WWE Reportedly Interested In Big Change For Royal Rumble 2022, But Is It Even Possible?

The WWE just came off a big pay-per-view with Day 1, and it’s already almost time for one of the company’s biggest events of any given year. The Royal Rumble is often a night of surprises, and among this year’s potential shockers is a concept unlike anything Vince McMahon & Co. have set up for audiences in previous years. There are heavy rumors at the moment that the WWE plans to open the so-called “forbidden door” for Royal Rumble 2022, but is that even possible?

To answer that, we need to dive into what the “forbidden door” is and why it would be such a big deal if it happens. Additionally, we need to talk out whether such a thing is actually viable for the imminent Royal Rumble, which is set to take place on Saturday, January 29th, in St. Louis, MO.

How The WWE Reportedly Wants To Change Up The Royal Rumble For 2022

The insider Wrestlevotes recently reported that more than one source has claimed the WWE is considering allowing an athlete from an outside wrestling promotion a chance to compete in the 2022 Men’s Royal Rumble. While there’s skepticism it will actually happen, it appears there’s a possibility that a male wrestler from New Japan, Impact, the recently disbanded Ring of Honor, or even AEW could participate in this year’s Royal Rumble. Impact World Champion Moose further solidified the rumor recently by openly challenging Roman Reigns

Other fans believe that the WWE wouldn’t readily pull in a wrestler it doesn’t have a relationship and instead is hoping for a wrestler that formerly worked within the organization. AEW star Bryan Danielson seems like an option considering he left the WWE on amicable terms (even if execs tried to make some demands), but there’s also Chris Jericho, who holds the record for the longest time spent in Royal Rumble matches. That could provide a meaningful reason for his return, assuming he’s not busy with his band or taking acting roles.

There’s a laundry list of other wrestling talents the WWE could woo into performing in the Royal Rumble, likely with the understanding among parent companies that the PPV would be a one-and-done deal. I’d wager this means any unforeseen participants won’t actually be winning the Royal Rumble, but their appearance would be exciting all the same.

But Can The WWE Even Pull This Off?

Beyond the “who” of it all, the main question surrounding the WWE allegedly considering the “forbidden door” is whether or not the company can even pull it off at this point in time. After all, few organizations would presumably want to send any top stars over to the Royal Rumble only to lose and appear weak against Vince McMahon’s roster. Additionally, this deal feels like one that’s largely beneficial to the WWE, and not necessarily the organizations who’d allow their wrestlers to participate. For example, what would AEW stand to gain from allowing either Danielson or Jericho, two of their top stars, over to participate in the WWE’s Royal Rumble? Landing an unsigned athlete would probably be the ideal route.

Additionally, we’re living in a world where COVID-19 is still rampant in various forms around the world. The WWE’s Roman Reigns had to miss his key Day 1 match due to a positive COVID test, and bringing in any outsider for the Royal Rumble could potentially cause issues for other wrestlers on the roster. Granted, it’s unclear what restrictions or protocols the organization currently has in place, or how adding a person from outside the organization could affect that in any way. Suffice to say, the safer route is ideal.

The WWE’s “forbidden door” talk remains a rumor for now, though it’ll certainly be something for wrestling fans to keep an eye on in the coming weeks. As mentioned, the Royal Rumble is always full of surprises, so there’s no telling who could walk down that ramp as one of the entrants. 

Stream the WWE’s Royal Rumble on Peacock on Saturday, January 29th at 8:00 p.m. ET. Even if there aren’t any big surprises, there are still plenty of reasons to tune in for the match itself and the colossal throwdown between Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.