Top WWE Star Cleared For Royal Rumble 2022 Return?

Could this missing WWE star be set to fill a Royal Rumble 2022 surprise spot?

Asuka Royal Rumble
WWE

Long-term WWE absentee Asuka should now be free to return to the ring.

This is according to Andrew Zarian, who stated as much during a recent episode of Mat Men. If accurate, the news would theoretically open the door for the former Women's Champion returning in the 2022 women's Royal Rumble on 29 January.

Asuka last wrestled for WWE as part of the Money in the Bank ladder match on 18 July 2021, which was won by Nikki A.S.H. September brought the revelation that she had undergone dental surgery, having lost at least one tooth while wrestling Shayna Baszler on a February episode of Raw, with Asuka seen wearing a sling on her left arm while posing for a photograph with her dentist.

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Updates on the Japanese star's status have been thin on the ground since then. When the 2021 WWE Draft rolled around last October, Asuka, like WWE's other injured wrestlers, was left without a home brand.

Asuka has been with WWE since entering NXT back in 2015. She has since won every Women's Championship available to her, making her the company's second female Grand Slam Champion after Bayley.

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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter, Presenter and Editor. Formerly Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @andyhmurray.