As we start gearing up for the Royal Rumble 2016 ppv this sunday, traditionally the third biggest ppv of the year for wwe, the wrestling world is abuzz on possible surprise entrants for the trademark battle royal. Especially interesting this year is the possibility of some big-name New Japan Pro Wrestling stars, rumored to be signing with WWE, entering the match.
It is indeed a possibility for two of them, while the other two have no possibility of appearing in front of the fans in Orlando at the show.
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The biggest name fans are wondering about is AJ Styles. The latest information coming out is that WWE is looking to hold AJ Styles debut off until next week’s RAW, rather than having him appear at the Rumble. This story was originally reported by F4WOnline, though Bryan Alvarez has said the decision does not have anything to do with WWE believing the Rumble crowd might not be familiar with Styles, possibly causing his debut to fall flat. After all, the Rumble is being held in Orlando, the same city where Styles was a star for TNA Wrestling for many years.
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Styles will be making an advertised appearance at an independent show in Georgia on Saturday evening, so if WWE decides they indeed want him to wrestle in the Rumble, it’s certainly a possibility (as long as he passes WWE’s medical testing).
As far as Bullet Club members Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson go, only one of them would be contractually able to appear at the Rumble, and it wouldn’t make much sense to debut them separate. Anderson is still under contract to NJPW, so it would be impossible for him to pass WWE’s medical tests, sign with the company, and wrestle in the Royal Rumble. Gallows is not under contract to New Japan right now, though he has committed to working NJPW and ROH shows through February. Technically, he would be available to sign a WWE contract, however. Further, Mike Johnson at PWInsider is reporting that Gallows was in Pittsburgh last week to undergo the standard medical testing for WWE.
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Lastly, Shinsuke Nakamura is under contract with New Japan through the end of the month and would be unavailable for Royal Rumble without NJPW and WWE working out some kind of agreement. He is booked for New Japan shows through January, and he is currently expected to begin training at the WWE Performance Center in early February.