As noted earlier this week, the original plan for the Royal Rumble was for Roman Reigns to win the men’s Rumble match and for Shayna Baszler to win the women’s Rumble match.
Dave Meltzer noted in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Vince McMahon changed his mind about a week ahead of the pay-per-view.
The reason for the change to the men’s match is that McMahon wanted to make the WrestleMania main event as strong as possible so he needed McIntyre to win the Rumble match.
The original idea was for Lesnar to destroy everyone in front of him by eliminating the first 13 guys until a combination of a low blow from Ricochet and a Claymore Kick from McIntyre would lead to Lesnar’s elimination. The idea was that once McIntyre eliminated Lesnar then he didn’t need to win the Rumble match because that would be enough to set up their feud. Roman Reigns would have gone on to win and then he would have challenged Bray Wyatt for the Universal Championship.
The way it was done on Sunday still works out as McIntyre is still wrestling Lesnar for the WWE Championship and Reigns is still set to wrestle Wyatt for the Universal Championship.
The top women’s matches at WrestleMania will be Shayna Baszler challenging Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship and Charlotte Flair challenging Rhea Ripley for the NXT Championship. There is no word yet on what is planned for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.