In a bit of a twist, Cody Rhodes was barely cleared to work on Saturday. And, you may have spotted it, but Rhea Ripley was indeed injured during the Royal Rumble.
Cody Rhodes Was Barely Cleared
This will be hard to believe, but Cody Rhodes was barely cleared to be in Saturday’s men’s Royal Rumble .
Specifically, according to Rhodes himself , he had not yet been cleared when he was announced for the match several weeks ago.
We can say Cody Rhodes was barely cleared…because he was not fully cleared to be in the match until Saturday.
Talk about cutting things close.
This becomes even more interesting because some sources had called Cody Rhodes the “Plan B” for the Rumble.
Allegedly, The Rock was Plan A. 
If that is true, it makes you wonder…who would have been the 3rd choice?
While it seems likely that WWE and Cody Rhodes had a good feeling that he would be fully cleared in time for the Rumble…there was always a chance that he wouldn’t be.
Imagine if that Saturday examination found something unexpected or concerning? It may have been possible for Rhodes to not be cleared…and then who knows what would have happened.
Considering the vignettes that WWE ran and the amount of hype behind the Rhodes return, I’d bet that they had a 99% certainty that the final clearance was a mere formality.
Still, the great moment we got to cap the men’s Rumble, was not a sure thing to happen until the very morning of the 2023 event.
That said, I would think things worked out pretty well.
2023 Men’s #RoyalRumble  Match winner @CodyRhodes  gets emotional when describing what @TripleH  means to “The American Nightmare” and the legacy of the Rhodes family. pic.twitter.com/zBIV2ytvhO 
— WWE (@WWE) January 29, 2023 
Rhea Ripley Injured During Rumble
Speaking of the big event on Saturday,  the women’s winner, Rhea Ripley was injured during the Rumble.
Ripley commented about her battle wounds during the Rumble post-show press conference. 
Considering that she was in the match for over an hour-setting a new women’s Rumble record in the process-bumps and bruises are to be expected.
At one point during the match, you may recall she had red all over one cheek. The announcers initially thought it was a competitor’s makeup, but it was indeed blood.
I AM NUMBER “BLOODY” ONE!! #RoyalRumble  ⚖️ pic.twitter.com/i637z30mOE 
— RheaRipley_WWE (@RheaRipley_WWE) January 30, 2023 
The new #1 contender has her choice of a main event shot against either Bianca Belair or Charlotte Flair -assuming both women remain champions until April.
Ripley did mention having a knee issue bother her during the match as well. The big take-away was the blood, which she noted during the conference, she smelled it in her nose.
Not sure if she busted her nose. In a Rumble that was at times crowded…lots of shots land and can do more damage than usual.
Following her bell to bell win to kick of her Road to WrestleMania, Ripley posted a photo showing her condition (minus her usual makeup, of course.)
The year of
Rhea “BLOODY” Ripley! ⚖️ pic.twitter.com/tJ8i8aCI0j 
— RheaRipley_WWE (@RheaRipley_WWE) January 29, 2023