An interesting name is reportedly returning to the ring at the WWE Royal Rumble on Saturday – Aksana.
Aksana is reportedly in St. Louis and is scheduled for Saturday’s 30-Woman Royal Rumble Match, according to PWInsider. There’s no word yet on if this is a one-off appearance, but we will keep you updated.
The former Lithuanian fitness model and bodybuilder, who turns 40 in April, was originally signed to a WWE developmental deal in September 2009. She remained with the company until June 12, 2014. Aksana was never really involved in any major storylines, but she briefly had an on-screen relationship with Cesaro, and once formed the “Foxsana” tag team with Alicia Fox. She is also known for her wedding to Goldust during the days of the original WWE NXT format, and once served as the assistant to WWE Hall of Famer Teddy Long when he was the SmackDown General Manager. Aksana held the FCW Divas Title once, and was the Queen of FCW on one occassion.
Aksana has been away from pro wrestling since her WWE release in June 2014. She has not wrestled since losing to Fox on the June 13, 2014 edition of SmackDown. Aksana has made just a few convention appearances since them, but has not wrestled on the indies. It had been reported shortly after her release that Aksana had been a favorite of WWE Executive Producer & Chief of Global Television Distribution Kevin Dunn, but had lost his support and didn’t have a lot of other supporters backstage. She was released after the decision was made to call-up names from NXT like Sasha Banks and current SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair.
It’s very likely that WWE is bringing several former talents in to St. Louis to serve as potential Rumble entrant replacements, especially with potential changes due to COVID-19.
As we’ve noted, some of the rumored and/or planned names going around for The Rumble this weekend are Cameron, Melina, Shane McMahon, rapper Bad Bunny, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle, Asuka, Kairi Sane, and Ronda Rousey. There will also be some NXT Superstars in town for the event, including NXT Champion Bron Breakker, Gunther and Raquel Gonzalez, among others.
The WWE Royal Rumble will take place this Saturday, January 29 from The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Below is the current announced card:
30-Man Royal Rumble Match
Johnny Knoxville, Austin Theory, Rey Mysterio, Dominik Mysterio, Montez Ford, Angelo Dawkins, Sheamus, WWE United States Champion Damian Priest, AJ Styles, Big E, Kofi Kingston, Sami Zayn, Madcap Moss, Happy Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens, Omos, Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, Randy Orton, Riddle, RAW Tag Team Champion Otis, RAW Tag Team Champion Chad Gable, 8 Superstars TBA
30-Woman Royal Rumble Match
SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, Rhea Ripley, Nikki A.S.H., WWE Hall of Famer Nikki Bella, WWE Hall of Famer Brie Bella, Shotzi, Natalya, Michelle McCool, WWE 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Carmella, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Queen Zelina Vega, Impact Knockouts Champion Mickie James, Tamina Snuka, Kelly Kelly, Aliyah, Summer Rae, Naomi, Shayna Baszler, WWE Hall of Famer Lita, Liv Morgan, Bianca Belair, 9 participants TBA
WWE Title Match
Bobby Lashley vs. Brock Lesnar (c)
WWE Universal Title Match
Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns (c)
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos are banned from ringside.
RAW Women’s Title Match
Doudrop vs. Becky Lynch (c)
Mixed Tag Team Match
WWE Hall of Famers Edge and Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz and Maryse