Summer Rae Details How Her WWE Royal Rumble Appearance Came About, Worried About Having Red Hair

Summer Rae is getting back in the ring at WWE Royal Rumble as she is one of 30 women set to compete in the women's Royal Rumble.

Rae hasn't wrestled in WWE since 2016, but was a favorite among fans at the time due to pairing with Fandango and role on "Total Divas."

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Speaking to Renee Paquette on Oral Sessions, Rae discussed how her Royal Rumble appearance came about.

"When they called me about Rumble and stuff, at first they were like, 'would you be interested? Would you even consider it?' That was like the second thing that I said, 'Oh, I'm red-headed now.' I guess Sasha has every hair color under the world and [Naomi], but I think I look extremely different and some people don't even recognize me, especially on socials. John Cone was like, 'Johnny [John Laurinaitis] and I, will bring it up to Vince.' I remember saying it in front of my sister and she was like, 'Don't use it as an excuse.' 'It's not an excuse. I can't just show up like this and Vince see me and be like who the hell is that?'" she said.

In a previous interview, Rae worried that if she were to go back for the Royal Rumble, she figured she would have to go back blonde as to not confuse fans.

Rae continued, providing more details on the phone call she received from Senior Manager of Talent Relations John Cone.

"There were no rumblings ever. October (2017) was when I left, but then I hadn't wrestled the year before. So, I had just crossed over four years gone, but five and a half years since a match. I was never out and injured, I just started to kind of speak up after this live event match and went to a doctor, went to another doctor, and I never really knew. I was like, 'that'll be cool to go to the Rumble and have a last match and be present in that moment and aware of what is happening. No one had called or texted.' I remember at the beginning of the pandemic, living close (to WWE Headquarters) and then the pandemic hit. (Mark) Carano and (John) Cone would always message me 'Happy Birthday' and I never burned a bridge, but I also don't have access to Vince," she said.

Rae continued, by saying, "I went to Tenille's [Tenille Dashwood] show with IMPACT in Vegas and the dirtsheets picked that up, 'she's going there,' no, it was just coincidental, I just happened to go to the show. I guess I could have sat in the back, but I wanted to see her. I'm packing for Abu Dhabi and 9 at night and I see Cone's name on my phone and I went, 'Whaaaat.' You just know. I picked up the phone and went, 'What do you want? It's been four and a half years.' 'Well, we have you on our list of potential girls and wanted to get your interest.' I honestly didn't get my hopes up. I just said, 'that's flattering and cool, of course.' The Rumble was always my favorite pay-per-view, that or Money in the Bank and of course Mania everyone loves. All my friends love the Rumble. They were like, 'you probably won't find out until the New Year.' Five days later he called me and was like, 'Merry Christmas. We have an answer with you, it's yes.' I was with Tenille. In my head I'm thinking, 'What moves do I do? What's my entrance? Do I tell? Do I not tell?' Tenille was so happy for me. I was [so happy] but also processing it. 'Do they know I have red hair?' 'Yeah, Johnny loves it. Vince thinks it's cool.' I didn't even ask who else was in (in the Rumble), I just hung up."

She noted that she was worried because she didn't have a ring to train in or gear ready for the match.

While WWE will often keep surprises under wraps for the Royal Rumble, the company announced over half the entries into the women's Royal Rumble including Rae, Mickie James, and the Bella Twins.

"Then they called me last Friday and said, 'Vince wants to announce a couple of people tonight and he's thinking about announcing you. Just a heads up, your socials are going to surge.' I'm thinking, 'I haven't told any of my best friends. I'm going to look like such a bad person.' I hadn't told anyone because I didn't want anyone to ruin the surprise. When it happened, I was a little taken aback, 'That stinks, it was supposed to be a surprise.' Also, in my head, I was like, 'I'm going to use this to market the crap out of me and what I'm doing.' When I'm in the gym it's 'Road to Rumble,' I can reignite my beef with Nattie. Bayley wrote me and started putting me over. I talked to a bunch of the girls and they were like, 'it's an insane match to put together. Everything changes until the moment you walk out.' How is that even possible? I have no ego and feel I'm easy to work with and think producers have a time with the matches with the personalities and egos and getting your shit in. I would love to have a Total Divas moment and maybe a spot with Nattie and then wave to my friends," she said.

Rae and Natalya immediately picked up their Total Divas feud following the announcement, going back-and-forth with each other on social media.

Fans can view the current list of competitors for both the men's and women's WWE Royal Rumble by clicking here.

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