An unlikely opponent is currently in line to challenge for Roman Reigns' Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble.
After winning a number one contender's gauntlet match in the main event of tonight's SmackDown, Adam Pearce is set to challenge Reigns for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble. Pearce has been an authority figure on WWE television and was put into tonight's gauntlet match after Reigns was upset with him for making last week's Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso main event and this week's gauntlet.
Reigns mentioned Pearce being in the gauntlet match. Later in the show, Paul Heyman told Pearce that he pulled some strings to get him added to the match. Heyman brought up Pearce's past as Scrap Daddy Adam Pearce and said Pearce now gets to pursue his original dream because of Reigns.
Pearce was the final person to enter the gauntlet. He reluctantly came down to the ring with Reigns, Uso, and Heyman. Reigns and Uso attacked Shinsuke Nakamura before the bell rang. After laying out Nakamura, Reigns threw Pearce into the ring. Uso gave Pearce a superkick and Reigns called for the bell to ring. Uso put Pearce on Nakamura and the referee counted the pin.
Daniel Bryan, Baron Corbin, Rey Mysterio, and Sami Zayn also took part in the gauntlet. Nakamura defeated Bryan, Corbin, and Mysterio.
Last week's SmackDown ended with Reigns throwing Owens off a stand at the WWE ThunderDome through a table below. WWE announced a storyline injury update on Owens after last week's show: "After the attack by Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Jey Uso on Friday Night SmackDown, Kevin Owens was taken to a local medical facility where he was diagnosed with a spinal contusion and bruised kidneys. Check back with WWE.com for more updates as they become available."
The Royal Rumble is taking place on Sunday, January 31.