WWE SmackDown ended abruptly when it decided to showcase Adam Pearce as the opponent for Roman Reigns’ Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble. The segment became weirder when Pearce faked an injury only for Owens to show up. He then signed the contract for the title defense at the Rumble.
WWE used an entire week and a match to shift to a storyline where Owens would return for another title match against Reigns. We all know that Owens is a master of words. If The Prizefighter would have been a part of the gauntlet match in any form and signed the contract, then the story would have looked better, and the entire story would have made more sense.
The switch didn’t give the story space to develop
Roman Reigns’ special counsel Paul Heyman is a master on the microphone, and his conversation with Owens would have helped continue to build the investment in the story. A build-up to this title match through the gauntlet match followed by a contract signing which would have involved hard-hitting words and punches would have elevated the show’s acceptability amongst members of the WWE Universe. WWE is facing a ratings issue, and a segment involving Pearce will not improve the situation in any way.
The injury segment through the entrance ramp only worsened the situation. It ruined two straight weeks of entertainment and ratings for the company that has faced a similar fate on the red brand. Royal Rumble is the first step towards enticing fans for a powerful WrestleMania, and these two missed weeks will not help the business or the superstars.
Since his return Roman Reigns continues to be one of the best characters in the WWE and perhaps wrestling as a whole. For a moment, the angle with Adam Pearce seemed interesting and many people wanted to know how the angle would play out. Instead, there was a switch back to Kevin Owens in a fashion that was less than dramatic, perhaps hindering the overall appeal of one of the main angles heading into the important Royal Rumble.