A lot has happened to Roman Reigns over the past few months, both on WWE programming and behind the scenes. Reigns was the WWE Champion until he violated WWE’s Wellness Policy, which forced WWE officials to strip him of the title at WWE Money in the Bank back in June. He was still in the WWE title picture, but his stock in WWE fell throughout the rest of the summer.
Most recently, Roman has been feuding with Rusev over the United States Championship. The feud was physical, the pairing gave the WWE Universe some good matches, and it would have continued if it weren’t for Finn Balor’s injury that forced WWE officials to change a lot of their plans and bring back Roman Reigns into the WWE title picture after WWE Summerslam.
This week on Raw, Finn Balor relinquished the new WWE Universal Championship less than twenty-four hours after defeating Seth Rollins to become the first holder of the title. WWE officials needed to call an audible, so a series of matches was held on the show to select four contenders for the title. Next week on Raw, Seth Rollins, Big Cass, Kevin Owens, and Roman Reigns will face off in a Fatal Four Way to determine the next WWE Universal Champion.
Seth Rollins has broken out as the most obvious choice, but a lot of the WWE Universe is clamoring for next week to be the big moment for Kevin Owens to set into the main event spotlight and become champion. Big Cass would be a huge surprise, but the most likely candidate to become the new WWE Universal Champion is also going to be the most controversial with WWE fans.
According to a report from Cage Side Seats, Roman Reigns is the rumored frontrunner to win the Fatal Four Way and become the new WWE Universal Champion next week on Raw. If that is revealed to be true next Monday night, there is bound to be a lot of backlash against WWE officials for being hot, cold, and then hot on Roman again after he was in the doghouse so recently.
It was reported recently that Vince McMahon was no longer as high on Roman Reigns as he had been in the past, which seemed to be the case as Reigns lost in three straight big match situations, and put over Finn Balor during his Raw debut. The hostility of the WWE Universe after Roman started to cool as he entered the feud with Rusev and was out of the main event spotlight.
Heading into WWE Summerslam, it seemed like Roman Reigns was going to help elevate the United States title. Unfortunately, if he becomes the new WWE Universal Champion, the expectation is his feud with The Bulgarian Brute would be canceled as a casualty of WWE officials being forced to change their creative plans after Balor’s injury. The biggest issue that WWE is going to face with the audience is that Reigns is the safest pick, and all the rumors would go up in smoke about his backstage heat if he were to become the WWE Universal Champion only a week after WWE officials hit the panic button.
It was rumored after Roman’s suspension that WWE was originally planning Reigns vs. Rollins for WWE Summerslam. There is still a lot of potential in furthering the feud between those two old rivals, but it’s going to be difficult to convince the WWE Universe to support either man in the feud, which makes it a complex rivalry to build going into WWE Clash of Champions.
It’s well known that the WWE Universe has been rejecting Roman Reigns for several months now, but Seth Rollins is also taking a lot of blame for putting Finn Balor on the shelf and taking him away from the fans. Before the brand extension, Dean Ambrose came in to give the WWE Universe a strong face to cheer for rather than being forced to choose. However, WWE officials don’t have that option anymore. A lot of Raw’s future was put on Balor’s shoulders, which makes it ironic that became his injury.
Roman Reigns is more than qualified to become the WWE Universal Champion, but the desperation of the booking could be a problem with the WWE Universe. Sometimes, WWE officials do the best booking with what they have to work with, and Rusev could still interfere and cost Roman the title to continue their feud. However, WWE is going to have to make the decision over the next week about what direction Raw is going to take now that everything has changed. Is Roman Reigns the right guy?
[Image via WWE.com]