The field for WWE’s women’s Royal Rumble match looks to have lost one of the women whom many were expecting to make a big impact in the first-ever female edition of WWE’s annual over-the-top-rope battle royal. Reports are suggesting that Paige, who had recently suffered an injury at a house show, might not be able to compete in the history-making match.
Citing a subscriber-only report from PWInsider, Wrestling News wrote that Paige’s previous injury, which has taken her out of the ring for the past few weeks, might be serious enough to force her to miss the upcoming Royal Rumble pay-per-view, which takes place on January 28 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. After it was originally thought that she had merely suffered a stinger after taking a double kick to the back from Sasha Banks at an untelevised WWE Live show, it now looks like Paige wouldn’t be cleared in time for the year’s first major pay-per-view event, as the injury appears to be worse than WWE’s doctors had thought.
With Paige expected to miss the women’s Royal Rumble match, Wrestling News speculated that the English wrestler, who returned to the ring in November after missing more than a year due to a neck injury, will still be at ringside to support Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, her stablemates in the villainous faction Absolution. This also might increase the chances of WWE adding more “surprise entries” to the women’s Royal Rumble to make up the numbers, as the company’s main roster has less than 20 active, uninjured female wrestlers, but 30 spots to fill in the Rumble match.
Also citing information from PWInsider, Cageside Seats wrote on Wednesday that WWE’s first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match might include a few female wrestlers from the company’s past, including former WWE Women’s Champion Molly Holly and former Divas Champion Michelle McCool. As further noted by the publication, McCool has been in talks with WWE for a potential return, which may also further fuel rumors that her husband, The Undertaker, will be returning to the ring after ostensibly being retired by Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33.
Although Paige’s return to the WWE has been well-received by fans, her chances of winning the women’s Royal Rumble match might have been slim to begin with. Most publications, including Bleacher Report, are predicting that the match will be won by Asuka, who joined WWE’s main roster late last year and remains undefeated in singles competition since her NXT debut in 2015.