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Backstage news on why Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns is happening at WWE Day 1 and not Royal Rumble

The top match at WWE Day 1 will feature a rematch between Universal Champion Roman Reigns and challenger Brock Lesnar in a match that was originally going to happen at the Royal Rumble.

During Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer explained why the match is going to happen at the Day 1 pay-per-view and not the Royal Rumble.

“The deal is Day 1 is obviously a Nick Khan idea for the idea of January 1st and the idea is not just this year doing it,” Meltzer said. “The idea is that this will be a regular thing, a regular holiday tradition for WWE, January 1st pay-per-view. Historically, the December pay-per-view has never done well. It’s always been one of the worst…when it comes to a holiday 1st or a January 1st show, a show like that historically either will do terrible because it’s on a holiday if the lineup is not intriguing or it will do great because it’s a holiday and holiday shows when you have a great lineup historically do very very well. So, to establish this as a traditional big show and the idea is to make this one of the biggest shows of the year, you need to establish it and Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns is the strongest match they got so that’s the match that they chose to establish it. The feeling is that Royal Rumble didn’t need it. They are trying to establish January 1st as one of the big shows of the year and so they are going to put their best match in there on the big show of the year.”

Meltzer stated that the match at Day 1 is not the end of their feud and they are going to wrestle again at WrestleMania. He said, “It is not going to be the last Roman Reigns-Brock Lesnar match. Obviously, they are still planned for WrestleMania so that’s the basic gist of it.”

The match being part of the Day 1 show would explain why Lesnar was brought back so early from his “indefinite suspension” storyline.

Here are the matches announced so far for WWE Day 1:

WWE Universal Championship
Roman Reigns (Champion) vs. Brock Lesnar

WWE Championship – Triple Threat Match
Big E (Champion) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens

WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The Usos (Champions) vs. The New Day

Edge vs. The Miz

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Wrestling Observer Radio with a h/t to for the transcription. A subscription includes the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and daily audio shows in addition to thousands of hours of archived audio shows.

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