On the most recent episode of WWE SmackDown, Adam Pearce “won” a Gauntlet Match, so he will face Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at WWE Royal Rumble. While a lot of fans aren't happy with this direction, it could launch an unpredictable Road to WrestleMania for the blue brand.
Reigns' potential match with Pearce could make "The Tribal Chief" look more sadistic than ever. He essentially forced Pearce into the match to earn payback for Pearce's decision to book Jey Uso vs. Kevin Owens last week. Reigns' new feud with Pearce strengthens the feeling that "The Tribal Chief" is in control of WWE SmackDown.
With Reigns taking charge on the blue brand alongside Uso and Paul Heyman, "The Tribal Chief" seems unstoppable." It's obvious Pearce has lost control of WWE SmackDown, so someone needs to step up. The star who eventually dethrones Reigns will be a made man after this eventual feud.
Adam Pearce is no slouch in the ring
WWE is already advertising this match between Reigns and Pearce for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. But it is highly unlikely that the company will actually deliver the bout at this show. Still, if Pearce does face Reigns at the event, their match might surprise some people.
Pearce is a five-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, so he can clearly hold his own in the ring. Pearce has not wrestled in six years, and he last competed in a WWE ring in 1997. While he wouldn't stand a chance in a match with Reigns, glaring mismatches often deliver enjoyable in-ring contests. If WWE actually lets Pearce wrestle and gives him some offense, fans could see a decent match.
The Pearce-Reigns development also opens up more options for the Men's Royal Rumble Match, so it creates an unpredictable Road to WrestleMania for WWE SmackDown. Heading into this past week's episode of WWE SmackDown, most fans thought that Kevin Owens would face Reigns at the Royal Rumble. Likewise, Daniel Bryan is widely expected to win the Royal Rumble Match itself.
At this point, Owens could still wind up facing Reigns at the pay-per-view. On the other hand, "The Prizefighter" could opt to enter the Royal Rumble Match. Fans can also add Shinsuke Nakamura into the mix. In an impressive performance on Friday night, he defeated Rey Mysterio, King Corbin, and Bryan in the Gauntlet match. But Reigns and Uso attacked him and cost him the bout.
With Nakamura seemingly turning babyface on WWE SmackDown, he could potentially win the Royal Rumble Match and challenge Reigns at WrestleMania. "The Artist" could also take Pearce's place in his match at the pay-per-view. Owens and Nakamura have both become legitimate candidates to win the Royal Rumble Match. Plus, Bryan is the current favorite to win the match.
Needless to say, WWE SmackDown has multiple routes it can follow, and each one of them would be compelling. Dark horse picks like Big E are worth keeping an eye on. He has had some heated interactions with Heyman on WWE Talking Smack. There is also the possibility that Reigns will Goldberg. The two stars were scheduled to clash at WrestleMania last year, but the match was cancelled.
WWE could choose to deliver this intriguing match at WrestleMania 37. A few months ago on WWE's The Bump, Goldberg openly declared that Reigns is his next target. WWE has created numerous possibilities, and fans can thank this potential clash between Pearce and Reigns for that flexibility.
Fans watch the Royal Rumble pay-per-view for its namesake. The title matches on the show are often icing on the cake. As a result, the event has featured unusual world title matches in the past. In 2004, Brock Lesnar defended the WWE Championship against Hardcore Holly.
WWE can afford to do matches like Pearce vs. Reigns because the spotlight isn't fully on this bout. Instead, fans will focus on the Royal Rumble Matches. So it wouldn't be surprising to see the company actually present this bout at the pay-per-view.
A match between Reigns and Pearce could tell an interesting story. Regardless, WWE has the opportunity to create a memorable Road to WrestleMania for Reigns and the Universal Championship. Ideally, the company will continue to advertise Pearce as Reigns' opponent for the pay-per-view until the very last moment.
Then, WWE could swerve the fans and place Owens or Nakamura in the WWE Universal Championship Match instead. This development would allow the Road to WrestleMania to officially begin with a surprising twist that could excite the WWE Universe.Published 11 Jan 2021, 10:29 IST