In an intriguing revelation on the "My Love Letter to Wrestling" podcast, WWE Superstars Rhea Ripley and GUNTHER divulged the behind-the-scenes intricacies leading up to their record-setting performances at the 2023 Royal Rumble.
Both received their marching orders merely days before the event and embarked on enduring their respective Rumble matches from start to finish. Ripley recalled the strange message she received two days before the match, enquiring about her cardio fitness.
"It came as quite a shock. For the past months, I've been more of a manager than an in-ring performer," Ripley said. "The prospect of going from the opening bell to the closing one was daunting. Yet, I knew I had the potential.
Adrenaline, after all, can make us achieve the seemingly impossible." Ripley's belief in herself proved justified. She showcased remarkable endurance in the Royal Rumble, fighting for an incredible 61 minutes and eliminating seven competitors.
Her determination and willpower earned her a highly coveted title shot at the forthcoming WrestleMania 39.
"GUNTHER's Last-Minute Rumble Preparation"
GUNTHER, the Intercontinental Champion, experienced a similar whirlwind journey.
He, too, received short notice a mere day or two before the event. "The actual information about my role was given to me on the day," GUNTHER confessed. He wasn't concerned about the time he would spend in the ring. His focus was primarily on executing his parts flawlessly.
Unlike his usual singles matches where he could control the tempo, the Royal Rumble was a different beast. "It's chaotic, unpredictable. By the end of the match, I was surprised by who was entering because so much time had elapsed," GUNTHER admitted.
Despite the chaos, he delivered a stellar performance, setting a new record by staying in the ring for an astounding 71 minutes, even though he ended up as the runner-up. Ripley and GUNTHER's memorable performances at the 2023 Royal Rumble are compelling evidence of their remarkable athleticism and adaptability.
Their experiences also shed light on the unpredictability and rapid pace of the wrestling industry, where performers must often prepare for immense challenges at a moment's notice.