WWE has made a pair of announcements for tonight's Royal Rumble go-home edition of SmackDown.
- Ahead of their Last Man Standing match for the Universal Championship at Sunday's pay-per-view, Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens will "engage in a war of words" on SmackDown tonight. "Tonight, Michael Cole will sit down with 'The Head of the Table' and his resilient challenger en route to their Last Man Standing Match for the Universal Title at Sunday’s Royal Rumble," WWE.com wrote.
The show-closing angle of last week's SmackDown saw Owens give Reigns a pop-up powerbomb through the announce table. The week before that, WWE authority figure Adam Pearce revealed Owens as Reigns' new Royal Rumble challenger. Reigns had forced Pearce into winning a gauntlet match to become the number one contender to the Universal title, but Pearce faked an injury and pointed out that standard WWE contracts say the card is subject to change. Pearce then announced that Reigns would be facing Owens at the Royal Rumble.
Reigns has previously retained against Owens in a tables, ladders, and chairs match and in a steel cage match, getting help from Jey Uso both times.
- WWE has also announced that Bianca Belair vs. Bayley will take place on SmackDown tonight. Belair and Bayley have both declared for Sunday's women's Royal Rumble match.
On last week's SmackDown, Belair won an obstacle course challenge against Bayley but was attacked by Bayley after.
Bayley defeated Belair in a singles match on SmackDown last month. They've also faced off in two tag team matches. Women's Tag Team Champions Charlotte Flair & Asuka retained against Sasha Banks & Belair and Bayley & Carmella in an elimination match on the Christmas Day episode of SmackDown. Banks pinned Bayley to eliminate her in the match, but Bayley & Carmella then helped cost Banks & Belair the win against Charlotte & Asuka. Bayley & Carmella defeated Banks & Belair on SmackDown the following week.