With Goldberg appearing on WWE programming, we've started to learn some older stories from his previous runs. Goldberg told Fox Sports that his Jackhammer against Undertaker is one he'd take back, and other sources told us that Goldberg actually wasn't gung-ho on the idea of doing the Jackhammer to Bray Wyatt during their 2020 match as his shoulder was banged up. Another source told us that Bray Wyatt was on board with simply using a spear, and everything seemed agreed upon with both Wyatt and Goldberg. However, Vince McMahon was adamant on Goldberg using the Jackhammer to win the match, which is what would eventually happen. It was a less than impressive finish, but much like the lack of ad libbing in his Drew McIntyre promo upon his return, was another case of Goldberg just doing what the company asked of him from those we spoke with.
Good news emerging out of WWE, as Fightful has learned that as of Friday, Chelsea Green is going through the process of being cleared. Green has been sidelined for the last two months after sustaining a broken wrist, but has been working to prepare for a return. She's been seen at the WWE Performance Center over the course of January, and has been working out at Robert Stone's gym alongside Britt Baker, Santana Garrett, Deonna Purrazzo and Reba/Rebel, according to social media posts.
We're told the injury has healed up, but Green still has to go through WWE's standard injury protocol before being deemed "good to go."
On the IMPACT Hard To Kill broadcast, Don Callis repeatedly mentioned to Moose that he was signed to a two-year contract in an effort to kayfabe get him to take it easy on Kenny Omega. Moose was announced as signing a multi-year deal in 2019, leading many to believe that this was a reference to Moose re-signing for another two years. As it turns out, it was simply storyline. Sources have indicated to Fightful that Moose's IMPACT Wrestling contract is actually up in June, making him a free agent at that time. As mentioned earlier this year, it's expected that there will actually be a steady stream of contracts coming due through the first half of the year.
Royal Rumble Stuff
Many have asked about WWE's thought process in a couple of Royal Rumble decisions. Edge returned on WWE Raw and announced he'd be appearing in the Royal Rumble match. Fightful inquired within WWE about why this happened instead of a Rumble surprise, and were told that if there were an actual crowd, there's a good chance that he would have been held off. However, it was decided that Edge's return was best served as being announced to create buzz for the Royal Rumble and help attract lapsed fans familiar with him.
As for the call to announce certain #30, #1 & #2 entrants on WWE Backstage, it was confirmed to Fightful pretty much what you'd expect -- WWE and Fox want to do a good viewership number and maximize the partnership and deals they already have in place.
Rickey Shane Page
We got an interesting story out of Rickey Shane Page about his recent match with JTG, which got very violent. Not only was JTG easy to work with and willing to go above and beyond, Rickey Shane Page says JTG actually came to him and suggested they use light tubes and other weapons that you wouldn't expect out of him.
Among other stories that he told included him serving as Ethan Page's toy mule to get figures across the border, and mentioning that he thinks Canadian indie standout Jody Threat would be on TV now if not for the pandemic.
Page told us that he looks up to the heel work of Randy Orton, and loves to implement rest holds to get heel heat. However, the old approach that being a heel diminishes your merchandise sales doesn't apply to him, as he says 44.OH's merch sales have exploded since they've turned things up on their heel run. He doesn't have a preference on getting booed or cheered to confirm his heel work, so to speak, and hasn't had many people challenge him physically as a result. The Run Rickey Run show was the craziest he's seen his work as a heel get to a crowd, but knows that most people realize they're just working and are along for the ride. This conversation goes in-depth on heel work for one of the best doing it right now.
Fightful has learned that WWE had their women's Royal Rumble rehearsal planned from Noon to 6 PM on Saturday in Orlando. This will cause some that are already in town in Tampa to make the trip back to Orlando, but the thought process we were given is that it would be much more convenient for those in Orlando already.
Last year, WWE had the women's Rumble broken down into two sections to set up the match to streamline the process. However, there were said to have been issues getting the rehearsal started due to tardiness, so they blocked off a larger period of time this year in the afternoon, as opposed late into the night like last year.
Jey Uso was conspicuously absent from the WWE Royal Rumble graphic on Smackdown, and the entire tag team scene were pretty well absent from the show. Fightful learned that both Jey Uso and tag team champion Robert Roode were not backstage at the event.
Friday saw a lot more talk about the upcoming WWE Raw and Royal Rumble at the Smackdown creative meeting than Smackdown itself, according to WWE sources we spoke with. That was reflected in the show itself.
Royal Rumble News
WWE had their Royal Rumble lineup set by Sunday morning, and what you saw unfold is the order they had planned it. During big shows in the past, the lineup has changed all the way up until the show was actually on the air.
Adam Pearce was said to have been instrumental in putting the Royal Rumble match together, and it was received well backstage. Bianca Belair received a standing ovation upon returning backstage after her win.
We're told that Vince McMahon was not seen at the venue on Sunday, and has been missing several shows of late. McMahon has been dealing with the passing of his brother, Rodney. We extend our condolences to the McMahon Family.