For some WWE Superstars, a win in the main event at WrestleMania is just the beginning of what becomes a legacy. After “Stone Cold” Steve Austin defeated Shawn Michaels in the main event of WrestleMania 14, his popularity continued to grow for years to come. Then there are guys like The Miz, who successfully defended the WWE Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 27 against John Cena. A year later, The Miz was an afterthought as a part of Team Johnny in the war over who would be named the General Manager of Raw and SmackDown. Since that time, The Miz has failed to capture a second world title.
After Seth Rollins ruined Roman Reigns’ opportunity to defeat Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 31, Reigns returned to the main event of the WWE’s biggest show of the year, closing out WrestleMania 32 by defeating Triple H for the title. Since that victory in April, Reigns has lost the championship and served a 30-day suspension for violating the WWE’s Wellness Policy. Since returning from suspension, he has failed to capture gold on three separate occasions, not counting the loss he suffered at the hands of Finn Bálor that would have earned him a shot at the WWE Universal Championship.
Steve Austin followed up his first big WrestleMania victory by becoming arguably the most iconic character in professional wrestling history. The Miz defeated John Cena and went on to secure what seems to be a permanent place in the WWE’s mid-card. As WWE Clash of Champions 2016 approaches, which path will the career of Roman Reigns take? Below are five possible matches that WWE could book for Roman Reigns and how those matches might further or hinder The Big Dog’s career.
Roman Reigns Vs. Kevin Owens
One obvious option for Roman Reigns would be to put him in a title match against the current WWE Universal Champion. There will obviously be a great deal of debate among the WWE Universe and WWE Superstars about who deserves the first shot at Kevin Owens’ newly won strap. Triple H’s actions during the Monday Night Raw main event unquestionably determined the outcome, leaving Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins without any real chance of becoming the new Universal Champion. Whether Reigns has to compete with Seth Rollins (and possibly Big Cass) or not to be named the No. 1 contender, there’s no doubt that Reigns fans would like to see their guy facing Kevin Owens one-on-one for the title. However, it’s possible that WWE will book a Triple Threat Match at Clash of Champions involving Owens, Rollins, and Reigns, or even book a rematch of the Fatal 4-Way Match from last week’s Raw.
Roman Reigns Vs. Triple H
Of course, Roman Reigns has unfinished business with Triple H. Hunter has barely been seen on WWE programming since losing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania. Having been busy with NXT and the WWE Cruiserweight Classic Tournament, Hunter’s return during the Fatal 4-Way Match was a huge surprise to everyone. It may be time for Reigns to put any plans for winning a title on the back-burner while he deals with Triple H. Battling one of the future leaders of WWE would allow Reigns to remain relevant among professional wrestling’s upper echelons, but give Owens the chance to face someone else for the Universal Title at Clash of Champions.
Roman Reigns Vs. Rusev
Reigns also has unfinished business with WWE United States Champion Rusev and his wife, the “Ravishing Russian” Lana. The premise of Clash of Champions is that every championship title from the Raw brand will be up for grabs. Since the title match between Roman and Rusev never got underway at WWE SummerSlam 2016, it would be easy to book a rematch at COC on September 25. Revisiting that feud, however, would point Roman’s career in the direction taken by The Miz, who has been competing for mid-card titles since losing the big one at WWE Extreme Rules 2011.
Roman Reigns Vs. Seth Rollins
Of course, since Clash of Champions will likely be Kevin Owens’ first defense of the WWE Universal Championship, they could have him work with someone who can put him over without hurting the loser’s reputation too much. Giving Big Cass another shot would simply be a good chance for Enzo’s partner to prove he can handle marquee match-ups. If Cesaro’s injury is going to put him on the shelf temporarily, they could let Kevin Owens have a decisive victory over Sheamus at Clash of Champions. However that might play out, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins could have a match at COC to determine the No. 1 contender for the Universal Championship at WWE Hell in a Cell 2016, the next Raw-branded PPV.
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Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins Vs. Kevin Owens & Triple H
One interesting twist might be to have former WWE Tag Team Champions Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins team up to battle Kevin Owens and Triple H. There have been a few instances in the past in which a singles title was up for grabs in a tag team match. The fact that Rollins and Reigns were one of the most dominant tag teams in modern WWE history would put Kevin’s title reign under serious threat. Then, if WWE wants to keep Rollins and Reigns away from the Universal Championship for any reason, they can easily have the former Shield brethren feud after a communication breakdown in a Clash of Champions main event.
With less than four weeks until WWE Clash of Champions 2016, the WWE needs to get Roman Reigns booked for a match at the event if the WWE Universe is to be emotionally invested at any level. Whether Reigns finds himself in a title match or simply a grudge match, he needs to turn things around soon if he wants to build on his huge WrestleMania victory. Otherwise, he could see his potential fizzle away like that of a certain former Real World contestant.
Where To Watch
WWE Clash of Champions 2016 will air on Sunday, September 25 on the WWE Network. The program will begin at 8/7c. The Clash of Champions Kick-Off Show will air at 7/6c.
WWE Monday Night Raw airs live on the USA Network at 8/7c, with the Raw Pre-Show airing on the WWE Network at 7:30/6:30c. Replays of WWE RAW aren’t made available on the WWE Network until several weeks after the original air date. However, a 90-minute version of Monday Night Raw is available to stream on-demand the following day with a Hulu Plus subscription.
[Image via WWE]