Monday Night Raw is back tonight (Jan. 14, 2013) live from Houston, Texas, with yet another major milestone show. The evening marks the 20th Anniversary of WWE's flagship program and that means we can reasonably expect that the company has a few nice surprises in store for us.
Rumors have been running rampant over who to expect will be there and who will not. While no names are officially confirmed for tonight outside of announcer Jim Ross, here's who you should expect to show up with any measure of certainty:
Shawn Michaels: It's in Houston, he's always available when they need him, and he'll be good for a big pop. Not sure where he'll fit in as far as current storylines go but even if they use him as Damien Sandow's potential apprentice, I'll be happy.
Undertaker: Also from the area, and even if he doesn't do a damn thing, simply having the gong hit and a brief appearance would leave a lasting memory. Perhaps to tease his WrestleMania match with his planned opponent right now, CM Punk. Craziest rumor I've heard is he will announce his intention to enter the Royal Rumble but that's not happening.
- Stone Cold Steve Austin: It's been a long time since he's been on WWE television and he missed the last major milestone show. The Rock is holding a concert tonight and if you remember, the first time he did so in Sacramento was to build towards a match against Austin at WrestleMania.
- Ric Flair: It's been widely reported he'll be in the building and not only that, he'll be shooting an angle with CM Punk. That probably won't involve an actual match but they will be doing something together. We shall see.
- Mick Foley: He'll be officially announced for the Hall of Fame.
Now, here's a few names not to expect:
Brock Lesnar: There are actually reports coming out now that WWE briefly flirted with bringing him back last week but they ultimately decided not to in favor of keeping his dates in order for just before WrestleMania. The same applies here.
Edge: It would seem his Twitter denial of a loss in the family could be a work but all signs point to that not being the case and he won't be in the building.
Chris Jericho: There were apparently more talks but they once again broke down and Jericho is likely going to miss not just tonight's show but he won't be doing anything at WrestleMania this year either.
- Batista: There was some chatter around the water cooler that an Evolution reunion was planned before Randy Orton turns heel and this would be the right show to do it. But Batista apparently isn't interested in coming back just yet.
It should be noted that this is pro wrestling, of course, and all of this is subject to change on a minute-by-minute basis. Either way, tonight should be fun.
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