Vince McMahon reportedly made changes to plans for the 30-Man Royal Rumble Match and the 30-Woman Royal Rumble Match because he wanted to create stronger main events for WrestleMania 36, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The WWE Chairman & CEO likely made those changes in the last week leading up to Sunday’s big event from Minute Maid Park in Houston.
In creative plans leading up to the last week before the Rumble pay-per-view, WWE reportedly had Roman Reigns and Shayna Baszler scheduled to win the two matches. Charlotte Flair and Drew McIntyre ended up winning. McIntyre vs. WWE Champion Brock Lesnar has been officially announced for WrestleMania 36, while Flair is rumored to challenge WWE NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
It was noted by The Observer that the decision has been made to go all out with McIntyre vs. Lesnar as the WrestleMania 36 main event, barring any special outside attraction match. Reigns vs. WWE Universal Champion “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt is scheduled for the big event, but not as the main event.
The original idea for the Men’s Rumble was to have Lesnar destroy everyone, eliminating the first 13 competitors, until a combination of the low blow from Ricochet, which was payback for their recent TV angle and Lesnar’s low blow kick, and a Claymore Kick from McIntyre would eliminate The Beast. The idea was that once McIntyre eliminated Lesnar, he didn’t need to win the Rumble, and that Reigns could win and then go on to challenge The Fiend, so you would have the two main title matches as somewhat even. However, Vince wanted to establish McIntyre vs. Lesnar as the real main event, so everything is being geared to making the match as strong as possible.
We noted before that Aleister Black vs. Lesnar was considered at one point as RAW Executive Director Paul Heyman is very high up on him, and has made Black’s push a project of his. The feeling at this point is that McIntyre was more over than Black, so they went with McIntyre for the big title shot. A major push for McIntyre in 2020 has been rumored for many months now.
Other matches currently on the books for WrestleMania 36 on April 5 from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa are Baszler vs. RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, and Randy Orton vs. WWE Hall of Famer Edge.
Stay tuned for updates on the WrestleMania 36 card.