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United States title match set for WWE Royal Rumble

A United States Championship match has been made official for the Royal Rumble.

During Tuesday's SmackDown, it was announced that United States Champion Rusev will defend his title against Shinsuke Nakamura at the Royal Rumble. Rusev won the title from Nakamura on the SmackDown episode that aired on Christmas Day.

Rusev and Nakamura's feud has continued since Rusev won the title. Nakamura interrupted Rusev's celebration two weeks ago, with the angle leading to Lana jumping on Nakamura's back to try and stop him from attacking Rusev. Rusev gave Nakamura the Machka Kick, Lana crashed to the mat, and Nakamura laid out Rusev while he was distracted by checking on Lana.

On last week's SmackDown, Nakamura told Rusev that what happened to Lana was Rusev's fault. Rusev went after Nakamura backstage, but Nakamura ambushed him.

This year's Royal Rumble pay-per-view is taking place at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona on January 27. Here's the updated card:

  • Universal Champion Brock Lesnar defending against Finn Balor
  • WWE Champion Daniel Bryan defending against AJ Styles
  • Men's Royal Rumble match
  • Women's Royal Rumble match
  • Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey defending against Sasha Banks
  • SmackDown Women's Champion Asuka defending against Becky Lynch
  • SmackDown Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Sheamus defending against Shane McMahon & The Miz
  • United States Champion Rusev defending against Shinsuke Nakamura
  • Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy defending against Kalisto, Akira Tozawa, and Hideo Itami in a fatal four-way match