WWE Rumors: Smackdown champions American Alpha not working the Royal Rumble PPV; possible match lined up?
According to a recent report, WWE Smackdown tag team champions American Alpha will not work Sunday's Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
What’s the story?
According to a recent report from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE Smackdown tag team champions American Alpha, have not been told they will be a part of this year's Royal Rumble match.
Unless plans change and a last-minute match is added to the card, Chad Gable and Jason Jordan will not be defending their title's at Sunday's big event either.
In case you didn’t know...
The WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships were created in September of 2016 following the brand split, with the unlikely pairing of Heath Slater and Rhyno becoming inaugural champions. American Alpha defeated Luke Harper and Randy Orton of the Wyatt Family to become the new champions on the December 27 edition of Smackdown Live, and their first official defence was on January 10th.
The heart of the story
While we inch closer to the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view, the annual event that kicks off the Road to WrestleMania every January, two big stars from the Smackdown brand may not even make it onto the show.
A report this weekend indicates that Jason Jordan and Chad Gable, American Alpha, had not been informed that they would be working the Rumble match as early as Tuesday night's WWE Smackdown Live television taping.
As of now there are 22 Superstars confirmed to appear in the match, 13 from the Raw brand, 8 from the Smackdown brand, and the legendary Undertaker. With 8 spots still left to fill, many of which will likely be surprise appearances from returning legends and NXT call-ups, it is believed that all full-time roster members have already been announced.
It's not as if there aren't any tag teams in this year's Rumble either – current WWE Raw Tag Team Champions Sheamus and Cesaro have been confirmed, as have all three members of the New Day, and all three members of the Wyatt Family.
What's more, with the pay-per-view card full, the Smackdown tag champs may end up being the only current champions not in action on Sunday night. All four titles from the Raw brand, including the Cruiserweight Championship, will be defended, and it was recently announced that Smackdown Women's Champion Alexa Bliss will compete in a six-woman tag team match alongside Mickie James and Natalya, taking on Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella and Naomi.
While this is disappointing, and it's hard to believe they couldn't find room with a six-woman tag team match, a non-title women's match for the Raw brand, and a defense for a division that has it's own Network show, I wouldn't necessarily read too much into this. Although it does cast some reflection of how WWE bookers see the order of importance in their divisions.