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Erick Rowan returns at WWE Royal Rumble

Erick Rowan returned at the Royal Rumble and aligned with Daniel Bryan.

Rowan, who was wearing flannel, came out to ringside near the end of Bryan's WWE Championship defense against AJ Styles. Bryan accidentally laid out the referee, Styles hit Bryan with the Styles Clash, and Rowan came in and chokeslammed Styles. Bryan then pinned Styles to retain the WWE title.

After the match, Rowan held up Styles so Bryan could give him the running knee. Rowan raised Bryan's arm and they left the ring together.

Rowan has been out of action since last August. He suffered a torn right biceps at SummerSlam 2018, and The Bludgeon Brothers (Rowan & Luke Harper) dropped their SmackDown Tag Team titles to The New Day in a no disqualification match on the post-SummerSlam episode of SmackDown.

Harper had wrist surgery while Rowan was out of action. Dave Meltzer reported in last week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter: "Harper was at the Performance Center on 1/20 for the first time since his wrist surgery but has still not been cleared."