While fans were generally pleased with how Seth Rollins, Kofi Kingston, and Becky Lynch all exited WrestleMania 35 as champions, as many had hoped, there were also a few outcomes that drew their share of criticism, including Baron Corbin’s win over Kurt Angle in the latter’s farewell match. CBS Sports, for one, gave the match a D+ grade, noting that Angle’s loss was customary for wrestlers leaving a company or retiring, but also mentioning how Corbin is one of the least popular wrestlers among WWE fans. However, a new report suggests that Corbin’s win over Angle could lead to bigger things going forward for “The Lone Wolf.”
According to WrestlingNews.co, the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio saw Dave Meltzer share some information on why WWE might have booked Corbin to defeat Angle in the latter’s final match before retiring from pro wrestling. According to the longtime wrestling journalist, it could be part of WWE’s plan to keep Corbin strong for a potential feud against Roman Reigns.
“It looks like Baron Corbin is being groomed for Roman Reigns, which [at] least explains his win over Kurt [Angle],” Meltzer was quoted as saying.
As WWE will be holding its annual Superstar Shakeup next week, which will again feature several wrestlers moving from one main roster brand to the other, WrestlingNews.co wrote that WWE’s plans are still very much subject to change, especially if Reigns or Corbin gets moved from Monday Night Raw to SmackDown Live. The outlet further speculated that WWE might focus on beefing up the latter brand’s roster, given that SmackDown Live will be moving to a Friday night schedule on FOX in October.
— Cageside Seats (@cagesideseats) April 8, 2019
In addition, WrestlingNews.co predicted that the long-term plan for Reigns could be to have him feud against main roster newcomer Lars Sullivan, with their rivalry possibly culminating with a match at SummerSlam in August. As recapped by Cageside Seats, Sullivan made his long-delayed debut on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw as he attacked Angle after a segment where the WWE Hall of Famer “embarrassed” Corbin, one night after their WrestleMania match.
While it’s still far from certain whether Baron Corbin and Roman Reigns will kick off a rivalry in the coming weeks as Meltzer suggested, Forbes also had positive things to say about the 34-year-old Corbin. The outlet’s Blake Oestriecher described the former NFL player and Golden Gloves boxer as WWE’s next “mega heel,” a throwback to villains from previous generations whose characters did not have any shades of gray, and someone who is “solid overall” despite not having elite promo skills or an “overly exciting” in-ring style.
“Corbin is exactly what WWE wants him to be: A loathed villain who can give WWE a new heel to build its future around,” Oestriecher continued.