Vashishtha of Ringside News) reported as far back as August that they had agreed to return under the new management.
There has been no movement on that front yet, but a Naomi return might just make more sense. The former SmackDown women’s champion, inaugural winner of the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal and tag champion still has WWE written all over her, especially based on the fan adoration and reactions she earned on a nightly basis.
Getting Naomi back to either weekly program would be a massive boon as an instant contender reemerges. With fans, she’s also far less polarizing than, say, a Charlotte Flair return.
That’s not to say a Banks return wouldn’t be great either. But it has been all quiet on the Naomi front by comparison, which might just make for the bigger surprise and longer-term impact on fans and Superstar alike.