So by now, most of you have probably seen or heard about the rumors that it’ll be Seth, not Roman, that beats Lesnar for the Universal Championship. Something else you’ve probably seen is a number of theories about post-match attacks or cash-ins, and I’d like to throw my hat in the ring.
This could be the perfect way to give Reigns a meaningful and devastating heel turn, and not to get him cheered, but to be absolutely universally hated. Let me explain.
Warning: kayfabe storytelling is in effect. And this is gonna be a long one so crack open a beer and take off your pants.
How the WWE Should Book a Roman Reigns Heel Turn
Historically, Reigns has not been able to beat Brock Lesnar. He was robbed at Mania in Santa Clara, the SummerSlam match last year was just too crowded, he got bloodied at WrestleMania, and then at the Greatest Royal Rumble, the ref made a bad call.
In Roman’s mind, he’s been robbed time after time, and in his mind, he believes he can beat Lesnar, but he keeps getting screwed. He’s starting to get frustrated, even blaming management for protecting their asset, demanding another shot. Roman beats almost everyone else with such relative ease that it drives him insane that he can’t beat this one person. Well… technically two people.
Because believe it or not, when Rollins and Reigns go at it, Rollins typically gets the upper hand. Rollins pinned Roman for both of his world title wins and was able to steal a win in that gauntlet match earlier this year.
But in his mind, Reigns isn’t worried about Rollins. He’s so much bigger and stronger than Rollins is, and everyone knows Rollins used to cheat to win anyway, so while he respects his former teammate, he doesn’t view him as a viable threat… until Seth hits that curbstomp at SummerSlam and starts doing that ridiculous windmill mosh with the Universal Title.
Reigns is astonished. Rollins, who Reigns views as more of a little brother than a superior wrestler, is smaller than he is, weaker than he is, and yet, he managed to do the one thing he’s been trying to do for three years, and he did it on his first try. Reminiscent of Triple H failing to beat Chris Benoit and growing jealous of Randy Orton or Kevin Owens attacking Sami Zayn after finally beating Neville, Reigns feels absolutely sick.
He comes out the night after, because seriously, we deserve an over babyface celebrating as a show closes, and tries to goad his buddy into putting the title on the line. Rollins, a babyface fighting champion, says he gladly will, but he’s still sore from going to war with Lesnar.
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens: Team Red Herring
At this point, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens come out and start antagonizing the two, saying nobody wants to see these two be frienemies anymore and that it’s so played out (the irony) before eventually attacking the two, who fight them off and finish the segment standing tall.
Over the following weeks, Rollins and Reigns have a few tags together against Sami and Kevin. Reigns does well, as usual, but Rollins is really shining. He’s on a hot streak and the fans are all over him.
The first match is fine because the two are a fun team to watch, and they get the win when Reigns spears Owens and Rollins curbstomps Sami. The following week, things get a little feisty as Rollins tags himself in before stealing the win.
The next week, Reigns attempts to do the same, but as he goes off the ropes to set up the spear, he accidentally hits Rollins. Distracted, Owens hits him with the pop up powerbomb for the win.
At the pay per view, the two have a great match, and Rollins goes over clean. After the bout, Rollins goes to shake Reigns’ hand, which he accepts after hesitation, and then when Rollins goes to leave the ring, Reigns finally snaps and attacks him, giving him a kayfabe injury.
Moving forward, we get a driven, paranoid, almost psychotic Reigns, who believes the company is out to get him, and because he couldn’t beat Rollins, he has a fierce hatred for smaller high flyers. He crashes cruiserweight segments, absolutely crushing all the smaller guys. Anyone who seems to be a faster, flippier wrestler gets absolutely wrecked by Roman, and then at the next pay per view, he and Rollins have their grudge match, and a more violent, edgier Roman finally wins the Universal Title.
Fans who loved him before hate him, and because he beat someone with Indy equity and has a vendetta against high flyers, the hardcore audience continues to hate him.
And now you’ve got a Universal Champion Roman Reigns, being booed for all the right reasons, terrorizing Raw until further notice.
Well, now you can do just about anything. You can build an awesome comeback story for Rollins, perhaps leading to a dramatic WrestleMania main event, or you could bring Dean Ambrose back, having Roman’s former best friend try to talk some sense into him. You can bring the ultimate babyface, Daniel Bryan, over to Raw and have a good program, or, contract willing, you could even bring back Brock Lesnar for a monster versus beast match. The possibilities are endless.