Drew McIntyre and Charlotte Flair both made history this past Sunday, when they both won their perspective Royal Rumble matches. Neither, however, were originally scheduled to be victorious at the Rumble according to Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Until about a week ago the plan was for Roman Reigns to win the Men’s Rumble match and face Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania and Shayna Baszler to win and challenge Becky Lynch. We already covered that earlier in the week here, but there’s more info now.
The original thought was that once McIntyre eliminated Lesnar, he no longer needed to win the Rumble to set up the match with Lesnar. This plan was changed when Vince McMahon decided to go all in with McIntyre vs. Lesnar as the main event for Wrestlemania this year, and wanted to try to further establish that match.
Roman Reigns is still scheduled to face Bray Wyatt for the Universal Title at Wrestlemania, with Reigns now needing to find a different path to that match.
It should also be noted that the plan wasn’t finalized for McIntyre to be the person to eliminate Lesnar until a few weeks ago, with Aleister Black also being considered. The decision was made to go with McIntyre as he was considered to be more over than Black at this time. Black is considered a favorite of Raw’s Executive Director Paul Heyman that Meltzer called him “a major Paul Heyman project.” Also, McIntyre has been part of WWE a lot longer going back over a decade when he started, so it did make sense for him to win and the fans loved it.
The Wrestling Observer also reported that the Men’s Royal Rumble match was put together by Shane McMahon, Jamie Noble, Chris Park (Abyss), Lance Storm and plenty of input by Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar. Plus, Vince McMahon has the final say on everything as usual.
Meanwhile, the Women’s Royal Rumble was put together by Michael Hayes, TJ Wilson (Tyson Kidd), Adam Pearce and Mickie James, who is out with a knee injury, but should be back in action soon (according to our very own, John Canton).
As we recently reported, the plan for Charlotte is for her to go on and challenge the NXT Champion Rhea Ripley. Baszler is still scheduled to face Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship, with just like Reigns her having to find an alternate path to get there.
— WWE (@WWE) January 28, 2020
As we have posted earlier this week, the early lineup for WrestleMania matches is like this:
WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Drew McIntyre – This is official already.
WWE Universal Championship: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Roman Reigns
Randy Orton vs. Edge
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Shayna Baszler
NXT Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
Matt’s Musings: Excellent choices by WWE for both Rumble winners this year, as McIntyre vs. Lesnar and Charlotte vs. Ripley should both be excellent matches.