St Petersburg, Florida – Tropicana Field
Paul Heyman is backstage with WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, who is going over the contract for the Royal Rumble match with Adam Pearce. Heyman didn’t like the contract when he saw it, but thinks the match needs a stipulation, one where Reigns can be Reigns and teach Pearce about fear and respect. Heyman offers to take the contract to Pearce for some adjustment. Reigns hands it over to Heyman and Heyman says Reigns can consider this handled. Heyman walks off and thanks Reigns.
We see Sonya Deville backstage talking to Adam Pearce. Deville wants to talk strategy for Pearce again but Paul Heyman walks in. He shakes hands with Deville. Heyman hands Pearce the contract for the Universal Title match at the Royal Rumble. Heyman says Pearce has the opportunity of a lifetime in his hands. He goes on with his sales pitch and reveals that the new contract will make Pearce vs. Roman Reigns a No DQ match. Heyman interrupts his own promo to tell Deville how good her perfume is working, creeping Deville and Pearce out. Pearce is annoyed by Heyman and his pitch. He ends up signing the contract and saying this will mean that he gets injured, which is what Heyman and Reigns want to see. He hands the contract back to Heyman after signing it
Paul Heyman, Roman Reigns and Apollo Crews are backstage. Heyman walks in with the contract for the match with Adam Pearce and Reigns tells Crews to stay so he can watch and learn from this. Reigns asks Heyman if the contract was signed. Reigns ends up saying he’s not going to sign the contract. He doesn’t want No DQ, he wants Last Man Standing. Heyman doesn’t believe Pearce will agree to that stipulation. Reigns says he will because Crews is going to make him. Reigns wants Pearce to sign the contract in the ring later tonight. Reigns hands the contract back to Heyman and tells him to consider it signed. Reigns goes back to chatting with Crews to end the segment.
Adam Pearce is walking backstage when Paul Heyman approaches him with the contract. Pearce asks if Roman Reigns signed the contract for the Royal Rumble. Heyman says there was a little wrinkle but no, Reigns did not sign the contract. Heyman says Reigns agreed with Pearce’s concerns with a No DQ match. Heyman goes on with another pitch but Pearce doesn’t want to hear it, he asks Heyman where he’s going with this. Heyman mentions the Last Man Standing stipulation and tries to sell him on it. Pearce asks who that will benefit but Heyman says he’s not in the business of giving spoilers. Pearce is once again annoyed but he’s about to sign the contract. Heyman tells him to take his time because he will be able to talk it over with Reigns in the ring later tonight. Heyman ends up walking off after saying he’s going to consider this handled.
We go back to the ring and out comes WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman and Jey Uso. The ring is set up for a contract signing for Reigns’ title defense against Adam Pearce at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Reigns enters the ring and raises the title as the boos get louder. Pearce comes walking out next, with no music, and the contract in his hand. Cole reminds us that Pearce vs. Reigns will now be a Last Man Standing match.
Pearce nervously enters the ring and Reigns tells him to have a seat. Pearce is the only one sitting. Heyman offers to put Reigns’ seat at the head of the table, because he is The Head of the Table, but Reigns wants to stand. Heyman starts talking about the contract to Pearce, but Uso grabs Pearce and yells at him to get his ass up because he’s taking too long. Pearce sits back down on the other side of the table as Reigns also takes a seat at the head of the table. Pearce signs the contract.
Reigns smiles now, then smiles at Pearce and says that will be the last contract he’ll sign. Pearce closes the contract and says he’s waited all night for Reigns to do that. Pearce stands up and exits the ring with the contract. Reigns is confused. Pearce marches up the ramp but starts limping. Uso, Heyman and Reigns look on from the ring, confused. Pearce stops and says his knee has been hurting all day long. It must be one of those old injuries that creep up on you at the worst possible time, but don’t worry… standard WWE contracts all the same thing… Pearce’s mic is having some technical difficulties. Pearce starts talking about being able to find a suitable replacement for the Rumble match with Reigns, and a suitable replacement is just what he has in mind.
The music of Kevin Owens hits and out he comes. Owens immediately signs the contract as Pearce holds it for him. Reigns looks on from the ring and he’s not happy. Owens stares down at the ring, smiling at Reigns and taunting him. Pearce is also in a better mood now. SmackDown goes off the air with fans cheering Owens on.