Outside of Nia Jax, there was just one surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble and that was recent Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Jarrett. It was Jarrett's first Royal Rumble appearance in 20 years and he was the second entrant in the match following Elias.
The appearance was as much of a surprise to the WWE Universe as it was to Jarrett himself. He joined the WINCLY podcast here on Wrestling Inc. where he told Nick Hausman how his Royal Rumble appearance came about.
"I got the call and I said, 'What's the game plan? Where are we headed,'" stated Jarrett. "They said 'Double J.'
"You're talking about the original Double J? I've had a couple of evolutions – Jeff Jarrett in 1986 in Tennessee to WWF to WCW to TNA to AAA and a few places in between to New Japan and Bullet Club and all of that. So, I said if I'm doing Double J, I've got to go all the way."
Part of going all the way with Double J is Jarrett bringing back his old attire he used in the late 90s. Jarrett said that was no problem as he keeps most of his old gear.
"I'm a pack rat," said Jarrett. "There's only a couple pairs of tights I've worn throughout my career that I don't have. I save everything. Last year at the Hall of Fame, I had to go to the warehouse and get that stuff because they requested it to put it out at Axxess."
Jarrett then said that after getting his tights for Royal Rumble, he and his family then figured out where he had last worn that pair.
"Those are the tights that I wore at WrestleMania 11 – me vs. Razor Ramon.... Those were the tights, so 24 years later Nick, I dug them up and put those same tights on."
Jarrett's appearance at Royal Rumble wasn't something in the works for weeks, at least not from Jarrett's point of view. He says he found out about it just days before the event.
"I didn't have much time to prepare," stated Jarrett. "But they told me, 'Hey, don't worry about a hat. We've got the hat and it's working.'
"So, I kid you not, that is the original blinking hat. So 24 years later, they put a new set of Duracells in there…that is the original hat with the original tights, just my body is 20 years older."
It was a magical night for Jarrett who, not only got to step into his old attire, but also got to step into the ring with a Superstar who has a similar character to him - Elias.
"Stepping out Sunday in Chase Field, and that reaction and the surprise factor, and obviously Elias – what better No. 1 if I'm gonna be No. 2," Jarrett said of being the second entrant into the Rumble.
"So, there was some magic made those last two nights. I'll definitely say that."
You can listen to Jeff's full, exclusive WINCLY interview in the embedded player below. In it he opens up further about his current unfinished business with Elias, teaming with Road Dogg again, his WWE in-ring goals and more. You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here.