We now know why WWE Chairman Vince McMahon made this decision.
Last week, WWE confirmed that the finals of the WWE United States Title tournament will no longer be taking place at the Royal Rumble.
Instead, it would now take place on the January 23rd episode of SmackDown Live from the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, which is the go-home edition of SmackDown for the Rumble.
As seen on the show, Jinder Mahal defeated Xavier Woods while Bobby Roode defeated Mojo Rawley.
This led to Mahal and Roode meeting in the finals of the United States Title Tournament later in the show. Roode ended up winning the match and named new United States Champion.
Keep in mind that Dolph Ziggler is still the United States Champion and that this tournament is just apart of a storyline. Ziggler is expected to return to television soon.
There is speculation that Roode vs. Ziggler will be booked at the Royal Rumble to find out who the real United States Champion. The belief is the Tournament was moved up to avoid timing issues on the Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
Keep in mind that this event will have a two-hour pre-show and a four-hour main card.
The Royal Rumble pay-per-view event takes place on Sunday, January 28, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Wells Fargo Center and will air on the WWE Network and some traditional pay-per-view outlets. Both Raw and SmackDown brands will be featured.
The biggest title match on the card will see Brock Lesnar defend the Universal Title against Kane and Braun Strowman in a Triple Threat Match. Also, AJ Styles will defend the WWE Title against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a handicap match.
Here is the updated card:
- 30-Man Royal Rumble Match: John Cena, Elias, Finn Balor, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, Baron Corbin, Matt Hardy, Bray Wyatt, TBA
- WWE Universal Title Triple Threat Match: Brock Lesnar © vs. Kane vs. Braun Strowman
- WWE Title Handicap Match: AJ Styles © vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
- Women’s Royal Rumble Match: Asuka, Naomi, Ruby Riott, Natalya, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Paige, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Carmella, Tamina Snuka, Lana, Natalya, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan, Mickie James, Nia Jax, Becky Lynch, TBA
- Raw Tag Team Title Match: Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan © vs. Sheamus & Cesaro
- SmackDown Tag Team Title Two Out of Three Falls Match: The Usos © vs. Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin
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