Top Star Reportedly Considered For Roman Reigns' WWE Royal Rumble Opponent

Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns is set to return to "WWE SmackDown" on December 15. "The Tribal Chief" will appear as WWE builds towards the Royal Rumble — the start of the road to WrestleMania — next month. According to longtime wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer, who was speaking on the latest edition of the "Wrestling Observer Radio," Reigns vs. Randy Orton for the title is under consideration for that premium live event on January 27, 2024.

Meltzer also mentioned that other ideas were being discussed for Reigns' Royal Rumble opponent. He reported last week that, "on paper," Kevin Owens and LA Knight were also likely being considered to challenge the "Head of the Table" for the gold at the January event. However, Meltzer pointed out that Knight is set to be going in a different direction.

If Orton is the name WWE moves forward with for the Royal Rumble, it would be the first time "The Viper" has challenged for a world title since failing to defeat Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship on the September 13, 2021, episode of "WWE Raw." Orton, who returned to action at WWE Survivor Series: WarGames last week following a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to injury, would also have the opportunity to become a 15-time world champion. 

Notably, Orton has yet to face Reigns or challenge him for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship during his run as "The Tribal Chief." Orton is now officially on the same brand as Reigns after signing a "WWE SmackDown" contract this past Friday night. During that same segment, he instructed Paul Heyman, Reigns' wise man, to tell the "Head of the Table" that "daddy's home." In the storyline, The Bloodline put Orton on the shelf last year.