WWE taped SmackDown this weekend, which will be 2019's first episode broadcasted on January 1, to allow their superstars to take some time off and spend some time with their families over the new year period.
On the show, WWE added another match to their first pay-per-view of the new year, the Royal Rumble. It will be a WWE Championship defense for Daniel Bryan.
To determine his opponent for the show, a Fatal Five-Way match took place in the main event of SmackDown between Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Mustafa Ali, AJ Styles, and Samoa Joe. Spoilers ahead.
Despite rematch clauses no longer being a thing in the WWE, The Phenomenal One will again face Bryan for the WWE title at the Royal Rumble for the second pay-per-view in a row.
According to NoDQ, Styles booked his spot in the match by pinning The Viper in the middle of the ring. Unsurprisingly, fans are not happy that they're receiving Bryan vs Styles again despite WWE recently saying things will be shaken up.
This will be the second time in which Bryan and Styles will face each other on a pay-per-view with the WWE Championship on the line in the space of just over a month after their previous meeting took place at TLC earlier in December.
WWE could've mixed things up by having Bryan vs Mysterio or Bryan vs Joe at the Royal Rumble, but instead, they've gone with The Phenomenal One and it's not surprising to see fans disappointed with the company's decision.
This match joins four other matches which are currently confirmed for WWE's first pay-per-view of 2019.
At the show, as well as the men's and women's Royal Rumble matches, Buddy Murphy will defend the Cruiserweight Championship against Kalisto, Akira Tozawa, and another to be confirmed opponent.
Brock Lesnar will also be defending the Universal Championship against Braun Strowman at the Royal Rumble as well following The Monster Among Men's win at TLC earlier in December.
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