Universal Title Match Added To WWE Royal Rumble 2021
Oh, it's an interesting one...
With three weeks to go before the 2021 Royal Rumble, the non-Rumble matches are finally beginning to come together, as the Universal title match is now set - but it's a rather unexpected match-up.
On-screen official Adam Pearce is the unlikely challenger for champion Roman Reigns' gold, after winning a number one contender's gauntlet on Friday night's episode of SmackDown.
Pearce was the final entrant in the six-man gauntlet to determine Reigns' opponent for the Rumble. Entrant Shinsuke Nakamura had vanquished Daniel Bryan, King Corbin, and Rey Mysterio, before meeting Pearce at the end.
Pearce was presented as a somewhat-unwilling entrant, pressed into the match by Paul Heyman. Reigns, Heyman, and Jey Uso accompanied Pearce to the ring for the final bout, where first Nakamura was laid out, followed by Pearce himself. Uso then placed Pearce on top of the motionless Nakamura to score the winning pinfall.
Prior to joining WWE in an administrative role, Pearce wrestled for over a decade and a half, from 1996 to 2014. The 42-year-old is a five-time NWA World champion, and has also held PWG's top belt.