WWE had other names in mind for the Royal Rumble but for one reason or another, some names were not at the show.
Prior to the pay-per-view, Fightful reported that WWE was interested in bringing Lana back for the Royal Rumble. She did not appear so a deal was not reached. There have been rumors that Lana will eventually appear alongside her husband in AEW.
Lana (real name CJ Perry) was released by WWE last June due to budget cuts. Her non-compete expired in September so she is free to sign with another wrestling company.
As noted earlier, there were several other names who were rumored to appear at the Rumble. Fightful reported that there was a belief that Asuka would be in the Rumble but nothing was confirmed. There were also rumors about Kairi Sane but she was not there either.
Kaitlyn and Aksana are two other names that were rumored. In Aksana’s case, she did confirm on social media that she was backstage but she was not used on the show.