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Seth Rollins to challenge for Universal title at WWE Royal Rumble

Rollins was revealed as Roman Reigns' Royal Rumble challenger on Friday's SmackDown.

Former Shield stablemates will face off for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble.

At the end of Friday's episode of SmackDown, it was revealed that Seth Rollins will challenge for Roman Reigns' Universal title at the Royal Rumble. The pay-per-view is taking place at The Dome at America's Center in St. Louis on Saturday, January 29.

There was a storyline on Friday's show where Adam Pearce said WWE management informed him that he needed to choose Reigns' Royal Rumble opponent before the end of the night. The episode closed with Reigns receiving a knock on his door. He told the person to come in -- and it was revealed to be Rollins. Rollins laughed hysterically, and Reigns looked befuddled.

Rollins is a member of the Raw roster. He was involved in the fatal five-way match at Day 1 last Saturday where Brock Lesnar pinned Big E to win the WWE Championship.

Reigns returned to SmackDown this week after missing Day 1 due to testing positive for COVID-19. He was originally scheduled to defend his title against Lesnar in the main event of the PPV.

There was a face-to-face confrontation between Reigns and Lesnar on SmackDown. Lesnar told Reigns during the segment that he wanted to face him in a title vs. title match. Reigns said it was a good idea, but it wasn't Reigns' idea. Reigns said this is his show and they do what he says. Reigns also said that he doesn't do business with people who do business with trash like Paul Heyman.

Heyman was upset that Reigns would talk to him that way. Heyman said Reigns was his Tribal Chief and he worshipped the ground Reigns walked on when they worked together. Lesnar told Heyman to shut up, and Reigns told Lesnar not to talk to Heyman like that. Heyman tried to de-escalate the tensions between Reigns and Lesnar, but Reigns gave Lesnar a Superman punch when Lesnar's attention was turned away.

The updated card for the Royal Rumble is listed below:

  • Men's Royal Rumble match
  • Women's Royal Rumble match
  • WWE Champion Brock Lesnar defends against Bobby Lashley
  • Universal Champion Roman Reigns defends against Seth Rollins
  • Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch defends against either Liv Morgan, Bianca Belair, or Doudrop (Morgan, Belair, and Doudrop are facing off in a number one contender's match on Monday's Raw)
  • Mixed tag match: Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz & Maryse