WrestleMania 39 was four months ago and one of the major moments in wrestling this year. The night ended with Roman Reigns keeping the WWE Undisputed Championship around his waist, defeating Cody Rhodes along the way. Whether or not WWE made the right decision is still debated today. But coming out of that, fans, critics, and media members alike continue to discuss whether Reigns “needs” the championship at this point in The Bloodline story. Looking at what has occurred, the answer is no.
Roman Reigns is in the midst of a historic championship run. As of the writing of this piece, he’s held the WWE Universal Championship for 1,076 days. He’s since picked up the WWE Championship, holding that one for 495 days. Those accolades have pushed Reigns into a new stratosphere of stardom. He’s not only appearing on other media outlets such as ESPN, but his segments on SmackDown are consistently drawing millions upon millions of viewers, and content engagement. Reigns is a needle mover in every definition of the word. But he doesn’t need the title for that to still be true.
At this point in The Bloodline Angle, the title is an afterthought. Jey Uso’s, and initially Jimmy Uso’s pushback against Reigns is more about being The Tribal Chief and stopping the manipulation, gaslighting, and overall abuse they’ve withstood for years. Even back to Sami Zayn’s inclusion. The goal was to defeat and stop Roman Reigns, winning the championship was the secondary prize.
Compare that to Seth Rollin’s run as champion so far. Rollins took that title as a tool to prove he is the best in the WWE. While all eyes were on Roman Reigns, Rollins continued to raise the bar of wrestling in the company, elevating not only himself but others around him. The championship around Rollins’s waist is his “proof” that he’s the best, the man that takes it from him will then have that same claim and hopefully go on that same workman-like run.
Rewind the clock back to WrestleMania 39. Instead of Reigns winning, Rhodes takes the title and goes on to become the WWE Undisputed Champion on SmackDown. As the champion, fans would get to see him booked against the likes of AJ Styles, Santos Escobar, Bobby Lashley, LA Knight, Sheamus, and plenty of others. All the while, Reigns, Jey, Jimmy, and Solo continue their storytelling of their winding tale about the importance of being the leader of The Bloodline. The man that comes out on top then turns the corner to face Rhodes who has remained a dominant champion since WrestleMania. WWE would have multiple compelling angles with numerous fan favorites on the show. Much more of an investment than focusing on four people with the title being an afterthought. Especially as Austin Theory flounders with the only other singles title for the men’s division on the show.
The rising tide should raise all the boats at once. Unfortunately, Roman Reigns’s rising tide hasn’t really helped too many people around him and much of that is due to the championship being stuck around his waist and an afterthought in his own story. He doesn’t need the title any longer. He should have dropped it to Cody Rhodes and now it looks like WrestleMania 40 is the only viable space for him to drop the belt.