Last month, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that WWE was considering doing a Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman match at WrestleMania 33. Upon hearing this news, pro wrestling fans were baffled. But, now that fans have had a few weeks to digest the news, they’ve come to realize that this is classic WWE booking.
On Monday’s Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez expanded on why WWE is looking at doing a Reigns vs. Strowman match in Orlando next spring. During their conversation, they cited Vince McMahon’s history of booking a top babyface against an unstoppable heel giant as the reason why WWE will likely do a match between the current United States champion and the former Wyatt Family member.
“It’s Roman Reigns vs. the big giant. Why do you think they did Roman Reigns vs. Big Show all those times? That’s how you get a babyface over, he’s gotta beat a big giant. It’s Vince McMahon 101. It didn’t work the first time [with Big Show], and he did it 55 more times. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work, [Vince] just thinks it works.”
According to Meltzer, WWE was going to do Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman last year, but they ultimately decided not to because Strowman clearly wasn’t ready to be in a big singles feud.
Strowman has shown a bit of improvement over the last year, but he’s still not where he needs to be if he’s going to be involved in a main-event-level singles feud with one of WWE’s top stars.
Also on Monday, Meltzer said it’s possible that Roman Reigns will win the WWE Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble, and that Braun Strowman will win the Rumble match, which will set up a match between the two on April 2. Typically, the Royal Rumble winner vs. the main title holder is the main event of WWE’s biggest show of the year. So, it’s possible that WrestleMania 33 will be headlined by Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman.
Strowman did lay out Roman Reigns on Monday’s Raw, so that was likely WWE’s way of teasing a match between the two at WrestleMania.
If you look at the projected WrestleMania matches for Raw‘s top stars — Triple H vs. Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho — then you’ll see that Strowman is really the only guy left that Reigns could work with. Of course, there’s a chance that he could work with the returning Finn Balor, but that depends on whether or not Balor will be ready to return at the Royal Rumble, and according to Cageside Seats, The Demon King won’t be ready to go until after WWE’s annual January pay-per-view.
You should expect Strowman to make a huge impact in the Royal Rumble match, even if he doesn’t win it. He might even break Roman Reigns’ record for most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble match, which could be a major part of their storyline leading up to their rumored match.
WWE has been trying to get the fans to accept Roman Reigns as their new top star for two years now, and every idea that they’ve had hasn’t worked. It does seem that the fans have already made up their mind on the current United States champion, and that they’ll never accept him as the top guy, at least as long as he’s pushed as a babyface.
It was reported earlier this week that Vince McMahon is still unwilling to turn Roman Reigns heel, and that he considers him to be a “big draw” as a babyface. So, even if the fans continue to boo Reigns throughout 2017, don’t expect the former Shield member to turn heel.
[Featured Image by WWE]