The initial belief was WWE would save the rematch between Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar for the Royal Rumble. However, the match is taking place at Day 1 instead.
Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that the match is taking place at Day 1 because WWE feels the Royal Rumble sells itself and the company wants to make Day 1 one of the big pay-per-view events of the year going forward.
“The deal is Day 1 is obviously a Nick Khan idea for the idea of January 1st and the idea is not just this year doing it,” Meltzer said. “The idea is that this will be a regular thing, a regular holiday tradition for WWE, January 1st pay-per-view. Historically, the December pay-per-view has never done well. It’s always been one of the worst…when it comes to a holiday 1st or a January 1st show, a show like that historically either will do terrible because it’s on a holiday if the lineup is not intriguing or it will do great because it’s a holiday and holiday shows when you have a great lineup historically do very very well. So, to establish this as a traditional big show and the idea is to make this one of the biggest shows of the year, you need to establish it and Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns is the strongest match they got so that’s the match that they chose to establish it. The feeling is that Royal Rumble didn’t need it. They are trying to establish January 1st as one of the big shows of the year and so they are going to put their best match in there on the big show of the year.”
Meltzer added that this won’t be the last Reigns-Lesnar match as they’re still expected to wrestle each other at WrestleMania 38.
H/T to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription