The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that up until last week, Chris Jericho was scheduled to win this year’s 30-Man Royal Rumble Match. This changed when Triple H made the call for Sheamus to be the decided winner instead.
The Game and Sheamus have been friends since the Irish grappler’s promotion to the main roster in the summer of 2009 as the two workout together on the road. In a subsequent interview with Power Slam, HHH singled out the Celtic Warrior as a wrestler with potential.
Triple H said, “The closest to me is probably Sheamus, because we always train together on the road. But I try to watch all the young guys’ matches and give them advice, if they want to hear it. If they take advice to heart and really want to improve, then I’m wanting to help. As for seeing some of myself in someone? That’s tough. Sheamus just the other day showed up at a show he didn’t have to be at. He does whatever he’s asked to do without complaining, he goes to every show and is always wanting to work: he does it all, goes above and beyond. That’s what I was like.”
Randy Orton was also once scheduled as the Rumble victor since he cleanly put over Mark Henry during The World’s Strongest Man’s rise as World Heavyweight Champion and the event was taking place in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Later, the idea was changed to Jericho, setting up a WWE Championship showdown against CM Punk at WrestleMania XXVIII.
WWE officials contemplated last week having John Cena win the match due to the stipulation that “everyone was eligible” for the Rumble. Cena would win the match and subsequently make a tough decision: take the title shot and not face The Rock at WrestleMania, or give it up for the title match.