The 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble would’ve gone down differently had one person not approached Vince McMahon.
The 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble match is remembered for Bianca Belair’s big win. She was the #3 entrant and lasted just under 57 minutes. In that time, Belair eliminated four other women: Bayley, Rhea Ripley, Natalya, and Charlotte Flair.
That last name is especially important because, according to former WWE writer Chris Dunn, it was Charlotte, not Belair, who was originally booked to win the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble match.
Speaking on the Public Enemies Podcast, Dunn explained that another writer, Ryan Ward (who some fans might recall was the one that worked closely with Triple H during NXT’s peak years before moving to other brands) went to Vince McMahon to have the finish changed, even after alleged rehearsals had already been scheduled.
“I was in a Tampa Hotel room and we were watching some sort of football game and an assistant had just left the Royal Rumble (2021) night-before meeting and they changed the finish and Charlotte [Flair] was going to go over and they rehearsed Charlotte going over and Bianca [Belair] was going to get eliminated like midway through the match and it got changed to Bianca going over.
I think a lot of people voiced it but this guy, Ryan Ward, he’s been there for like 14 years, he was [John] Cena’s writer and probably, for my money, I think has had the biggest hand in the women’s revolution.
He was lead writer in the golden days of NXT with Kevin [Owens] and Sami [Zayn] and The Four Horsewomen, all that stuff.
From my understanding, what I heard, he kind of said something to Vince [McMahon] to the effect of, ‘Vince, if you look at the Royal Rumble tomorrow, you have Edge winning and Charlotte winning.
We’re not making any new stars’ and I think that really resonated and Bianca was on such a roll where it kind of made sense and she also had to, again, right after that match, really nail that post-match promo and she did it and she was just awesome and great.”
Bianca Belair will not be participating in this year’s Royal Rumble match; instead, she’ll be defending her RAW Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss.
h/t PostWrestling for the transcription