On Smackdown last night, WWE revealed a major change to the upcoming Royal Rumble PPV. Instead of Scrap Daddy Adam Pearce taking on Roman Reigns in the main event of the upcoming PPV, it will be Kevin Owens who faces Reigns in a Last Man Standing match for the Universal Championship. Owens replaced Pearce after Pearce convinced Roman to sign the contract, which included, as standard WWE contracts do, a close indicating that a suitable replacement could be found in the event of an injury. Pearce faked an old injury to his knee acting up immediately after Reigns signed the contract and brought out Owens to take his place. The Royal Rumble is also advertised to feature a WWE Championship match between Drew McIntyre and Goldberg, assuming McInytre is recovered from COVID-19 and ready to go by January 31st. PArticipants for the men's and women's Royal Rumble matches are still filling out.
In other news, an advertisement for next week's edition of WWE Raw advertised a match between Alexa Bliss and Asuka, who viewers may remember is actually the Raw Women's Champion, despite playing the role of Charlotte's sidekick since The Queen's return. Also on Raw, Randy Orton will address what Bliss did to him last week when she shot a fireball in his face in the middle of the ring.
Also, as WWE builds to the Royal Rumble in January, there are two matches set for Smackdown. In one, not quite a match per see, Bayley will face Bianca Belair in an Obstacle Course Challenge designed by Bayley. Also, Apollo Crews will challenge Big E once again for the Intercontinental Championship.
In other feuds building up for the Royal Rumble and beyond, Sasha Banks offered to defend her Smackdown Women's Championship again against Carmella, as long as Carmella gives Sasha a shot at Reginald first. That match could happen as soon as Smackdown next week or the week after. Also, after his impressive showing in the gauntlet last week and a victory over Jey Uso this week, a newly babyface Shinsuke Nakamura is looking toward Roman Reigns.