Rejoice, for the 2017 Royal Rumble is finally upon us. Sunday’s pay-per-view began with a two-hour Kickoff Show, and the second match on that show was a special two-referee Raw Tag Team Championship match between champions Cesaro and Sheamus and The Club, comprised of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.
Over the past few weeks (ever since Cesaro and Sheamus captured the tag titles, more or less), The Club and the tag champs have been in a dueling battle of distractions, oneupsmanship and chicanery on the part of Gallows and Anderson. A couple weeks ago on Raw, The Club looked to have the tag titles won, but since there was a referee bump, the decision got reversed. So the solution to that was to have the Royal Rumble tag title rematch involve two referees, one inside the ring, and one outside. After all, TWO referees couldn’t possibly get knocked out during a match, right?
In a shocking and unexpected turn of events, the first referee in Sunday’s match got knocked out by an inadvertent Brogue Kick by Sheamus, requiring the second referee to take his place. The Club hit their Magic Killer finisher on Sheamus, and Cesaro tried to make the save, knocking Gallows out of the ring, but Anderson rolled up Cesaro with a possible handful of tights to get the pin and capture the titles.
This is the first tag title reign for the Club, who have now been with WWE for a year. Gallows and Anderson were previously three-time IWGP Tag Team Champions in New Japan as part of the Bullet Club, and they won the New Japan World Tag League in 2013. Sheamus and Cesaro had captured the tag titles from The New Day at Roadblock: End of the Line, and held them for just over 40 days before dropping them on Sunday.