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Rumors Are Swirling WWE Had Another, Wilder Pick To Win The Royal Rumble Before Changing Last Minute

The WWE’s 2022 Royal Rumble crowned its winners, and while it may feel like a given that Brock Lesnar was slated to win the event from the start (especially considering his Day 1 match with Roman Reigns was derailed), rumor have surfaced claiming that isn’t the case. In fact, it’s said creatives considered many ideas for the Royal Rumble before the decision was made at the last minute to have Lesnar as the last man standing. This included an absolutely wild booking to win the match that I don’t think anyone would’ve seen coming, and there’s an alternate reality where Riddle could’ve punched his ticket to WrestleMania. 

That’s right, the scooter-riding half of RK-Bro was, at one point, considered a backstage frontrunner to win the 2022 Royal Rumble. PWInsider.com reported that Riddle was originally booked as the winner of the match until it was finalized that Brock Lesnar would lose the WWE championship and enter the Royal Rumble, presumably to guarantee a revenge rematch against Roman Reigns. Unfortunately, his win came at the cost of a victory for Riddle, who was about as left-field of a Rumble winner pick as anyone else could have been.

At least, for those not working behind the scenes at the WWE. PWInsider’s report received support from WrestleVotes, who noted on Twitter that some company execs allegedly wanted Riddle to win out in order to begin a feud with his tag-team partner and WWE legend, Randy Orton. The insider said thoughts about a match between the two (who seem to get along quite well in real life) have gone as far back as SummerSlam, and offered an update on what the current feelings are on it.

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While the full original plans for the Royal Rumble aren’t known, it’s possible that the WWE planned to also break up RK-Bro (who collaborated with the Jackass crew in December) in the process of getting Riddle the Men’s Royal Rumble win. Randy Orton is from St. Louis, where this year's even was held, so Riddle turning on his tag team partner would’ve been a moment that generated a massive negative response from the audience in attendance. Of course, we can only speculate on such plans, and I can also see a reality where Orton played a vital role in setting up his tag-team partner for a career-making moment. 

What’s most interesting about this news is that it seems like the WWE feels positive enough about Riddle to give him a legitimate title shot. I guess we could’ve seen that happening when he got to ride a camel at Crown Jewel, and Randy Orton didn’t, but in all seriousness, it’s looking like Riddle might eventually become a main event-level talent in the WWE. We’ll have to wait and see where his storyline heads the rest of this year and if there’s a chance of him getting a WWE or Universal title run in the next year or so. 

Monday Night Raw airs over on the USA Network Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET. With the “road to WrestleMania” officially underway, now is the perfect time to jump in and get caught up on all the action, and perhaps pick up a Peacock subscription in order to watch WrestleMania 38 on April 2nd and 3rd. 

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.