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Adam Pearce will challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at the WWE Royal Rumble

Universal Champion Roman Reigns (with Main Event Jey Uso and Paul Heyman) kicked off this week’s episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown.

Reigns took issue with Adam Pearce for not protecting Kevin Owens from the beating he took last week. Reigns said that now Owens can’t provide for his family and the blame falls on Pearce. He also took issue with Pearce booking a Gauntlet Match to determine Reigns’ challenger instead of letting Reigns pick his own opponent. Later in the show, Paul Heyman said he was able to pull some strings to get Adam Pearce added to the Gauntlet Match. This was done even though Pearce objected to this idea.

The Gauntlet Match ended with Pearce vs. Shinsuke Nakamura but before they could lock up, Nakamura was attacked by Reigns and Uso. Somehow, this was allowed and tjem Pearce was knocked out with a kick to the face and then draped over Nakamura so it will be Pearce vs. Reigns at the Royal Rumble.

Gauntlet match results:
1. Rey Mysterio defeated Sami Zayn with the 619 and splash off the top
2. Shinsuke Nakakamure forced Rey Mysterio to tap to the armbar submission
3. Shinsuke Nakamura defeated King Corbin with the Kinshasa
4. Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Daniel Bryan with the Kinshasa
5. Adam Pearce pinned Shinsuke Nakamura, thanks to Roman Reigns and Jey Uso

Here is the updated card for the WWE Royal Rumble:

WWE Universal Championship
Roman Reigns (Champion) vs. Adam Pearce

WWE Championship
Drew McIntyre (Champion) vs. Goldberg

Men’s Royal Rumble Match
Participants announced: Daniel Bryan, Bobby Lashley, AJ Styles, Randy Orton

Women’s Royal Rumble Match
Participants announced: Nia Jax, Charlotte Flair, Bianca Belair, Bayley

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