Generally titles don’t change hands on pay-per-view pre-shows, but this is 2019 and this is the Royal Rumble so the rules are out of the window.
Rusev’s one month United States Championship reign is over at the hands of the man he took the title from on the Christmas Day SmackDown Live, Shinsuke Nakamura.
Lana attempted to distract Nakamura on the apron, but instead of attacking his challenger from behind, Rusev missed and hit his wife off the apron, allowing Nakamura to hit the Kinshasa Knee and pick up the victory.
— WWE (@WWE) January 27, 2019
It really does feel like WWE doesn’t know what they’re doing with the US Title, with dull feud after dull feud, but let’s be optimistic and say this is the start of a new exciting time for the belt.