In their latest attempt to get the fans to cheer him, WWE has taken Roman Reigns out of the Universal Championship picture, as they decided to have him win the United States Championship at Sunday’s Clash of Champions.
WWE is hoping that, by temporarily taking Reigns out of the Universal Title picture, the fans won’t view him as a guy who’s is getting a push that they feel is undeserved, and they’ll begin to like him. So far, that hasn’t been the case, as Reigns was booed when he won the U.S. Title on Sunday night.
It’s unclear just how long WWE plans on having Reigns hold the United States Championship, but, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE is planning on inserting Reigns back into the Universal Championship picture at the Royal Rumble event. If that’s the plan, then he’ll probably drop the U.S. Title before the end of this year.
Meltzer appeared on the Live Audio Wrestling Podcast following Sunday’s Clash of Champions show, and he talked about Reigns’ future with the U.S. Title, and WWE’s plan to eventually put him back in the Universal Title mix.
“Yes, [he’ll be out of the Universal Title mix] until Royal Rumble time, if not longer. I know the idea was to keep Roman Reigns out of the world title picture for a while. So, it’s another way of getting the people to like him, and I guess feuding with Rusev is the one way because of the American going against the Russian. He’s still their guy, but they know they can’t pull the trigger right now.”
It’s been a two-year battle between Roman Reigns and WWE’s fans. No matter what the company has tried with Reigns, the fans just won’t accept him as the face of the new generation. The most suggested idea has been to turn Reigns heel, but Vince McMahon has been stubborn about getting Reigns over as a babyface, so, for right now at least, he’s dead set against making Reigns the company’s top villain.
As Meltzer said, WWE believes that having Reigns feud with Rusev, who has been one of the company’s most hated villains ever since he debuted two years ago, will get the fans to like him, but the fans haven’t taken the bait. In fact, they’ve actually been cheering Rusev during their matches. So, no matter what WWE tries, the fans continue to tell them that they don’t want to see Reigns as the top good guy.
Reigns has been a heavy favorite to win the Royal Rumble match over the last two years, and he’ll probably once again be a heavy favorite going into the 2017 Royal Rumble. Of course, fans were shocked and happy that he didn’t end up winning the 30-man match, as he was eliminated by Triple H, who he went on to face at WrestleMania 32.
There have been a few ideas tossed around for Reigns regarding his WrestleMania 33 opponent, with the most common one being a rematch between him and Brock Lesnar. Of course, WWE originally wanted Reigns to defeat Lesnar back at WrestleMania 31, but they were forced to change their plan due to the overwhelmingly negative response towards Reigns being in the show’s main event. Instead, they had Seth Rollins cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase during the match, which led to Rollins pinning Reigns to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
For right now, though, it looks like Reigns will be feuding with Rusev for the next couple of months, and who knows? Maybe he’ll drop the U.S. Title back to Rusev before he moves into the Universal Title picture at the beginning of next year.
[Featured Image by WWE]