The Rock versus Roman Reigns does not need the WWE Championship

WWE has long wanted to get to The Rock versus Roman Reigns and if this is the time the match occurs, it does not need to feature a battle for the WWE Championship.

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Vegas Vipers v Arlington Renegades / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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It took less than one night for WWE to shake things up and an interesting fan response blossomed from that moment. As many had guessed, The Rock was the former champion surprise that occurred on the Day 1 edition of Monday Night Raw. The second Jinder Mahal walked out to the ring, it was clear what was about to happen, and that it did. But there was a certain line that Dwayne Johnson threw in at the end that has the wrestling world buzzing, some of it positive, some of it negative.

“The Rock is going to go out in San Diego, I’m a little hungry. I’m going to get something to eat,” The Rock said to the thousands watching and millions who would watch via social media. “When The Rock goes out to get something to eat in San Diego, should The Rock sit in a booth? Or should The Rock sit at the bar? Or should The Rock sit at the head of the table?”

The crowd would erupt in that final bit, while keyboards went to work. He effectively called out Roman Reigns for the umpteenth time, putting out the idea that he and his cousin would finally face off in a WWE ring. This has long been a goal since Reigns’s return in 2020 and his historic run at the top of the promotion. It seemed out of range when Vince McMahon was leading WWE, but now that Endeavor has taken over, they are already more successful in getting The Rock back within the wrestling world. However, if this match goes down there’s one thing that must be said, The Rock versus Roman Reigns does not need to be tied to the undisputed WWE Championship in any way.

Reigns’s 1,220-day run as champion has had its ups and downs. There’s a lot to enjoy and a lot to complain about. But there’s a universal desire to see it done with and WWE takes the men’s division in another direction. Cody Rhodes’s “story” remains unfinished. LA Knight was boiling just months ago but is slowly cooling off. Randy Orton and AJ Styles recently returned, both looking refreshed for a final push in their legendary careers. Damian Priest has the Money in the Bank briefcase. Other faces like Gunther, Carmelo Hayes, Montez Ford, and more are ready to push their way up the ladder. All that hinges on Reigns losing the championship because unfortunately, there isn’t enough space at the top with such a giant elephant in the room.

If Roman and The Rock battle, that match should be about their place in the family. They are part of a Hall of Fame group that has created generations of legends in professional wrestling. Their family name is still putting butts in seats, not only for the WWE but for other promotions in the industry. Tell the story that they are fighting over that moment, rather than tie up the championship in a way that further inhibits all the men on the WWE roster.

Reigns versus The Rock does not need to tie up the championship, nor does it need to happen as a WrestleMania main event. Yes, this is a marquee event and WrestleMania is all about those moments. But that immediately ties up a main event showcase that impacts the direction of the company for months on end.

Instead, WWE is traveling to Perth, Australia for the Elimination Chamber on February 24. That’s a much better place to put this match. Booking The Rock versus Roman Reigns there puts much more emphasis on the show that will already be a big ordeal. It creates more exposure for Rhea Ripley, who will be a significant factor at that PLE and gives the company that headline-driving match it seeks.

The Rock continues to keep fans in the palm of his hand. Yes, a battle with Roman Reigns is the perfect way to put some fire in the promotion heading into a big Q1. But doing all this with the WWE Championship at the line will have more long-term damage than short-term gain. The company must go in another direction that sees other names get elevated before The Rock versus Reigns sucks the energy out of the room.

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