Just minutes before SmackDown went on the air, WWE announced there would be a 5 man gauntlet match to determine who the number 1 contender for the Universal Championship. Daniel Bryan, Shinsuke Nakamura, Rey Mysterio, Baron Corbin, and Sami Zayn were the participants.
However, the match would add a 6th man. Roman Reigns, who blames Adam Pearce for the melee with Samoa Joe last week, wanted Adam Pearce in the match.
Rey Mysterio eliminated Sami Zayn almost immediately. Shinsuke Nakamura entered next. Nakamura would beat Mysterio, Corbin, and Daniel Bryan.
That left Nakamura to face Adam Pearce. Before Pearce entered the ring, Roman and Uso took out Nakamura.
After being placed over @ShinsukeN by @WWERomanReigns and @WWEUsos, @ScrapDaddyAP has WON the #GauntletMatch on #SmackDown. 👀@WWERomanReigns vs. @ScrapDaddyAP for the #UniversalTitle at #RoyalRumble!?omit_script=1!?omit_script=1 pic.twitter.com/xk4uQjjZvz
— WWE (@WWE) January 9, 2021
They then took out Pearce. After the bell rang, Roman drug Pearce onto Nakamura.
Adam Pearce is the new number 1 contender. Yep, Scrap Daddy Adam Pearce is set to face Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble.
This was pretty smart booking. Roman Reigns wants to get his hands on Adam Pearce. He knows if he attacks him he’ll get suspended. So, he forces him to get in a match where he can get revenge and not get suspended. Smart WWE. Smart. I don’t get to say that very often.