Ronda Rousey

FILE - This July 15, 2015, file photo shows mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey smiles during her workout at Glendale Fighting Club, in Glendale, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Jae C. Hong

Stephanie McMahon announced what had been rumored for months: WWE will hold its first-ever women's Royal Rumble match at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view Jan. 28 in Philadelphia. 

There are some unanswered questions about the match. Will it be 20 or 30 women? How long will it last? And will the winner receive a title shot at WrestleMania? 

Another question on the minds of wrestling fans: Who will make surprise appearances in the historic match? 

On the men's side, the Royal Rumble has been an opportunity to bring back some legends for one night only. Diamond Dallas Page was an entrant a few years ago. The Honky Tonk Man made a cameo. There have been many others. 

For the women's match, there are several possibilities. There are some WWE hall of famers who would make good candidates for a surprise appearance. And there are some rumored soon-to-be WWE superstars who could make their debuts in the big match. 

Here are five possible surprise entrants for the first-ever women's Royal Rumble match: 

(1) Ronda Rousey. Obviously. The former UFC champion has long been rumored as a future member of the WWE roster. Her appearance with The Rock at WrestleMania 31 and her wrestling fandom helps the cause. It seems a formality that she will be a member of the WWE roster. But when will she make her debut? The first-ever women's Royal Rumble would be the perfect time. 

(2) Beth Phoenix. "The Glamazon," a WWE hall of famer, would be a pleasant surprise. She left WWE in 2012 and seems quite happy with her life as a mother and the real-life wife of Edge, another WWE hall of famer. But it would be a crime not to at least invite Beth Phoenix back for this match. If this was held during her heyday, she would have been a favorite to win. 

(3) Trish Stratus. It would probably be a bigger surprise if Trish didn't enter the match. A former WWE women's champion and a 2013 WWE Hall of Fame inductee, she's a no-brainer for this match. She is arguably one of the most popular WWE women's wrestlers of all time. And if she's going to be in it, then you need ... 

(4) Lita. Another no-brainer, right? A member of the WWE Hall of Fame and a former women's champion. She has played a role in the growth of the women's division and it would make sense for her to make a surprise entrance. Between her and Trish, it would be nice to see the past generation of WWE women's wrestlers mix in with the current roster. We see that so often on the men's side, but not really with the women. That should change with this match. 

(5) Sable. You may think this is far-fetched. You may see Sable and say, "No way." But consider this: She is the real-life wife of WWE's favorite part-time guy, Brock Lesnar. Lesnar is already on the card at Royal Rumble. So, why not? Of all the women on this list, Sable probably would be the biggest surprise of all. But this is a history-making event, right? Anything can happen. 

(6) Alundra Blayze. Another WWE Hall of Fame inductee who would be a great surprise entrant. She hasn't appeared in a WWE ring for more than 20 years. What a way to make her return to the ring. 

(7) Kaitlyn. Her run with WWE was an odd one. She was the Divas champion and was a solid performer until WWE inexplicably stopped using her after she lost the title. She retired from WWE in 2014. She has dealt with some personal issues in the past year, but it seems like she is doing better these days. WWE fans my give her an extra boost if she were to return to the ring next month. 

(8) Brie Bella. Anyone who has watched "Total Divas" knows she has expressed interest in getting back in the ring. Unlike her sister, Nikki Bella, she doesn't have health issues holding her back. (Nikki has been dealing with a neck injury.) There were rumors that Brie was preparing for a return. We'll see if that pans out. The women's Royal Rumble match could be the start of her comeback. 

(9) Michelle McCool. The inaugural Divas champion should be on the guest list. She was one of the top women wrestlers of her era. Maybe it's a long shot, but it would be nice to see her appear in the match. 

(10) AJ Lee. Who doesn't want to see her in this match, even if it's just a one-time thing? She is one of the best women's wrestlers of the last decade. She deserves this moment. Hopefully they can make it work. 

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