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Pat McAfee Was Originally Asked To Compete In The 2023 Men’s Royal Rumble Match

Pat McAfee made his return to WWE at the Royal Rumble, but he almost did it as a competitor instead of a broadcaster.

During Monday’s new episode of The Pat McAfee ShowPat McAfee shared some details about how his return to WWE came together.


“We just pulled off the kayfabe on Saturday at the Royal Rumble. Now obviously there was speculation, there was a lot of people talking about I was going to be in the Royal Rumble. A lot of people thought I was going to be there. That was not figured out until late last week. I mean, that really came together pretty quick. Not that there was any bad relations or anything, it’s just my schedule for the last five months, and everyone’s schedule in WWE is — my wife’s pregnant — there’s no bad beef,” McAfee said. “I just don’t want to have to train enough to be able to go into that Royal Rumble — did you see what Logan Paul and Ricochet did?”

McAfee then spoke about his relationship with Nick Khan forming after they’d both worked for WWE, then he shared that he was originally asked to compete in the Men’s Royal Rumble match this year.

“They said immediately — Hunter and everybody and Nick, Stephanie at the time — they were like, ‘Rumble, that’s a perfect time to come back’ because that’s when people come back and it’s after college football season. I was like, ‘Perfect!’ I actually need something to keep me in shape, I always get fat. I need something to keep working out for. I tried, I was getting after it,” McAfee said. “I could’ve [competed] but I don’t want to disrespect anyone. There’s only 29 guys that came out because where the fuck is Rey [Mysterio] Is Rey OK? Great question, where’s Butch? But there’s only so many spots in there, there’s a lot of fuckin’ danger, there’s a lot of shit that can happen. So I told them — I don’t know what week it was — I’m like, ‘Hey I just want to let you know, the season’s been a grind with Gameday being an extra work day’ because Saturday became an extra work day out of nowhere, earliest workday. That was my only sleep-in day, I was waking up early and travel. Lucky to do all of this, this is not complaining at all, this is just the reality of what the season was. So I told them I’m not going to be able to be in good enough shape for Rumble, I don’t want to disrespect Royal Rumble or anything like that.”

McAfee said that the speculation about him possibly being at the Royal Rumble was real and competing was the goal, but he had to turn it down just because of the schedule he had coming off of the college football season. McAfee went on to say that Kevin Dunn has been really good to him and noted how plane malfunctions led to him coming close to missing the show completely. He said Dunn ran logistics and made sure he made it and kept his appearance a surprise from everyone, including Michael Cole.

Read More: Rhea Ripley Had To Pop Her Knee Back Into Place During 2023 Women’s Royal Rumble

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