ronda rousey, ufc, ufc 207, wwe
Sylvester Stallone, Ronda Rousey and Arnold SchwarzeneggerReuters file

WWE Royal Rumble is one of the most anticipated pay-per-view (PPV) events of the calendar year. With the 30-man over-the-rope elimination challenge to boot, it's one of the most unmissable WWE events.

The winner of the close-to-hour-long match gets a chance to compete for glory-- the WWE World Championship -- at the WrestleMania.

Read: WWE Calendar 2017.

The suspense over surprise entries is building up at warp speed. Last year, it was AJ Styles and basketball veteran Shaq (Shaquille O'Neal) that turned heads. Who will spring surprises at Royal Rumble 2017?

As the event draws near, the predictions and rumours are on the rise. 

We at International Business Times, India are predicting five surprise entrants at Royal Rumble 2017. Cut your imaginations loose:

Here's our list of potential entrants:

Samoa Joe: It's no surprise that one of the best pro wrestlers ever has been a part of WWE for close to two years now. But, surprisingly, he hasn't yet made an appearance in the main roster at either Monday Night Raw or SmackDown. If the WWE does now want the 37-year-old veteran to make an impact, nothing better than the Royal Rumble.

Samoa Joe can go the Rusev way and make it big in the pro wrestling company. The fiery Rusev also made his first WWE appearance at the Royal Rumble.

Kurt Angle: There isn't a perfect way to bring back a legend than at the Royal Rumble 2017 PPV. Angle will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame 2017 and from the way he has fought in the independent circuit, the Olympic gold medallist is still going strong at 48.

Shawn Michaels, Booker T and many other veterans have made their appearance at the WWE Royal Rumble after a long hiatus from the company.

Hulk HoganTMZ  has brought out a video of Kurt Angle who said that he is absolutely not participating at Royal Rumble 2017. We all know how that turns out! Is he adhering to a script or is he being no-nonsense? While that remains to be seen, but if indeed Kurt Angle doesn't appear, there's no reason why Hulk Hogan can't make a return.

At 63, Hogan, one of the greatest superstars in the history of the WWE, is still in a good shape. He recently reached a huge settlement over a sex tape and many former WWE employees, including Scott Hall and Eric Bischoff, have stated that the 'Hulkster' is set for another stint with the WWE.

Ronda Rousey: Let's face it, Ronda is having one of the worst phases in her life at the moment after her back-to-back losses at the UFC. Let's also face it, she is the one everyone -- from Stephanie McMahon to the WWE fans -- want to see at the WWE, after her blockbuster appearance with The Rock Dwayne Johnson at WrestleMania 30.

If Ronda actually becomes the surprise entrant, she will be the fourth female entrant at the Royal Rumble match, after Chyna, Beth Phoenix and Kharma.

Donald Trump: Wait, this may be a speculative list, so that means we can predict anything, right? The 45th president of the United States has been an integral part of the WWE for many years, since he made his iconic one-off cameo appearance at WrestleMania 23 in 2007.

Before we say anything further, let us mention that Triple H and his wife Stephanie McMahon were among the crowd present outside the US Capitol at Inauguration Day 2017....and, the WWE are also making efforts to rope him in for another cameo!