Roman Reigns ended the legendary career of the Undertaker at WrestleMania and then dealt with the consequences from a rabid crowd the next night on RAW in Orlando. WrestleMania 33 will mostly be remembered for the return of The Hardy Boyz, John Cena proposing to Nikki Bella, and the Undertaker’s final match in WWE. The next night on RAW had memorable moments as well, including Roman Reigns.
There was the debut of The Revival, the return of Finn Balor, Vince McMahon introducing Kurt Angle as the new General Manager of RAW, and the opening of the show that featured Roman Reigns. The show opened with a package of the Undertaker from the night before, a long, uninterrupted chant for the Deadman, and then Roman Reigns’ music hitting the speakers and being met with a unanimously negative response.
Reigns was met with hostility and vulgarity, and his only response was “This is my yard now.” Roman spoke just five words after more than 10 minutes of chants, but it was as effective as it could possibly be. He did not appear during the rest of the show, but the WWE scripted a tease of an eventual Roman Reigns-Brock Lesnar showdown during the segment with Brock and Paul Heyman.
As noted, Vince McMahon returned to television, but appointing a new GM wasn’t his only significant declaration. The Chairman also announced that RAW and SmackDown would engage in a “Superstar Shakeup” next week. It would not be a draft like in the past, but the representatives from both brands would be able to make trades, deals, and transactions. The shakeup, in one form or another, had been rumored for months, and just recently, it was believed that it would be centered around the movement of AJ Styles and Roman Reigns.
Styles and Reigns, of course, were entwined in a marquee feud last year right after WrestleMania that sparked the ascension of Styles into the company’s upper echelon. AJ shined in post-brand split programs with Dean Ambrose, John Cena, and most recently, Shane McMahon, while Roman Reigns earned the right to finish off the Undertaker after transitional feuds with Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman.
Styles appears destined for RAW next week, but WWE officials have changed their minds on any movement for Roman Reigns, according to the most recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio. The plan, before the announcement of the “Superstar Shakeup,” was to have Roman Reigns resume his feud with Strowman on RAW. It has been tentatively penciled in as the main event for Payback at the end of this month because Brock Lesnar is not scheduled to be there and defend his Universal Championship.
With today’s news that Roman Reigns will be staying put on the flagship show, it would indicate that officials will move forward with those plans as scheduled. SmackDown, meanwhile will not only lose AJ Styles, but John Cena is already back on hiatus from the WWE to film another movie and will miss no less than two months. It would make sense that the blue brand should get a top-level superstar back in the “Superstar Shakeup,” but it won’t be Roman Reigns; at least, not as of this writing.
Seth Rollins was recently rumored to be the main event star going to SmackDown, although his feud with Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens is still far from resolved. It may be a good sign for Shinsuke Nakamura fans, as it may indicate that he is poised for a top position on Tuesday nights with Styles and Cena going elsewhere. Roman Reigns is, by far, the biggest heel on the roster, but if they resume things with Braun Strowman, that’s the company’s way of telling fans that he isn’t completely turned yet. And as of now, the status quo will remain.
[Featured Image by WWE]