The Royal Rumble match received a big twist yesterday at Raw as WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon stacked up the odds against WWE World Heavyweight champion Roman Reigns, ordering him to participate in the Royal Rumble match and defend the title as well in the same match.
The stipulation will be that if Roman Reigns is eliminated from the 30-man over-the-top Rumble match, Reigns will lose the WWE title and then whoever wins the Rumble will be crowned the new WWE champion.
The last time that a new champion was crowned with the Royal Rumble match back in 1992 when Ric Flair won the vacant title following the whole Hulk Hogan/Undertaker saga. A reigning WWE champion has never defended the title during the Rumble so this will be a first for the Rumble.
Over the past two decades, the winner of the Royal Rumble received a shot at the WWE title at WrestleMania so this year that will not be the case as everyone will go in there with hopes of being the WWE champion. The number one contender is likely to be figured out at the Fastlane February pay-per-view event.