As noted, Pat McAfee’s return at WWE Royal Rumble this past Saturday was kept very close to the vest to prevent the news of his return from leaking out.
McAfee spoke about his return on the latest edition of The Pat McAfee Show, where he explains how demanding his schedule with College Gameday schedule was, and how that kept him from being able to train for a Rumble return. Highlights can be found below.
On his return at the Royal Rumble:
There was speculation, a lot of people talking about it, a lot of people thought 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. That came together pretty quick. Not that there was any bad relations, it’s just my schedule for the last five months, and everyone’s schedule, especially in the WWE, my wife is pregnant, there was no bad beef or anything, it was just, ‘I don’t want to have to train enough to get into the Royal Rumble.
Says the original plan was for him to compete in the Rumble match:
They said immediately (after I left), Hunter, Stephanie, and Nick, ‘Rumble is like the perfect time to comeback,’ because that’s when people comeback and it’s after college football season. I was like, ‘perfect.’ I need something to keep me in shape. I get fat and I need something to keep working out for. I tried. Everybody saw me, I was getting after it. By week nine….I think I could have (done a couple minutes in the Rumble), but I don’t want to disrespect anybody. There were only 29 guys who came out because where the fuck was Rey Mysterio? Is he okay? There are only so many spots and there is a lot of danger and shit that can happen.
How he told WWE he couldn’t get into ring shape in time due to the vigorous College Gameday schedule:
I told them, maybe week 13 or 14 of the season, ‘Hey, want to let you know, the season has been a grind with Gameday being an extra work day, I’m not going to be able to be in good enough shape for Rumble. I don’t want to disrespect Royal Rumble. I’m just letting you know where I’m at right now. I’m not waking up an extra hour or stay up an extra hour to get in shape or whatever is needed.’ It’s one of those combos. ‘We’ll chat later, all good.’ It was the goal, Royal Rumble was the goal, I wasn’t able to keep up with it because Gameday getting dropped in and what that schedule became.
Pat McAfee Reveals Original Plans For His WWE Royal Rumble Return