If Roman Reigns Loses at WWE Payback 2017, What’s Next?


If WWE Payback results in a loss for Roman Reigns, what could be the next plan for him?

When Roman Reigns defeated (and likely retired) the Undertaker at WrestleMania 33, WWE created an amount of heat almost unseen for any Superstar. The Amway Center booed and threw expletives at Reigns for 15 minutes during the opening segment of the Raw after WrestleMania, only for him to say it’s “my yard now.”

Well, three weeks later, we haven’t seen Reigns in the ring on Raw. Instead, he’s been in backstage segments and got everything beaten out of him by Braun Strowman on the Apr. 10 episode. It set up a match between the two at Payback, which doesn’t have a stipulation announced yet.

It would make sense for Reigns to win here, based on how WWE has booked him as a sympathetic hero — even if that plan has failed by a country mile. He gets his “payback” against Strowman, and keeps the momentum that was handed to him by ‘Taker, which we saw Brock Lesnar run with in 2014. However, if we’re looking at this rumor from the Wrestling Observer of a Lesnar vs. Strowman match being planned to happen soon, then you may expect cheers from the fans on Apr. 30 and the wasted opportunity that was capitalizing off of ending the career of one of WWE’s greatest stars.

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If WWE kicks Reigns out of the Strowman vs. Lesnar picture, then he’d expectedly be involved in something prominent. Given how the company rarely pins him clean (unless we’re looking at his return from the 2016 Wellness Policy violation), maybe we see someone interfere at Payback, à la what the Monster Among Men did at the Royal Rumble.

The options for this are somewhat limited. Bray Wyatt is now a Raw star, but after his words to Finn Balor, it seems they’re in for something after Payback.

If the Miz faces and loses to Dean Ambrose at Payback, maybe the A-lister goes after the Big Dog. They have yet to feud on WWE programming since Reigns became a singles star, and haven’t often interacted over the past few years. What reason would there be for Strowman to receive help, though? That’s unless we get one of Miz’s classic explanations or rants, giving an underlying reason for the interference.

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Whoever it may be that costs Reigns the match, it’s going to take him out of the title picture again, potentially for the summer, as Strowman and Lesnar battle it out. That would lead to the former Shield man being occupied at Extreme Rules and Bad Bloods — the next two WWE PPVs.

However, how long can Reigns be kept away from the WWE Universal Championship? Lesnar was thrown into the mix the day he came back from his post-WrestleMania hiatus, keeping his red-hot momentum intact and not toying with it. WWE is doing the opposite with Reigns here.

If the plan remains the same for the WrestleMania 34 main event, then it may be a long time until we see Reigns in the World title picture. How WWE pulls that off with 12 months of keeping him out of the mix could be the storyline of the year, which delays the inevitable and saves it for a night in April 2018. That can only go over well, right?

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Don’t expect a win for Roman Reigns at Payback, but look for someone to begin a feud with him the night of. WWE will then be tasked with keeping him occupied for several months, somehow keeping him away from Lesnar’s title. Can they pull this off?