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Every surprise entrant in the 2024 Men’s Royal Rumble match

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. The men’s match didn’t have as few wrestlers confirmed in advance as the women’s Rumble this year, but there were still plenty of open spots and lots of room for surprises in the main event tonight (Jan. 27).

Our first unexpected name has been expected to make his WWE return for a few weeks, but they saved Andrade’s first appearance for the company since 2021 for the Rumble. Much more about that here.

Right on El Ídolo’s heels came NXT’s Carmelo Hayes. Not a huge shock given he’s been on SmackDown lately... but we’re counting it.

Melo lasted a while, and put his frequent nemesis Grayson Waller out of the match. But another moment with his friend/future rival Trick Williams never materialized, and his run ended shortly after Finn Bálor entered at 14 and threw him over the top rope.

With one former NXT champ eliminated, there was room for another. Bron Breakker made more of a statement after making his Rumble debut as the 20th entrant, immediately getting into it with Intercontinental champion Gunther.

Breakker threw four men over the top rope, including two MEATY MEN in Ivar and another somewhat unexpected entrant in Omos. He also kicked JD McDonagh’s ass after getting eliminated by Dominik Mysterio.

In the midst of that, Pat McAfee’s name was announced as the 22nd man in the match. McAfee, who made a surprise return at the start of the show to join his pal Michael Cole and nemesis Corey Graves on commentary, scoped the scene with Omos and Bron then decided to eliminate himself.

Entering at #30 was Sami Zayn, making his first television appearance since early December. He went right after the man who took him out in story, but after Zayn eliminated Damian Priest, it was that man — Drew McIntyre — who eliminated Sami.

Somewhat surprising? There were no legends in either of the Rumbles. What do you know, X-Pac was actually telling the truth.

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.

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