After WWE announced Knockouts Champion Mickie James would be competing in this year’s Women’s Royal Rumble, the possibility of WWE suddenly bringing in surprise wrestlers from other companies seemed like a real possibility. That speculation was then amplified when @WrestleVotes tweeted out last week, “Had more than 1 source this weekend, w/o me directly asking, state they believe WWE will try for an ‘unexpected’ forbidden door entrant for the Men’s Royal Rumble. Personally I’m skeptical it happens, but I can confirm WWE is at least open to the idea. Which is exciting enough.”
The idea of someone from AEW — possibly a former WWE star like Chris Jericho or Jon Moxley — then started making the rounds. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer seemed to stick a fork in that idea on Sunday, stating that neither Moxley nor anyone else from AEW is expected to be involved in WWE’s show. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially given the comments WWE officials gave to the Toronto star this weekend regarding the recent street fight from AEW Rampage: New Years Smash.
Had more than 1 source this weekend, w/o me directly asking, state they believe WWE will try for an “unexpected” forbidden door entrant for the Men’s Royal Rumble. Personally I’m skeptical it happens, but I can confirm WWE is at least open to the idea. Which is exciting enough.
— WrestleVotes (@WrestleVotes) January 10, 2022
“If you look at the gory self-mutilation that bloodied several women in the December 31 event on TNT, it quickly becomes clear that these are very different businesses,” the statement read. “We had an edgier product in the ‘Attitude’ era and in a 2022 world, we don’t believe that type of dangerous and brutal display is appealing to network partners, sponsors, venues, children, or the general public as a whole.”
James spoke with Ariel Helwani this week and explained how she wound up involved in the show, saying that John Laurinaitis and Scott D’Amore began talking several weeks ago.
“I think that’s why Scott first reached out to me to see what my interest was, and then obviously we were all able to make this happen somehow,” James said. “I think it was going to be a surprise. We talked about it having it as a surprise, but the response back from the announcement kind of has blown my mind. I think it’s pretty incredible. It’s different, kind of historic, and then for me to be the person they’re doing it with is really cool.”
“I was shocked,” she added. “I think I was very shocked because I know it’s not really ever been done, especially for the women. I also feel like everyone from that camp, because honestly we’ve talked and there’s been apologies, I’ve still maintained a good relationship with everyone in that sense. Professionally, I think it’s just something to be able to do and hopefully open the door for future possibilities as well.”