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LOTS OF BACKSTAGE NOTES FROM ROYAL RUMBLE

By Mike Johnson on 2013-01-27 22:02:10
Chris Jericho was hidden until his entrance in the Royal Rumble in a bus parked outside the Arena. The word backstage was that a deal was quietly made for him to work the show when the company reached out to him for Raw 1000. No word yet on his long-term status with the company, but wow, he was great. The company wants him back but Jericho doesn't want to relinquish control of his outside endeavors. He does have a new Syfy series debuting this year, so him returning for even a short run could be a way for WWE to cross-promote it.

As we noted earlier in the PWInsider.com Elite section earlier, former WWE World champion Mark Henry is backstage at the Rumble. There were plans in place for him to return tonight but that obviously did not happen. This PPV was the first one he's been brought in for in a long time, since he was hurt.

Ted DiBiase is backstage and slated to return from an injury anytime.

As we noted earlier this weekend in the Elite section, Shelton Benjamin and Carlito were at the WWE's hotel and were expected to be in the Rumble. As it turns out, they just ended up booked at the same hotel WWE was using while in town for an indy show. There had been talk of using Carlito since he visited at Raw 20th Anniversary. There were some in the company unhappy, however, with him taking shots at CM Punk online, which soured certain people on using him. In the case of Benjamin, he requested and received a ROH contract release last month after there was interest shown in him by WWE, so that issue isn't dead. His name has come up a lot internally in discussions of names the company could bring back to fill out cards and have good matches.

Godfather quietly drove in from Las Vegas in an attempt to hide his appearance from fans stalking the airports. He arrived this afternoon, checked into the WWE hotel, then headed for the Arena.

Chris Masters was also visiting with the WWE crew over the weekend.