There’s been a change in the Universal Title match at the Royal Rumble and it’s a good thing. The Royal Rumble will take place on Sunday, January 31 at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Florida with Roman Reigns defending the Universal Title against Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing match.
Last week, it appeared as though Reigns was going to defend the Universal Title against WWE Official Adam Pearce, but that changed this week on Smackdown. It’s a long story, but the short version is that Pearce originally signed a contract for a No Disqualification Match. Reigns didn’t like that, so he made it a Last Man Standing Match and Pearce signed the contract in the ring. Reigns signed the contract right after him. However, as Pearce went up the aisle, he claimed to have a knee injury and mentioned that all WWE cards have a “Card Subject to Change” stipulation that allows matches to be changed. That led to Pearce, who hasn’t had a wrestling match in six years, saying he isn’t going to be in the match, but he found somebody that will be – Kevin Owens. That led to Owens signing the contract, so it’s Owens who will face Reigns at Royal Rumble.
The story makes sense because at the WWE TLC PPV on December 20, Owens lost because Jey Uso helped Reigns win. When Owens got a rematch on Christmas on December 25, Reigns beat Owens in a Steel Cage match because Jey handcuffed Owens to the steel cage. One week later on New Year’s Day January 1, Owens beat Jey Uso in a match, but then Owens was attacked by Reigns and Jey leading to Owens taking a big bump about 15 feet high through a table. Last week on January 8 Smackdown, Reigns manipulated the situation to put Pearce in a position that would allow Reigns to beat him up too. That led to this week’s segment
If you’re keeping track, that was four straight shows where the heels (Reigns and Jey) were in control until this week when Pearce and Owens finally got some revenge by outsmarting Reigns.
TJR Thoughts: I like it a lot. Plus the match should be awesome. Was this always the plan? Most likely.
Here’s what the Royal Rumble lineup looks like right now:
WWE Universal Championship Last Man Standing Match: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Kevin Owens
WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Bill Goldberg
30-Men Royal Rumble Match – Announced names so far:
United States Champion Bobby Lashley
30-Women Royal Rumble Match – Announced names so far:
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Charlotte Flair
That’s all for now.