WWE Extreme Rules 2017: Roman Reigns Should Put Over Match Winner


Should Roman Reigns be the man with his shoulders on the mat when all is said and done at WWE Extreme Rules in less than two weeks?

In what could be one of the most exhilarating Raw-exclusive pay-per-view main events since the brand extension began, it was announced last week that five of the WWE’s top stars will gear up for battle at Extreme Rules on June 4.

Roman Reigns, Finn Bálor, Samoa Joe, Bray Wyatt and Seth Rollins will engage in a Fatal Five-Way to determine the first challenger to Brock Lesnar’s WWE Universal Championship reign, and the stakes are high on all accounts.

Each man involved would stand as a worthy foe to “The Beast” in some shape or form, regardless of the titleholder’s unparalleled in-ring presence.

The table has been set for Roman Reigns to go toe-to-toe with Lesnar, with the two being the only men in history to hold victories over The Undertaker at WrestleMania.

Seth Rollins has come a long way from the last time he dabbled with Lesnar in 2015 – an encounter in which Rollins got tossed around like a rag-doll and escaped by the skin of his teeth as a result of The Deadman’s unexpected re-emergence.

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Bray Wyatt and Lesnar have unfinished business from last year, when it was rumored they would face off at WrestleMania as opposed to Ambrose squaring off against the behemoth. That story, which stretched from the Royal Rumble to Roadblock, was left without a satisfying ending and could be interesting if renewed over a year later.

Samoa Joe is a name that’s been tossed around since his NXT days as someone who could give Lesnar a run for his money, given his immense technique and intimidating physique in comparison to many of Lesnar’s other opponents.

Finally, Finn Bálor – albeit the smallest dog in the fight – has one hell of a wild side when it comes to big matches. Sure, Lesnar could probably throw Bálor from the ring to the stage without breaking a sweat, but there’s always an element of unpredictability when Bálor breaks out the body paint and makes his signature entrance under the blood-curdling alter ego of “The Demon”.

Speculation will be running rampant from now until Extreme Rules over who should win, but one thing that needs to be considered is just who should lose the match.

In this type of match, there are four guys walking out with a loss, but only one man has to suffer the pinfall or submission decision, and in this case, it could be more beneficial for that man to be the biggest star involved; Roman Reigns.

It might seem somewhat comical to consider why Roman Reigns should be putting anybody over right now, considering he’s still hot off the biggest victory of his career against The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Plus, he’s already done the favors for Braun Strowman at WWE Payback since then, so it’s not like he owes anybody a victory. But the evidence is certainly there to suggest why Reigns should eat the pin here.

Assuming Finn Bálor ends up the winner, since he seems to be the favorite, there’s no man Bálor would gain more momentum from a victory over than Roman Reigns.

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He’s beaten “The Big Dog” one-on-one before, but a debilitating injury like Bálor suffered at SummerSlam will send your career into spiral, and that victory essentially means nothing now with Bálor in a purgatorial state on the Raw brand.

What better way would there be to place Bálor back in the fight for the title he never lost, than by re-defeating the guy he beat to become the No. 1 contender last year?

It would also do better to make the Irish prospect look as formidable as possible against Brock Lesnar – who found his own struggles against Reigns at WrestleMania 31. To have an accomplishment under his belt that Lesnar doesn’t, and to have it twice, would give Bálor the proverbial edge – at least in that regard.

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Take Finn Bálor out of the equation and slot in Rollins, Wyatt or Joe, and the story stays pretty much the same. It doesn’t matter who it is, earning the right to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship becomes a lot more interesting if you had to beat the biggest full-time name in the company to do it.

It’s not 100% a lock that Reigns is going to lose here, but it would be unlike WWE to give away one of their big-money matches like Reigns vs. Lesnar on a B-level pay-per-view, as opposed to a huge platform like SummerSlam or WrestleMania.

For that reason, you can safely write-off Reigns as the victor in this one for now.

He’ll be unharmed by the loss, regardless of how it’s perceived by fans of The Undertaker, but others in this match won’t if they take the role instead.

As a result, it makes sense that Reigns eats the pinfall in this one and dips down the card for the time-being while Lesnar inevitably makes his way through the likes of Bálor, Rollins and Braun Strowman over the coming months.

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What do you think? Will Roman Reigns provide the ultimate favor for the eventual winner at Extreme Rules, or do they need to preserve whatever credibility he has left after Braun Strowman ran through him at WWE Payback?