What’s Next for Roman Reigns?


Roman Reigns is in another state of uncertainty after his loss to Finn Balor in the main event on Monday Night Raw.

WWE dropped a surprise on Monday Night Raw on July 25.

To open up Raw, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley announced that the red-brand would be debuting a WWE Universal championship at SummerSlam. Foley and McMahon announced that there would be two fatal four-way matches with the winners of each match facing one another in the main event. From there, the winner of the main event would face Seth Rollins at SummerSlam with the winner being declared the first WWE Universal champion.

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The winner of the first fatal four-way match was the debuting Finn Balor. The winner of the second fatal four-way was none other than Roman Reigns. For as much a Balor winning the main event against Reigns made sense, the overwhelming feeling was that the former Shield member would win and have yet another chance to win back a main championship.

However, that was not the case. In what was a perfect debut, Balor defeated Reigns in the main event and will face Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal championship at SummerSlam.

After the match, cameras would alternate between showing Balor’s jubilation and Reigns’ depletion. It was almost as if WWE was setting up Reigns’ heel turn. However, in comments made at ringside, Reigns’ once again gave off the impression of a strong babyface as he confessed his respect for Balor and his support for him against Rollins. Reigns said that he is hoping Balor wins against Rollins because then he would be first in line for a chance to win the championship.

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Here is the issue with that, Reigns can not possibly be in the short-term picture for the WWE Universal championship. At least, not in the capacity of his current character.

Since Wrestlemania 32, Reigns has been involved in every main-event championship match at each WWE pay-per-view. Of course, Reigns’ was the defending champion for three of the four pay-per-views since Wrestlemania 32. But, his chance to win back the title fell short at WWE Battleground. Reigns’ chance to be in the immediate picture for the WWE Universal championship fell short at Raw when he lost to Balor.

So, with that said, what is next for Reigns?

Simply put, Reigns’ needs to turn heel.

The fact of that matter is that the current form of Reigns’ babyface character has already grown stale and can go no further. The end goal may be for Reigns’ to be the next John Cena but his current character is not going to reach that status without at least one heel turn.

The first order of business needs to be finding Reigns an opponent for SummerSlam. The perfect candidate may be Sami Zayn. Zayn defeated Kevin Owens at the Battleground pay-per-view and is on the cusp of main-event status.

The program of Zayn and Reigns could start as two face superstars looking to have a good match at SummerSlam. However, in the weeks leading up to SummerSlam, Reigns needs to show signs of frustration. That frustration boils over in Reigns’ match against Zayn at SummerSlam. Whether an *accidental* low blow or use of a chair, Reigns would need to be disqualified in his match against Zayn. After the match, Reigns would show remorse for the disqualification but it would be disingenuous.

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After what is likely going to be the match of the year, let’s say that Balor defeats Rollins and is named the first WWE Universal champion. As Balor is celebrating, Reigns needs to make his way to the ring. After extending his hand for a handshake with Balor, Reigns pulls it back and unleashes the Super Man punch heard around the world. Reigns does not stop there, however. Reigns brings Balor to his feet only to unleash another Super Man punch. Reigns, then, appears to be heading backstage when he notices on the video board that Balor is coming back to his feet. Reigns then re-enters the ring and spears Balor.

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Not only would Reigns’ attack on Balor firmly cement his status as a heel but it would allow his character to develop even further than it could now. That would be why when confronted with the question of what is next for Roman Reigns, the only logical answer is a heel turn.