WWE held a post-Royal Rumble press conference with members of the media. Below is a recap written by Mike Johnson, pwinsider:
Byron Saxton welcomed everyone.
The first guest was Rhea Ripley. She was asked about her knee. She said it dislocated for a moment and then went back in. She said that she has issues with her knees but her knee is good. She said she can smell blood in her nose.
Ripley said going the distance with Liv Morgan meant something. Liv deserves credit for going the entire run of the Rumble as well. it’s amazing to see how far the women’s division have come over the last few years. The men have had the chance to make the history before them but now the women get to show that they do things just as well or better than the men.
Ripley said having the NXT talents in the women’s Rumble is amazing. The fans who only watch the Raw and Smackdown and PPV events get to see new names and get to experience what NXT is all about. She said she obviously loves NXT and it needs to get a lot more credit than it does. She is excited to see what NXT stars will arrive next.
Ripley was asked which Champion she would battle at Wrestlemania. She said she is torn by the decision and has a lot of thinking to do.
Ripley said she and Judgment Day were going to party.
The next guest was Bray Wyatt.
Wyatt said everything is just now beginning to pay off.
He said he and Alexa have a connection forever and there will be something at some point and it will be memorable.
Wyatt said that wrestling is a sport to some and a show to others. Some like the risks and some don’t want risks to be taken. He likes to take risks and do things that no one has ever done before, because it’s fun w
Wyatt was asked about his moment at Raw 30 with Undertaker. He said that everyone knows it’s important but the moment was something that he gets to keep for himself and to share with his children. He never tried to be Undertaker, there’s only one, but Undertaker just being him confiding in him has always been that way. This was only just the first public moment. He doesn’t care how it lives on in wrestling history, because it was a moment for himself. He said it was good to be back.
Cody Rhodes was the next guest.
Cody said that the thing he wanted his entire career was a moment like that. He spoke to Randy Orton last night. He was in the ring after Orton won the Rumble years ago and thought, “I want to be that guy.” He thought it would be next year and now it finally happened 10 years ago. The thing he didn’t have then and that he has now is that he connected with the people, something he doesn’t take for granted. He has the honor and the burden of not paying anyone – he’s just me and being me was good enough. It was great to come back but it was also terrible because of GUNTHER. He said he likes to feel it in the ring but he doesn’t want to feel it that much. He praised GUNTHER.
Cody was asked if there’s a difference backstage since the leadership in creative has changed. He said if fans pay their money and he makes them feel something, it can be whoever in charge. He said he does need his structure. He said if you think about it, Triple H has no reason to be a fan of Cody. He smashed the throne and made light-hearted shots. He said that he’s a massive HHH fan and is glad he is the Coach, but Cody wants to play Quarterback. He owes him a lot for how he handled Dusty but he doesn’t want to be looked and seen as his dad or because of his dad. He said his last name helped him but he wants to stand of his own accord.
Rhodes said that when you are outside of WWE, the entire pointing at the sign thing is a meme but when you are actually in the moment, you are basically punching your ticket to going to the biggest Wrestlemania of all time. He said to be able to do it and add his name to the list of those who have done it after winning the Royal Rumble, we are doing something right.
Cody said Roman is the best wrestler in the world, undisputed. He said that if he’s walking into that situation at Wrestlemania, he can’t shrivel under the lights. You have to finish the story. It’s real. We all experienced pandemic wrestling. Critics believe wrestlers get stuck at a certain level forever, but Roman keeps ascending. He was a great ambassador for what they do. What happened with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens tonight was rough, but Roman is the best wrestler in the world.
Rhodes said he was very sorry that he got hurt when he did. He was happy that he had the chance to go out. Once the doctors tell you that you can’t get hurt any worse. Chicago means a lot to him. Half his body isn’t functioning. His face was on the chair. He knows the Hell in A Cell match registers with people but it doesn’t with him. He’s very well paid. He said that he got to be not just another name on the roster but a Superstar that night. He doesn’t want people to get irritated with the amount of merchandise based around the pec, if you thought his AEW figures were a lot, just buckle up. For all GUNTHER tried, he didn’t tear the other one. They are on the way to Wrestlemania.
Paul Levesque was the final guest.
He said he wanted to congratulate Cody for everything he experienced to help himself and the business and then coming back here and punching his ticket in a way that no one else in his family has ever done by going to the main event of Wrestlemania. He said that the people who make fun of pointing at the sign are the ones that know they will never do it. It was an amazing accomplishment for someone who made the comeback that Cody did. He does see Dusty when he looks at Cody, but he sees the best parts of Dusty amplified in Dusty’s son. Cody is a special person.
Levesque wanted to thank all their partners and the city of San Antonio and the Alamodome and the roster of talents that performed tonight. He said it’s the greatest roster in WWE history. He said a lot of the future was unveiling before their eyes. It was a record-setting night and none of it happens without the fans. He said Rumble wlll lead them to the biggest Wrestlemania that they will ever have. They set the all-time gate record already without announcing a single match. They are already at record breaking numbers. It’s going to be spectacular. He said they are in for a spectacular road to Wrestlemania.
Levesque was asked about GUNTHER. He said that sometimes people only look at the winner of the Royal Rumble but sometimes it’s also about moments. There are a lot of people who had big moments tonight – Cody, Logan Paul, Ricochet. GUNTHER going in at number one, which means you know you are going to take a building, yet the entire match there was never a moment where he blended into the background and you lost touch of where he is. He’s excited to see where GUNTHER takes it next.
Levesque praised the path and evolution of Rhea Ripley and said he’s extremely proud of everyone in that position.
He said being in charge of creative for Wrestlemania means a lot of pressure but it’s exciting. If you are in this seat and don’t want this pressure, you are going to fail at it. Coming from the athletic side of it, you are part of something that is mind-blowingly big. Then you have the pressure of making NXT and then coming here, there is this team around you. You are part of the team. He’s just part of the team, a huge wheel, that makes it happen. He praised the level of dedication of everyone behind the scenes, who torn down the show in Laredo last night and got here at 4 AM the same night to get it all up,
Paul was asked about the potential involvement for The Rock at Wrestlemania. He said Rock looked pretty jacked in Black Adam, but “all of you guys” tell me he’s not in shape for it. He said he and Rock grew up together fighting for the spot and pushing and battling each other for it. He said that he was at a Emmys event a few years ago and there was a massive photo of The Rock about to hit HHH with an elboew and he realized Rock had goosebumps all over it. He texted the photo to Rock and said there’s no rush like that in Hollywood. He said that he knows that if Rock could be here for this Wrestlemania, he would turn over every stone and walk through fire to do it, but he doesn’t think it’s in the cards. He doesn’t know. They always have conversations with him. He loves it so much and is one of the most recognizable people on the planet. He has an open invite to come through the doors anytime he wants, but Rock doesn’t want to disrespect it by half-assing it and not putting everything he can do it make it the biggest thing he can possibly be.
He was asked what message he sent to everyone who scrutinizes the company. Levesque said you are always going to be looked at critically, but you just do what you do. You put the best team you can put together and put your head down and work hard and do what you can do. He believes no one does it like they do. He means that in large scale live event show promotion, stadium events. They will put on a spectacle as only they can. It’s not ego, its his opinion. He will put their crew, talent, production against anyone else on the planet and they will come out ahead. There are 100s of talents and 100s of people who work behind the scene and they all walked in here to make a statement that they are WWE. They will keep making statements because they are better than anyone else at what they do.