Backstage Update On TNA Star Jordynne Grace's WWE Royal Rumble Cameo

Though he didn't use the verbiage, Paul Levesque opened the Forbidden Door at WWE Royal Rumble when TNA Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace entered the women's Rumble match; Grace had a strong showing in her WWE debut before being eliminated by Bianca Belair. Now, PWInsider is reporting that WWE was the party that got the ball rolling on the cameo and reached out to TNA, noting that the idea may have come from Levesque himself. The deal was said to have come together really quickly as an outside-the-box idea to surprise fans; however, no TNA officials were at the WWE event in Tampa. Scott D'Amore was on Chris Jericho's cruise, while Tommy Dreamer, despite being in Tampa, didn't attend the Royal Rumble. Although Grace has teased future TNA/WWE involvement, PWInsider noted there is no definitive plans regarding such as of yet, though people in WWE were reportedly blown away by her performance. 

Grace's Royal Rumble cameo is just the latest of a handful of interpromotional crossovers for WWE in recent years. Mickie James also made a Royal Rumble appearance in 2022 while she was the Knockouts Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura worked The Great Muta's retirement match in 2023, and Charlie Dempsey made an excursion to All Japan Pro Wrestling at the beginning of the year. WWE has had positive relations with TNA, specifically during this decade, allowing talent like AJ Styles to make video segment appearances for anniversary events.

Another former Knockouts World Champion, Naomi, also made her return to WWE at Royal Rumble — she dropped the title to Jordynne Grace earlier this month before finishing up with TNA.