Acknowledge The Head of the Table.
Acknowledge The Tribal Chief.
Acknowledge the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns.
After 14 dominant months with the belt, a full two-year reign should be in the works.
This run currently sits as the ninth-longest world title reign. In 10 days, Reigns will have surpassed CM Punk’s WWE Title run from November 2011 to January 2013. He can surpass Hulk Hogan’s 469-day reign as WCW Champion in mid-December. One month after that, Reigns will move past Brock Lesnar’s 504-day run with the Universal Title, which is the sixth-longest reign and longest since the late 80s.
Passing each of these marks is very conceivable. First off, after such a lengthy and dominant run, it is only fitting that when Reigns loses the belt it will be at a major event and not on SmackDown.
The only pay-per-view event the rest of the year is Survivor Series, which will likely feature a match-up between Reigns and WWE Champion Big E for brand supremacy. So, there is no pay-per-view title match for Reigns until the calendar turns to 2022.
With the Royal Rumble set for Jan. 29, Reigns will walk into St. Louis with a title reign of more than 500 days. At that point so close to WrestleMania, the WWE will not take the belt off him because the company can build the biggest event of the year around the biggest superstar in the company.
It would make sense to have The Rock come back and win the Royal Rumble for the second time in his career, which would then give him a title opportunity at WrestleMania.
A Reigns showdown with The Rock seems destined for some point during this title run, and that match is fitting for the biggest stage. It would allow the WWE to return to the storyline of Reigns being The Head of the Table and The Tribal Chief.
Early on in this run, the company thrust Jey Uso into the championship picture to have Reigns establish himself as the dominant member of his family’s long lineage of professional wrestlers.
The feud concluded with Reigns destroying Uso inside Hell in a Cell in October 2020. Following the match, Reigns walked up the ramp and was crowned “The Head of the Table” by his father Sika and uncle Afa, who are in the WWE Hall of Fame as The Wild Samoans.
Reigns will walk into WrestleMania next year holding the belt for 580 days, and whether his opponent is The Rock or someone else, it will be a compelling matchup.
At this past WrestleMania, he defeated WWE Hall-of-Famer Edge and WWE legend Daniel Bryan in a triple threat in which he stacked the two of them and pinned them both. He has also successfully retained the title against 16-time world champion John Cena and eight-time champ Brock Lesnar.
It appeared as though Reigns and Lesnar were headed to a long feud, especially with the Paul Heyman factor as both of them have been managed by him. However, with Lesnar getting suspended following their match at Crown Jewel, he is out of the title picture for the time being.
Could we see Lesnar make his return at the Rumble and win it to set up a ’Mania match with Reigns? Yes, that’s definitely a possibility.
But either way, it does not appear there is anyone to challenge Reigns before WrestleMania in April. And given the way he has been so dominant, there is no reason to suspect he will drop the belt in the main event there.
After that mark, he will steamroll his way to the summer and close in on the two-year mark.
This championship run has been the best thing to happen to Reigns’ career. The company tried over and over to make him the face of the WWE – always unsuccessfully – until now.
He rose to prominence after The Shield split. He won the WWE Championship multiple times in 2015 and 2016 but never secured a spot as one of the biggest sells in the company. He is one of two men to defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania. But he never became synonymous with the headline.
Now he is. Now he is the face of the company. Now he is The Tribal Chief. Now he is The Head of the Table. And this run should last as long as possible because it is the best thing going in the WWE right now.