WWE's Royal Rumble pay-per-view will feature a special crossover this year as Mickie James, reigning Impact Knockouts Champion for Impact Wrestling, will compete in the Women's Royal Rumble match. But it turns out she wasn't the only one from Impact to get a call. According to Sean Ross Sapp via Fightful Select, WWE also contracted The IInspiration's Cassie Lee and Jessie McKay (fka Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, The IIconics) but the two turned down the idea. Despite having already been split up as a team, the pair were both let go from WWE in April 2021. They arrived in Impact that October at Bound for Glory and immediately won the Knockouts Tag Team Championships, titles they've now held for over three months.
Sapp noted that other stars who were let go over the past two years were also contacted, but there's been no confirmation of any other surprise crossovers. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer noted that no one from AEW will be appearing at the Rumble, specifically mentioning Jon Moxley, Chris Jericho and Cody Rhodes (who is technically a free agent).
James explained how she was contacted for the Rumble match in an interview with Ariel Helwani — "It was a few weeks ago and Scott (D'Amore) had called me first just to kind of see where I was at and if I was interested. I think immediately I was excited because I think this historically has never happened before for WWE to do this or have anyone participate in the Rumble, especially to acknowledge the championship. It's really cool, and it shows a different amount of respect. I just feel really great about it. Plus I think in my mind, the last thing most people bring up or talk about was on the other end of the spectrum, so it's cool not to have that be the thing, or the last thing, or whatever that is."
Here's the updated lineup for the Rumble as of now:
- WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
- WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley
- Raw Women's Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Doudrop
- Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz & Maryse
- Men's Royal Rumble (Johnny Knoxville, Big E, AJ Styles, Angelo Dawkins, Montez Ford, Rey Mysterio, Dominik Mysterio, Austin Theory, Sheamus, Damian Priest, Happy Corbin, Madcap Moss, Sami Zayn, Kofi Kingston, Kevin Owens, TBA)
- Women's Royal Rumble (Charlotte Flair, Mickie James, Rhea Ripley, Nikki A.S.H., Dana Brooke, Carmella, Queen Zelina, Shotzi, Natalya, Aliyah, Naomi, Shayna Baszler, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Lita, Michelle McCool, Kelly Kelly, Summer Rae, Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, TBA)