For several weeks, Roman Reigns and Shayna Baszler were predicted to win the Royal Rumble. As it turns out, they were WWE’s original picks as well.
Last night, WWE found its two latest winners of Royal Rumble match in the form of Charlotte Flair and Drew McIntyre. Now, both Superstars are slotted for title matches in their respective main events at WrestleMania.
But before either was ear marked to win the prestigious 30-person matches, two very different competitors were originally penciled in to win.
We first reported last night on word from Tom Colohue that the decision to book Drew McIntyre as the Royal Rumble winner was a last minute one. Now, on word from Dave Meltzer, it appears that Drew’s winning spot originally was planned for Roman Reigns while WWE also penned Shayna Baszler in to win the Royal Rumble that took place earlier in the night.
Meltzer speculates (h/t Sportskeeda) that the change for Charlotte to win had to be have made on Jan. 14 because that day, betting odds for The Queen surged upwards after betting odds had mostly been in Shayna Baszler’s corner up until that point. Also, can someone explain to me why people bet on pre-determined wrestling matches? I never understood or found any sense in it, personally. Anyway …
As for McIntyre, Meltzer adds that the decision to dub The Chosen One as the chosen winner was a decision made by Raw’s head booker and executive director, Paul Heyman. Meltzer speculates that the decision may have already been made for McIntyre to challenge Brock Lesnar after eliminating him, but Heyman would have wanted to put over McIntyre as a strong challenger by booking him to win the whole thing.
No matter how they got there, the fact remains that Charlotte Flair and Drew McIntyre have both punched their tickets to WrestleMania 36.