WWE made waves on Friday, January 6 when they announced tons of Royal Rumble surprises weeks before the show. Among those include Lita, Bella Twins, Kelly Kelly, Summer Rae, Michelle McCool and Mickie James.
WWE started reaching out to talent earlier than usual about appearing in the match. In recent years, they've contacted legends as soon as nine days out from the show to come in after not wrestling for years. However, we've heard that most that were contacted were under the impression that their participation wouldn't be announced ahead of time. We're told that this was done to help boost ticket sales and increase buzz for the show, and that there is "plenty of room for more surprises, and likely will be." Not everyone WWE contacted has committed to the match. We've also been told WWE will have backup names in mind.
WWE sources that we spoke to said that earlier on that Friday, they hadn't been aware that the announcements would happen, then the late scripts included the names. An interesting note was that Mickie James name was preceded with "(?) Impact Knockouts Champion (?)" stylized like that. The word backstage at IMPACT Hard To Kill was that mentioning the IMPACT Title was a part of an agreement for the match, though we've not confirmed that with WWE or Mickie.
IMPACT was said to have been happy with the buzz, especially considering that they already had a Women's main event planned for their PPV.
As far as WWE is concerned, we've heard of pitches for "interesting" and "big" outside names, but have heard no context as to who they may be, or if they'll come to fruition.
This article first appeared on our premium service, Fightful Select. Subscribe to get exclusive news every day, and a half-dozen weekly podcasts.
To directly support us and our continuing breaking news, interviews, and the like, subscribe to FightfulSelect.com. You'll get exclusive news sent to you directly before anyone else, and dozens of podcasts monthly including Alex Pawlowski's Sour Graps, Sean Ross Sapp's Q&A, Retro Reviews and more