Before Brock Lesnar won WWE’s 2022 Royal Rumble, the writing was on the wall that the “Beast Incarnate” would some way, somehow be facing off against long-running Universal Champion, Roman Reigns at the two-night WrestleMania 38 in Dallas this April. Despite the two squaring off at the Showcase of the Immortals twice before, it wasn't all that difficult to get excited to see the two longtime rivals stand toe-to-toe a third time in the Heart of Texas.
Why shouldn’t I be excited? I mean, Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar’s previous WrestleMania matches have actually been quite good, and were both two of the most brutal matches on their respective cards. And, that’s just the start of it…
WWE Did A Tremendous Job Of Establishing The WrestleMania Match at Royal Rumble 2022
There was a lot to love about the most recent Royal Rumble, but my favorite aspect of the first “Big Four” of 2022 was the way WWE worked Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar’s story into the entire event. At three different points throughout the show, the two stood at the spotlight, which added a ton of weight to their upcoming showdown. The show started with Reigns retaining his Universal Championship after being disqualified in his match against Seth Rollins, and ended with Lesnar winning the Men’s Royal Rumble after coming in as the 30th and final entrant.
But, the middle section, when Reigns came down and cost Lesnar his WWE Championship, was what really made the storyline feel special. Reigns slowly walking to the ring, forcing Paul Heyman to hand him Lesnar’s title and effectively turn on his longtime client was a powerful moment that showed that Reigns was the “Top Dog” of the company, and made the feud actually feel more personal than ever before.
Having The Roles Reversed Makes The Roman Reigns/Brock Lesnar Feud Feel Fresh
Both times Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar have faced off at WrestleMania, Lesnar was the dominant champion holding onto the gold and Reigns was the up-and-coming superstar trying to make a name for himself. But a lot has changed since then, and Reigns is now fully established as not only the top heel of the entire WWE roster but its biggest star (at least in terms of full-time wrestlers). For the first time in their shared history, Reigns is on top of the mountain and Lesnar is trying to claw his way to not only take the title, but also take out Reigns once and for all.
This change in the dynamic shared by the two competitors makes the rivalry feel fresh, while also making it seem more personal (especially after how Reigns broke Lesnar at Royal Rumble). Their matches have always been brutal (more on that later), but now it seems all the more personal and has become a full-on blood feud.
But There’s A Chance Their WrestleMania 38 Match Could Be Champion Vs. Champion
Depending on the circumstances, former champions are supposed to get an automatic rematch after losing their title, and it looks like Brock Lesnar will try to take back his WWE Championship at the upcoming Elimination Chamber event. I’m not saying this is going to happen, but there’s a chance Lesnar is able to outlast current champion Bobby Lashley and the other four competitors — Seth Rollins, Austin Theory, Riddle, and AJ Styles — to take the WWE title once again.
If this were to happen, WWE could make Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar’s WrestleMania match a “Champion vs. Champion” contest, which would add even more stakes to the story. And, I mean, wrestling is only better with higher stakes. But again, this isn’t guaranteed, and for all we know, WWE could put the belt on Riddle, who was reportedly supposed to win the Royal Rumble before Lesnar became involved.
Roman Reigns And Brock Lesnar’s Previous WrestleMania Matches Have Been Absolutely Brutal, And I Want More
I will be the first to admit, I was originally not on board with the Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar match for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 31, but the bout has since gone down as one of the most electrifying main events in the show’s history. That’s even before Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase to make it a triple-threat match.
I could watch Reigns and Lesnar beat the crap out of one another until the cows come home, and luckily, that’s what they did in 2015 (Reigns busted open Lesnar’s face and blood went everywhere), and then again three years later at WrestleMania 34. Their second match, which was as hard-hitting as their previous meeting, was just as brutal, with Reigns ending up wearing a crimson mask from all the blood pouring down his face. Because WWE doesn’t show as much blood as it once did, seeing it in both of these matches makes them that much more special.
Love It Or Hate It, A Brock Lesnar Vs. Roman Reigns Match Gives WrestleMania That Big-Time Feel It Needs
One of my favorite aspects about WrestleMania is that WWE has held the annual event in massive football stadiums for most of its history at this point, which turns a normal wrestling show into a massive spectacle (the company has even started doing this with the Royal Rumble, and more recently, SummerSlam). When you have a football stadium filled with nearly 100,000 boisterous fans, you need an even bigger spectacle in the ring. Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar’s previous matches have been just that.
Just like with The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 17, or the “Once in a Lifetime” match between John Cena and The Rock at WrestleMania 28 (and again the following year), Reigns and Lesnar are two of the best at filling that spot. Are they my favorite wrestlers? No. Are there other people who could shine in that spotlight? Yes. But the fact remains that both carry enough weight to get the most out of a marquee match. Hell, even when 80,000+ fans are yelling “We Hate Roman,” it adds to the excitement. And it looks like we’re getting that again…
A lot can happen before WrestleMania 38 takes place on April 2 and 3 in Dallas, so make sure to check back for all the latest. Also, now wouldn’t be the worst time to sign up for or renew your Peacock Premium subscription if you want to watch all the action.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.