WWE SmackDown featured a main event angle around the question of who is going to be next for Roman Reigns. By the end of the episode, that question was answered by none other than Sami Zayn, winner of the Black Friday Battle Royale. But his moment was quickly nullified by the announcement that Brock Lesnar is returning next week, with his eyes set on Reigns. Once again presents a clear example that WWE is out of fresh ideas and has lost the ability to build credible names in its own promotion.
Reigns has held the Universal Title for 454 days. During that time, he’s dispatched the likes of Kevin Owens, Edge, and Daniel Bryan early in his run. Most recently he’s defeated other names like Xavier Woods, Finn Balor, and even has a victory over Lesnar at Crown Jewel. Reigns has been well established as the marquee name in the company but to avoid fans losing interest, WWE needed to also establish names prepared to face him, and this is where they’ve failed.
Look no further than the list of names released in 2021 for men that could have been potential challengers for Reigns. Isiah “Swerve” Scott, John Morrison, Karrion Kross, Keith Lee, Buddy Murphy, Aleister Black, Braun Strowman, and plenty more. “Budget cuts” were the cited reason for these layoffs but with major endorsement deals with Red Notice and Pizza Hut in the last days, plus the available budget to bring in Lesnar once again – one must wonder about the truth behind that statement. These cuts that were started in 2020 have already had a dire impact on the depth of stars across the company.
Then look at the men remaining on the roster. Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura, Mustafa Ali, Ricochet, and others would bring huge fan followings with them into a feud with Reigns. Instead, WWE continues to book them in the most inconsistent fashion that results in apathy rather than excitement. Those four names alone could be a year’s worth of feuds for Reigns, but fans would never believe their status as a main event challenger, simply because of the lazy booking tactics employed.
Are we heading toward a situation where Roman Reigns’ title run becomes “boring” due to the recycled nature of the matches and promos? The answer seems like a resounding “yes.” WWE has a loaded roster but continues to mismanage it in a way that their biggest star is going to be impacted sooner rather than later. Going back to Brock Lesnar is just a sign of what’s to come and if changes aren’t made that picture isn’t going to end well.