WWE has dropped some major news and has announced several legends to return to WWE for the Royal Rumble Match.
Legends that have been announced include Hall of Famers The Bella Twins and Lita. Others confirmed are Summer Rae, Kelly Kelly, Michelle McCool, and perhaps the biggest surprise, the IMPACT Knockouts World Champion Mickie James.
The Bella Twins have not been in a WWE ring since 2018. Both participated in the first-ever women’s rumble match in 2018 where they lasted to the final three before Nikki eliminated her sister. They were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020. Since then, Nikki faced Ronda Rousey in the main event of the Evolution pay-per-view. Lita, Michelle McCool, and Kelly Kelly all participated in the first women’s rumble match as well and were part of the Evolution event.
Summer Rae is a welcoming surprise on this list as she has not made an appearance in WWE since leaving the company in 2016.
Mickie James was let go from WWE in the first round of cuts during 2021 in April after WrestleMania. She is currently the IMPACT World Knockouts Champion and she will be defending the title against Deonna Purrazzo this Saturday at Hard to Kill.
Pat McAfee addressed Mickie James as the Knockouts Champion on this week’s SmackDown commentary.
IMPACT Wrestling’s Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore commented on an IMPACT talent being used in a WWE match.
“WWE wanted it, Mickie wanted it and IMPACT Wrestling’s philosophy is always to work with other major promotions to create buzz for the fans. Everything is signed and agreed with WWE and IMPACT Wrestling – the only question is whether or not Mickie will enter one of WWE’s most historic annual matches as the reigning Knockouts World Champion.”
Including the legends, the current roster participants that have been announced are – Nikki A.S.H., Naomi, Rhea Ripley, Aliyah, Shotzi, Natalya, Shayna Baszler, Women’s Tag Team Champions Carmella and Queen Zelina, Tamina, 24/7 Champion Dana Brooke, and SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. A total of 19 out of the 30 women have been confirmed.
Traditionally, the SmackDown or Raw Women’s Champion would not participate in the Rumble match but Flair was included. After presenting the participants, Flair announced herself in it as well after boosting herself up as a game-changer, a living legend, and someone everyone admires.
After Flair includes herself in the Rumble Match, Naomi interrupts The Queen. She challenges Flair to a match to which Flair says she doesn’t know what Naomi has done in order to earn a match with her. Naomi then slaps her and the match is booked immediately after. It was a Championship Contenders Match.
Unfortunately for Naomi, she still has Sonya Deville to fight off. As Flair was outside the ring and Naomi was mere moments to winning the match via count-out, Deville appeared on the stage to declare that the match cannot be won as such.
After a series of near falls by Naomi, she attempted to go for the rearview but it was blocked and Flair stacked her up for two. As Flair had the Figure Four locked in, Naomi grabbed the ropes to break the hold. But the hold didn’t break and Deville announced the match could not be won by disqualification.
Naomi would continue to put up a fight but wasn’t able to execute the split-legged moonsault which had Flair hit Natural Selection to win the match.
What do you think of the participants of the Royal Rumble match announced so far? Who do you think will make up the other 11 entrants? Leave your thoughts below.