Until the final moment when the referee handed the title belt to Brock Lesnar at The Greatest Royal Rumble, everyone was expecting Roman Reigns to walk away from the main event in Saudi Arabia with Brock’s WWE Universal Championship.
But for reasons only known to Vince McMahon, that did not happen. In a rather controversial and botched finish to a hard-hitting Steel Cage Match between The Beast Incarnate (Lesnar) and The Big Dog (Reigns), Brock retained the title when Reigns speared Lesnar through the cage wall and onto the arena floor.
Since victory in a Steel Cage Match goes to the first man to exit the cage and touch the arena floor with both feet, this is where the controversy comes into play, as Lesnar’s feet never touched the floor. Brock was clearly on top of the wire mesh cage wall, and his feet never actually touched the floor. Despite the fact that Roman Reign’s landed on the floor with both feet, the referee ruled Lesnar the winner.
As could be expected, the controversial finish received a great deal of mention in the days following the most recent battle between the two WWE superstars. However, there are no announced plans for a rematch for a Lesnar-Reigns rematch, and instead, Roman will face Samoa Joe at WWE Backlash on Sunday, May 6, 2018.
This is all quite mystifying, as Reigns had been touted to become John Cena’s successor as the face of the WWE. Reigns has won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship three times, yet he has never managed to gain the support of the majority of wrestling fans, and Roman is loudly booed at live events. While booing a heel is expected, the amount of boos Vince McMahon’s alleged favorite Superstar receives as a babyface has to be a concern for the company.
Many wrestling sages have advocated for turning Reigns heel, but this has yet to occur, and Vince seems to be stubbornly clinging to his decision to put Reigns over as a babyface. Further complicating matters for The Big Dog, WWE recently resigned Bobby Lashley, an amazing physical specimen with impeccable wrestling credentials who is quite capable of giving Brock a run for his money.
With Lashley in the title picture, Samoa Joe belittling Reigns at every opportunity while threatening to choke him out at Backlash, and “Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman a fan-favorite winner of The Greatest Royal Rumble, Roman Reigns’ future as “The Face That Runs The Place” remains in doubt. As is always the case with the WWE, only Vince knows what the future holds in store for Roman Reigns.