Here’s how a recent WWE Royal Rumble was changed at the last minute

The 2021 royal rumble pay-per-view saw Edge and Bianca Belair win the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble while the WWE was still trapped in “The ThunderDome”. However, the women’s match almost had a completely different outcome, as former WWE writer Chris Dunn explained on the Enemies of the State Podcast this week that Charlotte Flair was originally entered to win the Women’s Rumble and move on Wrestle Mania 37. The decision to change plans and let “The EST” win as the No. 3 contestant was apparently made the night before at Ryan Ward’s urging.

“I was in a hotel room in Tampa and we were watching some kind of football game and an assistant had just left the Royal Rumble (2021) the night before the meeting and they changed the finish and Charlotte [Flair] would go and they rehearsed for Charlotte to go and Bianca [Belair] was going to be taken out in the middle of the game and it was changed to Bianca passing over and I think a lot of people said it but this guy Ryan Ward he’s been there for 14 years he was [John] Cena’s writer and probably, for my money, I think he had the biggest hand in the women’s revolution,” said Dunn (h/t POST wrestling)

“He was lead writer in the golden days of NXT with Kevin [Owens] and Sami [Zayn] and The Four Horsewomen, all that stuff. From what I understand, what I heard, he said something to Vince [McMahon] with the effect of, “Vince, if you watch the Royal Rumble tomorrow, you’ll see Edge win and Charlotte win. We’re not making any new stars’ and I think that really resonated and Bianca was doing so well it kind of made sense and she also had to, again, right after that game, really grab that post-game promo and she did it and she was just amazing and wonderful.”

Belair ultimately lasted a whopping 56 minutes and 52 seconds before winning, while Flair reached the final three before being kicked out. “The EST” would have a Match of the Year contender at WrestleMania in her victory over Sasha Banks, while Flair was absent from the event. Belair will defend her Raw Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss on Saturday royal rumble pay-per-view.

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