Prior to the 2016 WWE brand draft, there were several former employees rumored to be making their return and joining the list of eligible draftees for the RAW and SmackDown Live brands. None of those ex-wrestlers showed up in the draft list, but it nowappears that two of those rumored names have just been confirmed to return to WWE after several years away from the company – Shelton Benjamin and Jinder Mahal.

SmackDown Live features hype vignette for Shelton Benjamin

Tuesday’s first post-brand split episode of SmackDown Live included a video package promising Benjamin’s return to the company, as a member of the brand’s roster. This would mark his first time back with WWE since his release in the spring of 2010.

The 41-year-old Benjamin first made his name as a collegiate Wrestling standout for the University of Minnesota, and was first signed by WWE in 2000, wrestling for three years in its then-developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling.

He debuted on the main roster in 2003, and became best-known for his team-up with fellow collegiate standout Charlie Haas, as The World’s Greatest Tag Team; Benjamin and Haas won the WWE Tag Team Championship twice during their run as a team. He is also a three-time Intercontinental Champion and a one-time United States Champion.

After his WWE run, Benjamin performed in Ring of Honor from 2010 to 2013, and also in New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he competed from 2012 to 2015. He also had a one and a half-year stint for another Japanese promotion, Pro Wrestling Noah.

Jinder Mahal returns to WWE, may work for RAW brand

Another familiar name from WWE’s past may be on his way to the RAW brand, if reports are to be believed. PWI Elite reported that Jinder Mahal has just signed a deal with WWE, two years after his release from the company. Mahal, 30, had signed with WWE in 2010 and debuted on the main roster a year later, entering into a storyline with his fellow Indian wrestler The Great Khali.

He may, however, be most remembered for the two years he spent as part of the stable 3MB (Three-Man Band), a jobber faction that also included Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre.

Rumors still swirling on other potential returns

Although it hasn’t been confirmed yet, Mahal’s fellow lower-card talent Curt Hawkins has reportedly come to terms on a deal with WWE, and may be working on SmackDown Live. He’s best remembered for his team-up with Zack Ryder, when he and Ryder were known as Brian and Brett Majors respectively, but mostly languished near the bottom of the card under the Curt Hawkins ring name.

He was released by the company in 2014 alongside Mahal and several other WWE employees.

Other rumored names that may be in talks to return to the WWE include Carlito, MVP, Stevie Richards, Tommy Dreamer, Jimmy Wang Yang, and Melina Perez.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more