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Here’s How a Recent WWE Royal Rumble Had Its Finished Changed at the Last Minute

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The 2021 Royal Rumble pay-per-view saw Edge and Bianca Belair win the Men’s and Women’s Royal Rumble while the WWE was still stuck inside “The ThunderDome.” However, the Women’s match almost had a very different outcome, as former WWE writer Chris Dunn explained on the Public Enemies Podcast this week that Charlotte Flair was originally penciled in to win the Women’s Rumble and move on to WrestleMania 37. The decision to change up plans and have “The EST” win as the No. 3 entrant was apparently made the night before at the insistence of Ryan Ward. 

“I was in a Tampa Hotel room and we were watching some sort of football game and an assistant had just left the Royal Rumble (2021) night-before meeting and they changed the finish and Charlotte [Flair] was going to go over and they rehearsed Charlotte going over and Bianca [Belair] was going to get eliminated like midway through the match and it got changed to Bianca going over and I think a lot of people voiced it but this guy, Ryan Ward, he’s been there for like 14 years, he was [John] Cena’s writer and probably, for my money, I think has had the biggest hand in the women’s revolution,” Dunn said (h/t POST Wrestling),

“He was lead writer in the golden days of NXT with Kevin [Owens] and Sami [Zayn] and The Four Horsewomen, all that stuff. From my understanding, what I heard, he kind of said something to Vince [McMahon] to the effect of, ‘Vince, if you look at the Royal Rumble tomorrow, you have Edge winning and Charlotte winning. We’re not making any new stars’ and I think that really resonated and Bianca was on such a roll where it kind of made sense and she also had to, again, right after that match, really nail that post-match promo and she did it and she was just awesome and great.”

Belair wound up lasting a whopping 56 minutes and 52 seconds before winning, while Flair made it to the final three before being tossed out. “The EST” would go on to have a Match of the Year contender at WrestleMania in her victory over Sasha Banks, while Flair was absent from the event. Belair will defend her Raw Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss at Saturday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view. 

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