This week on SmackDown Live, Daniel Bryan made the announcement that AJ Styles will defend the WWE Championship against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a handicap match at the WWE Royal Rumble. Their match might seem like the next step to continue the feud between Owens, Zayn, and Shane McMahon, but it’s being reported that WWE officials could be planning a huge title change for Kevin Owens or Sami Zayn.
Originally, the creative plans were for John Cena to win the ‘Royal Rumble’ Match and to capture the WWE Title from Jinder Mahal. A new rumor reported the powers that be had something much bigger planned for Cena’s match and the expectation was for Shinsuke Nakamura to win the ‘Royal Rumble’ to set up the long-awaited rematch between “The King of Strong Style” and “The Phenomenal One” at WrestleMania 34.
However, it has been reported that Vince McMahon is being quite stubborn about John Cena breaking Ric Flair’s World Title record on the grandest stage of them all. On paper, that would mean Cena vs. Styles, but there is a lot of hype for Nakamura vs. Styles II. In order to have both matches on the card, AJ Styles would need to drop the title before WrestleMania, which has many fans thinking Kevin Owens will win the WWE Title at the ‘Royal Rumble’. Afterward, the WrestleMania 34 card would have John Cena vs. Kevin Owens.
WWE officials are also adamant about Nakamura vs. Styles taking place. There is just some debate about their match being for the WWE Championship. As great as a potential WrestleMania match Kevin Owens would be for the WWE Title, it’s not exactly what most fans had in mind of Cena’s “bigger plans.” With the 25th anniversary of Raw coming up soon, the belief is John Cena’s feud for WrestleMania will be revealed.
WWE officials still have their final decisions to make as the WWE Royal Rumble gets closer by the day, but it seems a few big matches are written in stone. Heading into the handicap match between AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn, the WWE Universe should take the match seriously because there’s a possibility for Kevin Owens to become a really important part of history depending on what WWE officials choose to do.