WWE reportedly considered Nia Jax to win the Royal Rumble

Feb 1, 2018 - by Steve Gerweck

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer (via SportsKeeda) has further details on the from the women’s Royal Rumble match this past Sunday. One detail would be who was initially planned to win.

He said that there were only ever two options for a winner, Asuka and Nia Jax. Asuka ended up victorious, kicking Nikki Bella off the apron. Previous reports claimed that Asuka’s clean sheet is being set up for Ronda Rousey. However, it’s unknown when that match would happen. It’s also believed that there is another reason why Asuka and Shinsuke Nakamura won their matches.

Meltzer states: “It does change the perception in Japan. While many wrestlers from Japan would have an interest in WWE, most of the major male stars haven’t. Shinsuke Nakamura and Hideo Itami were really the first, and Itami hasn’t panned out. Nakamura was looking flat after a bad program with Jinder Mahal, but will come out of the Rumble strong. He’ll probably have his best match so far in WWE with Styles, given the great match they had at the Tokyo Dome in 2016 for the IC title. Asuka has been pushed as unbeaten for years, and Kairi Sane has also been pushed as a significant star. But it’s easier for WWE to get women stars from Japan since they work for independent level groups and not New Japan, and while some are paid decently well, not make very strong money.”

Meltzer provided even more details about the planning of the match. He previously said there would be nine NXT stars in the match, but instead only Kairi Sane and Ember Moon were used.

He said: “The first-ever women’s Rumble was really built around a ton of women from the past. The decision was to use as many as possible, since they were filming interviews for a documentary about the prior era of women’s wrestling. It only wound up with two women from NXT, champion Ember Moon and Sane.”

He explains that the show main evented because the Rumble was always planned to end with Ronda Rousey’s debut. He adds: “Because the show was designed to end with Rousey, the women were moved to the main event position. The word of them going on last came the morning of the show, and while nobody, including the participants, were told about Rousey, most everyone figured out that was the reason.”

In closing, he confirms rumors that the female talent were removed from live events to be ready for the Rumble. He said: “The women were taken off the road on both the Raw and Smackdown tours over the weekend to work on the match and do run-throughs.“

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