WWE Royal Rumble Surprise Returns Assigned To New Brands

Where are the various new and familiar faces headed after their Royal Rumble returns?

WWE Royal Rumble 2024 Andrade Byron Saxton

Andrade has signed his kayfabe contract for Monday Night Raw and Naomi is scheduled for SmackDown per reporting following both returning to WWE during Saturday's Royal Rumble Premium Live Event.

The former NXT Champion was featured in a backstage spot with Adam Pearce signing on the dotted line, much to the chagrin of the SmackDown general manager who could have promised Aldis and so much more. Slick Nick wasn't to be deterred though, and per Fightful Select, it's because he might know he has an ace up his sleeve for Friday Night.


The outlet noted that

"Naomi...is expected to appear on the Smackdown brand, we're told...Those we spoke to in TNA said that things were pretty clear by the start of the year that Naomi would be wrapping up. We're told WWE had maintained interest in Naomi for over a year, until the unofficial hiring freeze happened. By the time that was lifted, she had obligations to TNA."

Much of her return seems to have been in the works for sometime, an it stands to reason that she would be part of the blue brand in an era where WWE have worked harder to keep real life couples together rather than needlessly forcing them apart. Naomi is married to Jimmy Uso in real life, and the Bloodline's prime patter merchant currently resides on Fridays. The same may have initially been planned for Andrade and his wife Charlotte Flair, but 'The Queen's long rehab from a recent injury presumably made the point moot.


There's no update as of yet on the status and future of Jade Cargill, though she didn't appear on the post-Royal Rumble edition of Raw outside of highlights from the PLE itself.


Michael is a writer, editor, podcaster and presenter for WhatCulture Wrestling, and has been with the organisation over 7 years. He primarily produces written, audio and video content on WWE and AEW, but also provides knowledge and insights on all aspects of the wrestling industry thanks to a passion for it dating back over 30 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz", Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 50,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, London and Cardiff. Michael's background in media stretches beyond wrestling coverage, with a degree in Journalism from the University Of Sunderland (2:1) and a series of published articles in sports, music and culture magazines The Crack, A Love Supreme and Pilot. When not offering his voice up for daily wrestling podcasts, he can be found losing it singing far too loud watching his favourite bands play live. Follow him on X/Twitter - @MichaelHamflett