This year’s Royal Rumble match for men went largely without a hitch, as Cody Rhodes won from 30th place. But fans who watched the game closely quickly realized that only 29 contestants actually took part in the hour-long contest. Rey Mysterio was initially announced as the number 17 contestant, but did not appear even after his music hit. Dominik Mysterio entered at number 18 wearing Rey’s mask, strongly suggesting that he and The Judgment Day attacked Rey backstage and stopped him from participating.
That actually turned out not to be the case. According to Dave Meltzer of the struggling observer, Mysterio is currently struggling with an injury and was unable to participate in the competition. Mysterio has only wrestled on television twice since last Halloween, but was able to beat Karrion Kross on this week’s SmackDown in a seven and a half minute match.
I also want to say that I am his #Royal Rumble only had 29 superstars
— Stone Cold Shea Jackson (@OsheaJacksonJr) January 29, 2023
To update: Per PWInsider, Mysterio had been “knocked out of his match the night before on SmackDown, but was ‘OK’. It was back and forth over whether he would feature in the Rumble, where he would shoot a corner with Dominik to help build a singles match at WrestleMania.
Cody Rhodes on defying Roman governments at WrestleMania 39
Rhodes finally talked about taking on Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania during the Royal Rumble post-show press conference.
“I’ve been very careful about pronouncing Roman’s name,” Rhodes began. “Because it’s one of those things that I knew and I’m sure he knew. I came back and the first night I’m back on Raw after WrestleMania, I pointed to my waist. I talked about it in an interview, the real story of wanting to win the WWE Championship the one title that has eluded the family And I’m sure he heard that and I’ve seen everything Roman has done … I have nothing but respect and respect to Roman.. .guys I can’t tell you I’m the best wrestler in the world. No one can unless their man is Roman Reigns. That’s the best wrestler in the world. I’d like to think I’m number two and I always say Seth (Rollins) is number three… don’t take my list so seriously. But Roman is undisputed, that’s the best way to put it.”
“If that’s the situation we’ll be in at WrestleMania in 60 days, I can’t shrivel under the lights. He’s been there before, I haven’t,” he continued. “It will take everything I could ever collect and everything I have. But I have to finish this story. It’s real.”
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- Cody Rhodes addresses defiant Roman rule at WrestleMania 39 after winning the 2023 Royal Rumble
- Dominik Mysterio steals and wears Father Rey Mysterio’s mask