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WWE Championship Handicap Match Booked For Royal Rumble

AJ Styles will take on two opponents on January 28th.

AJ Styles' title defence at the Royal Rumble has been confirmed. The current WWE Champion will face two challengers, as he takes on both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a handicap bout on January 28th.

The match was announced by Daniel Bryan following the conclusion of tonight's SmackDown Live main event. Styles took on Zayn in non-title action, with Owens, Bryan, and Shane McMahon all at ringside.

The finish of the bout was an eventful one. KO attempted to distract the referee, which provoked Shane into shoving him. Owens was ejected for his heelish actions by the official, only for Bryan to also step in and eject Shane for putting his hands on Owens. Amidst all the confusion, Zayn was able to hit Styles with the Helluva Kick and score a huge victory over the WWE Champion.

Should the match go ahead at the Royal Rumble pay per view, it should certainly provide an interesting dynamic - but theories have already sprung up on social media regarding a potential reversal (or modification) of Bryan's booking decision:

https://twitter.com/WrestlingInc/status/948388644250963968

This would continue the current storyline of Shane and Bryan as at-odds authority figures, often bickering and getting in each other's way.

At the time of writing, however, Styles vs. Owens and Zayn is one of the only matches announced for the Royal Rumble so far. Brock Lesnar's Universal Championship will be on the line against Braun Strowman and Kane, while several competitors have been announced for both the men's and women's Rumble matches.

On last night's Raw, it was confirmed by General Manager Kurt Angle that the women's Royal Rumble will feature 30 Superstars - putting to bed rumours of a 15 or 20-woman match. WWE have also since specified that both Rumble bouts will adhere to the same traditional over-the-top-rope elimination rules. Again, speculation had been circulating regarding slightly different rules for the women's bout, but that appears not to be the case at all.

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Jack G. King

Written by Jack G. King

Head of News at Cultaholic.com | [email protected]