We’re unable to confirm if Ryback winning the Royal Rumble match is still the plan but we can confirm whatever the plan is, it was quietly sorted out over the weekend. Pat Patterson came in for the weekend and met several times with WWE officials to help lay out all the plans for the Rumble match. Vince McMahon was involved in some of the meetings but it was primarily Triple H and Patterson putting the match together.
Patterson was not needed at the TLC PPV itself, but chose to stick around for the show. Obviously Patterson, who has been the architect of the Rumble pretty much every year since its inception, is not going to be around forever. So there was a real concerted effort this year on the part of Triple H to learn as much from Patterson as possible in regards to putting a Rumble match together. When the day comes when Patterson is unwilling or unable to continue to put the match together each year, Triple H plans to take over that role himself.
An observer close to the situation says Patterson was very flattered that Hunter went out of his way to devote so much time to picking Patterson’s brain and really trying to understand Patterson’s thought process when he puts one of the Rumble matches together.