Many expected Roman Reigns to defend his Universal Championship against Kevin Owens at Royal Rumble. This made it even more shocking when on the December 8th episode of Friday Night SmackDown, Adam Pearce became the number one contender to Reigns’ title.
The booking was smart. Roman Reigns wanted to get his hands on Pearce but knew that he wouldn’t be able to attack him without risking suspension, so he ensured that Pearce was in the gauntlet match and helped him win to make the Royal Rumble match official.
We have seen Adam Pearce on our screens arguably more than anyone else on the roster over the last few months, as Pearce as been acting as a “WWE official'” or authority figure on both Raw and SmackDown for a while now.
While some may have been familiar with the work he did before joining the company, others will not have been exposed to anything that Adam Pearce did until he started appearing on WWE TV last year, so will be questioning why he’s been booked to face Reigns at a big four PPV.
Off the back of a lot of fan questions on social media, we provide you guys with a little bit more information about Adam Pearce ahead of his big Royal Rumble tirle match with The Tribal Chief later this month.
42-year-old Adam Pearce made his professional wrestling debut in May 1996, and went on to wrestle for the likes of ROH, TNA, NWA and PWG during his career, before joining WWE full-time as a backstage producer and Performance Center trainer in 2015.
While Michael Cole may have said on SmackDown that Pearce was never good enough to make it to WWE, he was certainly no slouch in the ring. Pearce held the NWA World Championship on five separate occasions, a title that was also donned by the likes of AJ Styles, Ric Flair and Sting and is currently being held by Nick Aldis.
Pearce was also voted the 44th best professional wrestler in the world in 2008 in the Pro Wrestling Illustrated 500. For context, that spot went to United States Champion Bobby Lashley on the 2020 list.
Interestingly, his match with Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown was not Pearce’s first match with WWE. Back in 1997, Pearce wrestled three matches for WWE (then WWF) as Adam O’Brien, the last being a singles match loss to Tiger Ali Singh at a Shotgun taping in August.
Pearce may not be wrestling on TV every week, but he still has a big role to play in terms of the in-ring work on main roster shows. Adam Pearce is one of the trainers for the selection of main roster talent that were sent to the Performance Center to retrain last year, alongside Drew Gulak.
While some have speculated that Adam Pearce won’t actually wrestle Roman Reigns and will be pulled from the show at the last minute, the fact that the storyline makes sense and he is an experienced wrestler, as seen by his awesome sell of the Superkick on SmackDown, means that this is an authority figure vs. current wrestler match that we’re all very much looking forward to.
Adam Pearce sold this superkick like a boss!
— Fightful Wrestling (@FightfulWrestle) January 10, 2021