Latest News On WWE Lifting NXT Restrictions In The Royal Rumble Match

WWE's ban on NXT wrestlers featuring in the Royal Rumble came to an end in 2023.

Roxanne Perez

NXT talent returned to the WWE Royal Rumble this year, as Roxanne Perez, Indi Hartwell, and Zoey Stark all entered the women's bout, representing a significant switch-up from 2022.

Fightful Select reports that WWE decreed last year that it didn't want NXT 2.0 talent mixing with main roster wrestlers. This year, the company opted to use the above names in the women's contest, with developmental chief Shawn Michaels telling Fightful that he provided feedback to company higher-ups when they let the brand know the wrestlers they wanted to use in the Rumble.

Michaels was told that WWE only needed female wrestlers for the Rumble. Hartwell, Stark, and Perez ended up appearing, though Tuesday night regular Ivy Nile was also backstage, standing by as a potential alternate.


Fightful notes that none of the NXT wrestlers who featured this year served as a main roster call-up.

Stark lasted the longest of the three NXT wrestlers in the Rumble, surviving for over 26 minutes before being thrown out by Sonya Deville. Perez, the reigning NXT Women's Champion, made an impressive mark, participating in a quick, eye-catching run before being eliminated by all three Damage CTRL members.


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Senior Reporter
Senior Reporter

Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.