Last night on Raw, Rusev defended WWE’s United States Championship against Mark Henry. The match was a rehashing of a previous feud between the two men, but it was still a quality match between two powerhouses for the U.S. title. Although The Bulgarian Brute got the victory over Henry, the real development came after the match was over.
After the match, Rusev berated America again and told the WWE Universe that no one would be able to take the United States Championship from him before Roman Reigns interrupted him. Reigns and Rusev had a quick brawl that ended up with Roman getting the upper hand and making it clear that he is eyeing the United States Championship.
The latest backstage news surrounding Roman Reigns is that he is still in the WWE doghouse after he violated WWE’s Wellness Policy last month. Vince McMahon is reportedly not high enough on him any longer to keep him as the top guy on the WWE ladder, but it is also being reported that WWE officials aren’t viewing Roman Reigns as a top guy anymore in WWE either.
However, just because Roman Reigns is no longer the WWE Champion and WWE officials aren’t going to push him as a “top guy,” that doesn’t mean that he can’t still be a valuable part of WWE programming and be utilized outside of WWE’s main event picture going forward. Roman targeting Rusev and the United States Championship during last night’s Raw proves that fact.
The WWE Universe doesn’t seem to have a problem with Roman Reigns when he is out of the WWE title picture. It seems that when he is being “forced” down people’s throats is when he causes friction with the WWE fans. He wasn’t booed out of the arena last night during his confrontation with Rusev. There are several factors that go into that reaction, but it’s a good sign for him.
Overall, a potential feud with Rusev and entering the United States title picture could be a great thing for Reigns to do on WWE programming. For one thing, it will get him out of the limelight of the WWE Championship and the WWE Universe may cut him some slack for getting out of their throats.
More importantly, Roman Reigns was the top guy of WWE for better or worse, so him getting involved with the United States Championship is going to do wonders for the title’s prestige. Rusev has done a good job with his current title reign, but there is a difference between defending the title against Zack Ryder and Mark Henry versus defending it against Roman Reigns.
According to a report from Ring Side News, Reigns vs. Rusev are expected to battle at WWE Summerslam for the United States title. It may seem obvious based on last night’s segment, but it is still unconfirmed as of this writing. The expectation is that Roman will win the U.S. title from Rusev at WWE Summerslam, but the feud could continue over the coming months.
As great as a potential United States Championship run would be for Roman Reigns on WWE programming, the real winner of the feud could end up being The Bulgarian Brute. Rusev has feuded and gained victories over many former World Champions, but Roman Reigns is the most current example of a top guy in WWE.
A feud with Reigns could do a lot to elevate Rusev into WWE’s main event picture and establish him as someone who could challenge for the WWE Universal Championship later this year. There is potential for Rusev to become a bigger star for WWE, especially with Lana by his side. Reigns vs. Rusev could be a great feud that benefits both men to become stronger performers.
[Image via WWE]