Renee Paquette has a problem with WWE's Royal Rumble return announcements

Renee Paquette worked for WWE between 2012 and 2020
Renee Paquette worked for WWE between 2012 and 2020

Renee Paquette (formerly known as Renee Young) believes WWE should not have announced the return of several former superstars for the 2022 Women’s Royal Rumble match.

During Friday’s episode of SmackDown, IMPACT Knockouts Champion Mickie James was revealed as one of the 30 entrants in this year’s match. Brie Bella, Kelly Kelly, Lita, Michelle McCool, Nikki Bella, and Summer Rae were also confirmed as participants.

Speaking to Tom Hannifan (formerly known as Tom Phillips) on her Oral Sessions podcast, Paquette questioned why WWE did not keep all seven Superstars’ returns a secret.

“Stop announcing them...," said Paquette. "God, I hate that. Yes [I'm mad that Summer Rae’s return was announced]. Even Mickie James, that one’s a huge one. If she came out and her music hit, I would have been like, ‘Holy s***.’ But Summer has not been a part of any WWE event since she left, so to hear her music hit would have thrown me for an absolute loop.”

Mickie James has appeared in IMPACT Wrestling and NWA since WWE released her in April 2021. Summer Rae, by contrast, left WWE in October 2017 and has not wrestled since October 2019 (H/T Cagematch).

WWE has changed its approach for the 2022 Royal Rumble

WWE usually reveals the names of around 20 superstars for both the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches every year. The remaining participants are not announced in advance, so fans do not know if a returning Superstar will enter the match until their music hits.

Last year, for example, the Women’s Royal Rumble match featured surprise appearances from Alicia Fox, Jillian Hall, Torrie Wilson, and Victoria. In the men’s Rumble, four legends – Carlito, Christian, The Hurricane, and Kane – unexpectedly entered the bout.

At the time of writing, Jackass star Johnny Knoxville is the only non-active entrant who has been announced for the upcoming Men’s Royal Rumble match. It is unclear if WWE plans to reveal more returning legends for either the men’s or women’s Rumble matches before the event on January 29.

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Please credit Oral Sessions and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.

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Edited by Colin Tessier