WWE Royal Rumble 2023: Major Change Of Main Event Plans

With Royal Rumble 2023 looming, WWE has had a change of heart for Roman Reigns...

Roman Reigns Royal Rumble plans
WWE

Royal Rumble 2023 is currently the next premium live event on WWE's schedule - and the promotion appears to have had a change of heart regarding what would be its biggest singles match.

WrestlingNews.co reports that after originally planning for Sheamus to challenge Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns on the show, Kevin Owens has now been pencilled in for the title fight. KO won't be winning, though: WrestlingNews.co adds that WWE doesn't plan on having The Bloodline's leader drop his dual championships prior to WrestleMania 39.

Royal Rumble 2023 takes place in San Antonio, Texas on 28 January. Appropriately, Owens' last singles match against Reigns came at the 2021 Rumble, where Kevin was defeated in a Last Man Standing bout.

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Beyond the Rumble, WWE's current plans have Reigns defending the straps against Sami Zayn at Elimination Chamber 2023 (18 February). Then, Zayn and Owens challenge for The Usos' Undisputed Tag Team Championships at 'Mania (1 and 2 April).

Owens took the fall in the men's WarGames match at Survivor Series 2022 this past weekend. With The Bloodline triumphing over KO, The Brawling Brutes, and Drew McIntyre, much of the bout's drama was centred around Owens' relationship with Zayn, which had brought Sami's loyalties into question.

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Senior Reporter
Senior Reporter

Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.