Last night on SmackDown Live, WWE continued building towards the Royal Rumble pay-per-view by booking another big championship match for the show on January 28 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Prior to Tuesday night's SmackDown, WWE had booked four matches for the Royal Rumble so far. These included the men's and women's Royal Rumble matches, the final match of the tournament for the vacant United States Championship, and the triple threat match between Brock Lesnar, Kane, and Braun Strowman for the Universal title.
Before SmackDown Live went off the air, Daniel Bryan booked a shocking WWE Championship match for the Royal Rumble, a match that was inspired by the verbal frustration of AJ Styles after his main event match on the show against Sami Zayn.
Styles had a match against Zayn in the main event of SmackDown, and Bryan, Shane McMahon, and Kevin Owens were all at ringside to watch. Owens saved Zayn from a three count during the match by distracting the referee. The interference led to KO to get tossed from ringside but then McMahon was tossed by Bryan for attacking KO afterward.
The Prizefighter jumped up on the ring apron only to be punched off by The Phenomenal One, but then The Underdog from the Underground rolled up Styles after a Helluva Kick to win the match. Once the dust settled, the WWE Champion grabbed a microphone and ranted.
Styles took shots at Owens and Zayn for constantly getting involved in each other's matches to help one another win, while he also targetted Bryan and Shane for always bickering with one another. He then jokingly suggested putting himself in a 2-on-1 handicap match against Owens and Zayn.
The SmackDown general manager would then go on to book Styles to defend his WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble against Zayn and Owens in a 2-on-1 handicap match as the show went off the air.
This is a very interesting match at the Royal Rumble, as not only will The Phenomenal One have to defend his title against two superstars, but also who will pin the WWE Champion to win the title if the opportunity presents itself?
This match could lead to the split of Owens' and Zayn's friendship as they go back to being rivals after they couldn't decide who should win the title, allowing Styles to pin one of them unexpectedly to retain while the other watches on. Either that or Owens and Zayn are going to start using the Freebird rule for their team so they can both be WWE Champion.
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