WWE Changed Its Planned Royal Rumble Winner: Report

By Jason Hall

January 31, 2022

WWE Live - Tryout
Photo: Getty Images

Two significant changes were made prior to the Royal Rumble "premium live event" on Saturday (January 29) night.

PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson reports WWE initially planned to have Riddle win the Men's Royal Rumble prior to switching to Brock Lesnar, with plans changing "over the course of the week a ton of times."

Additionally, Riddle's tag team partner, Randy Orton, was also reportedly considered to win the main event match.

"The original plan for the Men's Rumble winner was Riddle, PWInsider.com has learned," Johnson wrote. "Plans were changed over the course of the week a ton of times with the final decision to have Brock Lesnar enter and win as a surprise. At one point, there was a pitch for Randy Orton to win as well, but Riddle was the frontrunner until the switch to Brock was made."

Lesnar lost the WWE championship to Bobby Lashley during a match held before the Men's Royal Rumble on Saturday night following interference from Universal Champion Roman Reigns, which included Lesnar's "advocate," Paul Heyman realigning himself with Reigns during the attack.

Numerous fans on Twitter acknowledged that the spot seemed to spoil the outcome of the Men's Royal Rumble main event amid several previous reports that WWE was planning to have Lesnar and Reigns once again headline WrestleMania 38.

The winner of the Men's Royal Rumble is given the option to challenge for the WWE or Universal Championship during the main event of the now two-night WrestleMania annual event.

Naturally, Lesnar's victory gives him the option to challenge either Lashley, who he lost the WWE championship to on Saturday, or Reigns, who cost him the match.

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