WWE: Without Brock Lesnar, there’d be no Roman Reigns


One of the best rivalries in WWE added a new chapter at Crown Jewel Thursday as Roman Reigns continued his year-plus reign as Universal Champion with a victory over Brock Lesnar.

The match was filled with anticipation as The Beast made his return to WWE after a year-and-a-half absence. Plus, his long-time manager Paul Heyman has served as special counsel to Reigns during this current title run.

The Crown Jewel meeting was the seventh time these two have squared off and the first since 2018.

The two faced each other twice at WrestleMania (31 and 34), twice at SummerSlam (2017 and 2018), as well as at the Greatest Royal Rumble 2018 and at Fastlane 2017. These have been some of the most memorable matches of the last few years, which included Reigns spearing Lesnar through a steel cage and two ’Mania main events.

When Reigns revealed he had teamed up with Heyman in August 2019, it was only a matter of time before he and Lesnar faced off again.

Reigns has never been the best on the microphone. When he came into WWE as part of The Shield with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, the trio rarely spoke and wreaked havoc on the WWE. After they split to have solo careers, they began to find their own personalities, but Reigns struggled to carry his in-ring performance over to his words.

Since teaming with Heyman, Reigns has focused on imposing his will on the SmackDown roster, while Heyman has provided the commentary. This combination is reminiscent of Heyman’s time with Lesnar, who rarely speaks on the mic.

“I don’t know a lot about Brock,” Reigns said, according to Wrestle Zone. “Just like you don’t. That’s the way he’s played it, and I think it’s a genius move. Not only for himself and his mental health and his family and everything and just to keep himself out of the public eye, but it creates so much mystique behind him as a performer and as a character, which is something that’s a lost portion of what we do in our business, a lost piece of the art form.”

Reigns’ heel turn, with Heyman by his side, has been some of the best content WWE has produced over the last two years. Reigns has elevated from a character the company has attempted to get over numerous times to a dominant champion about whom the fans feel strongly – either positively or negatively – but the reaction is there.

The same emotional reaction has been part of Lesnar’s character ever since he burst onto the WWE scene. Mere months after making his WWE debut, Lesnar defeated The Rock at SummerSlam to become the youngest Undisputed Champion with Heyman at his side. The Beast toppled one of the sport’s most popular athletes on one of the biggest stages.

That victory helped to solidify Lesnar as one of the most dominant forces in WWE, and he has maintained that level of excellence both in the squared-circle and in the octagon.

“I’m not going to throw [Lesnar] in that GOAT category of actual MMA fighting and mixed martial arts, but as far as from a draw standpoint and attention and eye-raising [standpoint], I don’t know if there’s anyone outside of [Conor] McGregor and Ronda [Rousey], but then there’s Brock,” Reigns said. “There’s a special three when it comes to the fight game, and Brock’s got a stronghold. People want to see him get physical. He just has that allure and demeanor around him.”

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Lesnar’s combination of being a dominant performer and having quiet persona has been a staple over his nearly two-decade career, and Reigns has found his greatest heights by copying that formula.