Per Fightful, WWE had alternate entrants, including Toni Storm, ready to compete in the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble Match.
It’s not unusual for WWE to put wrestlers on standby in case someone is forced to drop-out of their thirty man and woman spectacular at the last minute and January 31 was no exception. According to the report, NXT’s Toni Storm and Kacy Catanzaro were both last minute replacements with only the former making it into the match.
The Women’s Royal Rumble match had plenty of surprises, as they announced only 16 entrants ahead of time. WWE went beyond and had additional names on hand in the event that some of the entrants couldn’t make it. One of those names that couldn’t make it was Mia Yim, now known as Reckoning. Fightful learned that Toni Storm actually wasn’t originally planned for the Rumble match, and ended up serving as an alternate when Yim couldn’t make it. Kacy Catanzaro, who was also at the venue, was another alternate WWE had ready in case someone else went down.
As stated by the report, while the former NXT UK Women’s Champion wasn’t originally meant for a Rumble spot, she was forced to replace RETRIBUTION’s RECKONING, otherwise known as Mia Yim who was struck down with COVID-19 just days before the event took place.
Yim’s diagnosis also affected real-life beau Keith Lee who was forced to quarantine with his partner and miss the men’s Royal Rumble of which he was one of the odds-on favourites to triumph.