WWE had plenty of surprises in the 2021 Royal Rumble, but they announced several ahead of time.,
Edge and Braun Strowman popped up on WWE TV the week before the Royal Rumble instead of on the PPV itself. Coupled with WWE revealing entry numbers ahead of time, many fans were confused. Fightful Select pried about the info to WWE sources.
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. WWE also didn't want to try to recreate Edge's surprise return from last year.
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.
Edge would go on to win the Royal Rumble from the number one spot. Natalya would earn the #30 spot during a match on WWE Backstage.
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