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January 30, 2022 Observer Newsletter: Royal Rumble rumors, NJPW cancels January shows

A look at possible Royal Rumble surprises for Saturday, NJPW cancels January events due to COVID-19 protocols, and more.
Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey heads the rumors for Royal Rumble surprises and WrestleMania.

Rousey’s name was first reported this week on Fightful. Since then this much has been confirmed to us. First, Rousey has been back training for pro wrestling. Second, she will be returning this year and she is under contract with WWE. Her original deal was up, but either a new deal was put together or WWE froze her three-year deal since she really only worked the first year and a few months of it. There have been WrestleMania plans that include Becky Lynch vs. Rousey that have been discussed internally. We have not confirmed her for the Rumble, but PWInsider did report her make-up woman is booked for both the Rumble in St. Louis and Raw two days later in Cincinnati.

That opens up a lot of conjecture. The key is then what do you do if she’s in the Royal Rumble. Surprises in the Rumble always get over, so people may not boo her at first. But she was a heel when she left. Some will perceive her as taking the spot that Bianca Belair earned if in fact it does go to Lynch vs. Rousey. They could also go with a three-way to circumvent that. That isn’t necessarily a more marketable match, but does give more options for a finish and makes for less risk for the match.

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