WWE news: Roman Reigns may not face Adam Pearce at Royal Rumble - new opponent speculated

Reigns might not face WWE Official Pearce at the Royal Rumble

This week's SmackDown ended with the shock announcement that WWE Official Adam Pearce will challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble.

In the main event of the Gauntlet Match that shocked fans around the world, 'Scrap Daddy' pinned Shinsuke Nakamura - with help from the 'Tribal Chief'. 

He and Jey Uso both attacked 'The Artist' before dragging Pearce into the ring to make the pin, confirming Roman's next challenger at the Royal Rumble. 

Let's be honest, nobody saw that coming, did they? But all might not be as it seems. 

While Pearce would no doubt hold his own in the ring - he worked the independent circuit for 18 years before retiring in 2014 - WWE might actually have a different challenger for Reigns. 

During an episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer discussed the angle and speculated it's likely that Pearce will be replaced by Kevin Owens at the Royal Rumble.   

"It's possible that they'll change it back to Kevin Owens because it seems like a strange match to make. 

Owens could still face Reigns at the Royal Rumble

"If they do that [Reigns vs Pearce] it pretty much tells you that they literally have no ideas at all. I'm not ruling out that they'll go back to Kevin Owens." 

It's long been suggested that WWE storylines aren't what they used to be.

Right now, Reigns is the hottest character the promotion have had for years so for Meltzer to suggest they've got nothing for him is certainly worrying.

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But this angle is far from dead yet. Matches at the Royal Rumble are often used to further storylines and that could be the case here. 

After Owens was written off TV with a kayfabe injury, it makes a lot of sense for him to return and be involved at the pay-per-view. 

Whether he comes out to make the save for Pearce, or replaces him in the match completely, is yet to be seen. 

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