Part of the appeal of Royal Rumble matches are the surprise entrants. For the 2024 editions, WWE heard our plea and kept advance announcements to a minimum — particularly in the women’s match where only eight wrestlers were confirmed as of the morning before the show (Jan. 27).
They did reveal a few more as participants selected their entry numbers on the Kickoff show, but there was still plenty of room for surprises.
And we didn’t have to wait long for the first one. Naomi wasn’t a huge surprise, seeing as her return to the company after almost two years away has been reported on for at least a month. There was no mention of Naomi’s walking out of Raw back in 2022, or the wrestler she walked out with (despite the hopes and dreams of her many WWE fans, Mercedes Moné did not show up tonight as Sasha Banks). There was also no backtracking of the company’s framing of their walkout.
But they did namedrop TNA — the company she wrestled for as Trinity last year — in a bit of foreshadowing.
Entering second after Natalya allowed for a nice moment as the Tropicana Field crowd welcomed her back. The Glow-ster put on a heck of a show, lasting almost until the end before being eliminated by a debuting powerhouse (keep reading...).
That foreshadowing paid off with the next surprise, the woman beat Trinity/Naomi for the TNA Knockouts champion — Jordynne Grace! More on that here.
There were several unannounced wrestlers over the next 20 entrants, but none that would really qualify as a surprise. But at 27, we got our first NXT entrant — the brand’s former Women’s champ (and current #1 contender) Roxanne Perez. While somewhat unexpected, it wasn’t The Prodigy’s first appearance, since she was in last year’s match.
Number 28 brought the debut of former AEW TBS champion Jade Cargill. It went... quite well. You can read more about that here.
Another former NXT Women’s champion entered in the 29th spot, Tiffany Stratton.
Tiffy’s time in the match was eventful, eliminating Perez and making it to the final five before being sent over the top by eventual winner Bayley.
In order to win, Bayley had to eliminate the final entrant — and our final surprise of the match... Liv Morgan.
The former SmackDown Women’s titleholder had been sidelined since last summer with an injury, and almost turned her comeback moment into a WrestleMania main event. She took care of Cargill, which was no easy feat on this night. More than that wasn’t meant to be, but she gave us more than enough reason to want to watch her moving forward.
Get the scoop on every Royal Rumble surprise — and everything else that happened in St. Petersburg, Florida’s Tropicana Field tonight — in our live blog here.