According to a report, WWE morale was low backstage after the Royal Rumble largely because a plethora of changes were made before the event.
The backstage “morale” following Saturday’s WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view was reportedly low.
Before the Royal Rumble pay-per-view commenced, it was reported that Vince McMahon had made several changes to the Royal Rumble matches. As previously noted, Riddle was reportedly initially scheduled to win the men’s Royal Rumble match, but WWE ultimately went with Brock Lesnar.
According to a report from Mike Johnson of PWInsider, “the morale with the WWE locker room among talents was down” after the show. This was largely “due to the whirlwind of changes made to the Rumble matches in the days and hours” before the Royal Rumble event started.
It was noted by Johnson that Triple H (Paul Levesque) and producer Tyson Kidd (T.J. Wilson) usually play major roles at the Royal Rumble event. Specifically, Triple H would be used “in an advisory role of sorts”, which includes making adjustments “to accentuate certain talents”. Triple H remains sidelined as he continues to recover from a serious cardiac event back in September that required surgery.
Johnson added that Kidd often plays “a massive leading role in producing the women’s division”, but he wasn’t present for Saturday’s event in St. Louis, Missouri.
Kofi Kingston botched a spot and was eliminated from the men’s Royal Rumble match sooner than planned. It was also reported that Shane McMahon, who returned to WWE programming following a lengthy hiatus, has plenty of backstage heat for largely booking the Royal Rumble around himself.
There was plenty of hype around Saturday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view, but in many ways, it did not live up to expectations. For one, why couldn’t Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley just win their respective matches cleanly? Why did Lesnar himself have to win the Royal Rumble when he’s already an established main event star? WWE missed several opportunities to piece together a top quality Royal Rumble event here, and it’s no wonder that so many fans were left greatly disappointed.