Former WWE writer Court Bauer has spoken out about Vince McMahon’s reaction to surprise entrants in the Royal Rumble Match.
Over the years, there has been a wealth of shock entrants in the 30-Man and 30-Woman elimination bouts, ranging from several non-commercial names in the 1996 bout, Jeff Jarrett making his return to the ring in 2018, Mr. Perfect shocking the world in 2002 and of course the wealth of names from yesteryear in the inaugural Women’s outing in 2018.
However, according to MLW Owner Court Bauer the boss isn’t a fan of such entrants and would prefer to keep the bout to active main roster and NXT talents. Sitting down with Fightful for their ‘Inside the Royal Rumble’ feature, the promoter spoke on the shock entrants and how a supposed one-and-done can turn into the offer of a contract:
“It’s just something that will pop up from random people. There’s people like Brian Gewirtz that was a fan of Bob Backlund. So, he pitched sometimes, ‘Hey, maybe we can find a way to get Backlund in this?’ He’ll have an idea that’s possibly humorous and then you just have talent relations dial him up and see if they can get him in. I always loved those kind of surprises. Sometimes you’ll have a receptive audience from the chairman, etc. Sometimes he’ll bark and say, ‘Goddamn. It’s about our stars, not the stars of yesteryear,’ or guys that maybe our fan base today doesn’t know. Then there’s sometimes validity to it. You have to balance the star power and the surprises and it has to be the right balance. Too many and it’s kind of funky. The wrong star coming out is like, ‘Oh. That’s random.’ You just never know. Hopefully, they have a purpose. You know what I love about it, too? Guys like Goldust, they’ll trigger a whole resurgence for their career, a revival for them just off of that kind of randomness. I think it happened for a lot of guys over the last ten / fifteen years where guys like Mr. Perfect were anticipated to come back. They were just a one-off and, man, they got a big pop, it looked like a million bucks, let’s bring ‘em to TV. Then TV turns into the next week, then they’re offered a deal. So, I like that. It’s a wildcard component. Sometimes you can bring in a veteran when you realize you needed him and missed that.”
The 2020 Royal Rumble Match stood out for its lack of surprise entrants in both the male and female outings, with the numbers being made up by stars from NXT instead of returning legends. However, the most notable entrant was former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Edge, who returned to the ring for the first time in almost nine years.
With the 2021 edition of the popular event heading to our screens on January 31, all eyes are now cast to the aisle to see which stars of our childhoods will step-out for one last hurrah.
Credit for the interview and transcription: Fightful