This year's Royal Rumble was a different one for many reasons. This year featured the first-ever Royal Rumble that took place behind closed doors in the WWE ThunderDome. More backstage differences of this year's event have recently been reported.
According to Fightful Select, the surprise Royal Rumble entrants were known in advance by current talent. The report claims that usually, surprise entrants are hidden on busses, and their participation in the matches is kept more tightly under wraps.
But the report claimed that this year, the surprise Royal Rumble entrants were widely known. Many of the WWE Legends who competed in the women's match were present at the rehearsals on Saturday afternoon, the day before the event took place. Oher returning stars reportedly spent time with talent at their hotel the night before the show.
Additionally, Fightful Select stated that this year's Royal Rumble event was more relaxed than the ones in recent memory. Needless to say, the 2021 Royal Rumble event was unlike any other.
Reports about the company's rehearsal of the battle royals broke ahead of the show. Likewise, several of the potentially surprising entrants, like Edge and Braun Strowman, were revealed ahead of time.
Multiple stars returned to WWE in the 2021 Royal Rumble
Before the 2021 Royal Rumble took place, most men involved in the match had declared their entry. But a handful of spots were still left up in the air, and the men's match featured a few comebacks.
The Hurricane, who is also a WWE backstage producer, made a brief appearance in the match. Kane also competed in the match, and he was eliminated by Damian Priest. Carlito participated in the battle royal, too. Most notably, Christian made his WWE return to the ring after he was forced to retire several years ago.
Only half of the entrants in the women' battle royal were announced beforehand. Jillian Hall was present in the match, and two-time WWE Women's Champion Victoria also made a surprise return. Hall of Famer Torrie Wilson and Alicia Fox briefly competed in the 2021 Women's Royal Rumble Match as well.