With another episode of Monday Night RAW completed, the rumors have been confirmed: Roman Reigns will fight Kevin Owens for the Universal Championship at the main event of WWE Roadblock: End of the Line. What’s interesting, though, is that Reigns’ United States Championship won’t be on the line as well, thus leading to the possibility that he will hold two title belts at the same time if he emerges victorious at WWE Roadblock’s main event. And there’s a chance many fans won’t react positively to it, thereby continuing the trend of Roman Reigns being booed despite his heroic alignment as a babyface.
Holding two title belts simultaneously is a big deal in the world of unscripted fighting sports. Earlier this month, Conor McGregor reigned as UFC’s featherweight and lightweight champion, becoming the first simultaneous dual titleholder in the company’s history until he was forced to drop the featherweight belt over the weekend. But it’s happened multiple times in professional wrestling, with former Shield member Seth Rollins most recently reigning as both WWE World Heavyweight and United States Champion when he beat John Cena for both titles at SummerSlam 2015.
More than a year after Rollins had briefly held both a main event and mid-card singles belt at the same time, it looks like his former Shield stablemate Reigns is gunning for the same distinction, and will be doing so at WWE Roadblock: End of the Line, the company’s RAW brand-exclusive pay-per-view scheduled on December 18 at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
According to a report from SEScoops, Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns is now confirmed as WWE Roadblock‘s main event, which comes shortly after both men had fought it out in a non-title match on this week’s Monday Night RAW. As the Inquisitr reported earlier today, this match had another kind of stakes on the line – a Reigns win would mean a shot at Owens’ Universal Championship at Roadblock. And with Roman having picked up the win, this also confirms rumors that had been swirling around for weeks, that “The Guy” would meet “KO” for the Universal title as his first post-Survivor Series challenger.
SEScoops added that the WWE Roadblock main event will come with one key stipulation – only the Universal Championship will be on the line. If Owens wins, both him and Reigns would hang on to the Universal and U.S. titles respectively. But if Reigns wins, he will become the first person to hold two title belts at the same time since Seth Rollins in 2015.
Another interesting aspect of Owens vs. Reigns at Roadblock is the possibility that Roman’s quest to hold two championships at the same time may further fan animosity against the polarizing wrestler. In short, more chances for Roman Reigns to get booed by “smart mark” fans.
Bleacher Report documented a history of Reigns’ status as a babyface character receiving boos from fans, with the most recent chapter focusing on his crowd reaction at Hell in a Cell, which took place on October 30, and had him defending the U.S. Championship against the “Bulgarian Brute,” Rusev.
“Reigns walked in as the champion and the babyface in the PPV’s opener. Many of those in attendance in Boston’s TD Garden booed him. A fan unfamiliar with the storyline might have assumed Reigns was the heel.
“His win generated a more fitting reaction. The cheers were louder at this point, but it was a muted response.”
All told, it’s been a case of “one step forward (and) one step back” for Roman in terms of crowd reaction, with the tone varying depending on the city where the pay-per-view is held, Bleacher Report added. While some towns have fans booing Reigns, others have welcomed him warmly, acknowledging his babyface status. But in the end, it has often turned out to be very difficult for WWE Creative to get fans to buy into Reigns as a good guy.
“Shifting the crowd’s perception of him has been like trying to redirect the tide.”
WWE Roadblock’s main event next month may or may not have Roman Reigns booed against the heel Kevin Owens. But if he does end up beating Owens and holding both the United States and Universal Championship belts, there’s a chance it could open up more debates as to whether “The Guy” should remain a “good guy,” or be turned into a heelish “bad guy.”
[Featured Image by WWE]