As is the case with WWE Royal Rumble matches, the 2022 instalment featured a slew of surprise entrants in both the men’s and women’s bouts. This ranged from stars returning from an injury hiatus, such as Drew McIntyre, faces from the past stopping by again in the case of Melina and The Bella Twins, and celebrity guests in Bad Bunny.
One unique entrant in the women’s offering, however, was Mickie James. Released from WWE the prior April, James entered the match not as her WWE self, but as her ‘Hardcore Country’ persona from IMPACT Wrestling. This included her entering with the Knockouts World Championship, as was referenced by WWE commentary.
Mickie was one of a handful of surprise entrants announced ahead of time. The nature of her appearance in the bout being a case of WWE opening the Forbidden Door resulted in reports of the sports entertainment giant considering doing the same for the men’s bout.
Vince McMahon Ultimately Refused A Forbidden Door Entrant
Speaking with GiveMeSport’s Louis Dangoor, WrestleVotes has provided some clarification on whether or not the spot was officially planned:
“From what I understand, a list of four or five guys was presented, and Vince didn’t like any of them, so that’s where it ended. Vince doesn’t know every single wrestler outside of the WWE, so when this list was presented, there was nothing that jumped out at him. I’m not even quite sure he recognised the four or five or six guys that they said, ‘We can probably do this’.”
For clarity, it’s believed that this was never intended to be a guest spot from a contracted All Elite Wrestling star:
“It was never on the table for it to be anybody from AEW. That that I know for sure. They agreed to have Mickie James wearing the IMPACT [Knockouts World] title, so I know the idea was, ‘If we do it in the women’s, shouldn’t we do it in the men’s?’”
Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey ended up winning the 2022 Royal Rumble matches, entering at number 30 and 28, respectively.