SummerSlam 2022 is coming up, and once again, we’re talking about a major match between two of the WWE’s biggest superstars: Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. This rivalry was cemented long before this latest match, but with Roman Reigns’ Undisputed Championship titles and streak on the line, there’s no denying there’s some added weight to this showdown compared to some of their past battles. Either man winning on Saturday is likely “best for business” when it comes to the WWE, but which is the best outcome for fans?
It’s a loaded question to consider, but there are a few things to think about ahead of using that Peacock premium subscription to watch the throwdown go down. Here are some of the pros and cons to either superstar winning and some things we’ll have to accept after the finish.
Brock Lesnar Pro: Ending Roman Reigns Tremendous Streak Adds To His Legacy
In terms of legendary icons in the wrestling industry like John Cena, Brock Lesnar’s accolades aren't quite as lofty. And yet, Lesnar is viewed and booked as someone almost as highly regarded, and a big part of that is built around the mythos that he’s an unstoppable beast that will take even the most successful wrestlers to their absolute limit. We saw this when he toppled The Undertaker’s legendary streak at WrestleMania 30 in 2014, but he could use another major achievement to keep that reputation alive.
Roman Reigns hasn’t taken a pin in a match since December of 2019, and if there’s one person capable of breaking that tremendous streak, it’s Brock Lesnar. It’s an impressive feat that adds to some already astonishing accolades in Lesnar’s WWE career and one that greatly strengthens the argument he’s one of the best to ever work in the company.
Brock Lesnar Con: Winning Feels Risky For The WWE Considering Recent Rumors
There are some part-time superstars that the WWE works with where it seems the the company needs them much more than the superstar needs the WWE. Brock Lesnar is one of those wrestlers, and after he allegedly walked out of SmackDown (and later returned) following Vince McMahon’s retirement (via New York Post), I’d wager there’s some hesitation in booking him to beat Roman Reigns at SummerSlam 2022. I think fans might feel uneasy about the decision as well, especially if Lesnar does end up leaving with the belts.
It's unlikely Lesnar would literally walk with the titles, though it's certainly happened in wrestling before, but who knows what upcoming WWE events like Clash at the Castle he's even scheduled to work. Who knows if he would agree to take on a larger schedule? And yeah, who knows what would happen if he ran into some kind of creative conflict with Triple H now that McMahon is gone? The Undisputed Titles are a little too important to the ecosystem of the WWE to hand off to a part-timer with so many question marks, though that’s just my opinion as a fan.
Brock Lesnar Pro: Beating Reigns Would Better Set Up Roman For A Potential Match Against The Rock At WrestleMania
It’s still not officially confirmed, but there is reason to believe due to his scheduling that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will return to the WWE to square off against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39. It’s worth noting that The Rock is a legendary figure in the WWE, but the idea of him coming out of retirement and being a credible opponent for Roman is a little far-fetched. Realistically, wouldn't we expect the Undisputed WWE Champion to make short work of a superstar that hasn't wrestled a lengthy match in almost a decade?
Roman Reigns needs a fall from grace to at least sell the storyline of a match versus The Rock. Also, removing major titles from the match removes the immediate expectation Reigns will win, as Dwayne Johnson is far too busy in Hollywood to win a WWE title and stick around. Losing to Brock Lesnar, I think, puts Reigns on a path for the rest of the year that further justifies a feud with The Rock and a subsequent match with appropriate stakes and an unpredictable outcome.
Roman Reigns Pro: Winning Would Be A Great Definitive End To The Brock Lesnar Rivalry
The WWE has a tendency to run popular wrestling rivalries into the ground, and I think we’re at that point with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. With both men tied at 3-3 after seven major matches (due to Seth Rollins’ electrifying cash-in victory at WrestleMania 31), SummerSlam 2022 presents an opportunity to serve as a capstone to this rivalry.
If that’s the case, I think it’s fitting that Roman Reigns definitively ends it with a win. After all, he’s shouldered the legwork of the feud as the full-timer performer between the two over the years, and we just never know for sure just how much longer Brock Lesnar will perform in the WWE. If Lesnar wins, there’s that obligation for Reigns to demand a rematch, which means another match down the line. Lesnar losing twice in a row feels like he’s lost the right to just openly challenge Reigns in the future, but this is the WWE. Anything can happen, especially if the numbers justify it happening again.
Roman Reigns Con: Winning Makes It Feel Like No One Has A Shot Against Him
I previously mentioned Roman Reigns' impressive no-pin streak, which is really astonishing given some of the opponents he beat in the past two years. Reigns retaining the Undisputed titles against Brock Lesnar twice in one year really makes him feel like an unstoppable force, and I think it’d be silly to see him, for example, immediately drop the titles to Drew McIntyre at Clash at the Castle a month later.
Part of a problem with booking a wrestler to be an unstoppable champion is the challenge of booking another person to be the one who finally beats them. Part of the reason we keep seeing Lesnar and Reigns is that there are few wrestlers on the roster who are canonically capable of convincingly beating Reigns. Lesnar, on the other hand, feels more beatable with his match record in 2022 so far (which includes a loss, albeit with interference, to Bobby Lashley), so perhaps giving the titles to him makes it easier to believe he’d drop it the very next month if that was in the cards.
Roman Reigns Pro: A Win Would Likely Continue His Incredible Run
It’s not often that a WWE champion goes years without being pinned and is still wildly over. Roman Reigns wasn’t always the beloved heel of the WWE, but the cheers during the recent Monday Night Raw at Madison Square Garden show that there are still way more people who love Roman than not these days. If his streak continued after SummerSlam 2022, would that really be all that bad?
Roman Reigns’ Tribal Chief era is some of the best work he’s done in the WWE, and it’s still popular, so why stop now? Outside of the fact he’s holding two of the biggest championships in the brand right now, I don’t have a problem with the gimmick. That said, I would like to see him drop the titles eventually, though maybe it doesn’t have to happen at SummerSlam 2022.
What About Theory’s Cash In?
Theory’s threat of a cash-in at SummerSlam 2022 doesn’t really feel like a pro or con at this stage. Personally, I’d love to see it happen, but with Dolph Ziggler’s latest return and sudden feud against Theory, I’m not sure I see it happening. We’ll wait and see what happens, though, and who knows? Maybe Theory will be the unexpected Undisputed Champion when it’s all said and done on Saturday.
WWE’s SummerSlam PPV streams on Peacock on Saturday, July 30th. Tune in for a night of exciting matches. One major one may have gotten gotten scratched, but there's still a ton on the card. Check out our full SummerSlam predictions.
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