WWE authority figure, Adam Pearce, will battle Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble on January 31.
During the January 8 edition of Friday Night SmackDown, Pearce announced that Reigns’ next challenger would be decided in a No.1 Contender Gauntlet Match involving King Corbin, Rey Mysterio, Shinsuke Nakamura, Daniel Bryan and Sami Zayn.
As punishment for the disrespect shown by Pearce and for blaming him for the attack on Kevin Owens on January 1, Reigns got his counsel Paul Heyman to pull some strings and get the matchmaker added to the bout.
The Gauntlet Match came down to Pearce and Shinsuke Nakamura – the man who eliminated Roman Reigns to win the 2018 Royal Rumble Match – and thanks to interference by ‘The Tribal Chief’, Jey Uso and Paul Heyman, it was the former who pinned the Japanese marvel to book a slot against Roman on January 31.
While WWE has issued no update on whether or not the action of the WWE Universal Champion will mean a re-do of the bout in the coming weeks, Roman has made sure, at least for the time being, that he gets to teach Adam Pearce a lesson for meddling in his business.
If WWE do keep the star as the challenger for Roman, then it won’t be the mismatch some believe. Adam Pearce is a former five time NWA World Heavyweight Champion and currently serves as trainer in the WWE Performance Center, addition to his on-screen role, where along with Drew Gulak he is tasked with leading twice weekly classes for the larger members of the roster on in-ring skill.