Roman Reigns Was Pulled From A Major WWE Event, And Now I'm Wondering What The Long-Term Plan Is Here
What is going on with the multi-belt champ?
The WWE crowned Roman Reigns its “undisputed champion” at WrestleMania 38, but he has yet to actually defend either of his titles on TV or at a pay-per-view. After Peacock premium subscribers missed out on seeing Reigns at this year's Hell In A Cell, fans are wondering when we'll see the “Head of the Table” defend either of his titles next. While we don’t have an answer just yet, news broke that Reigns will reportedly also skip out on the next major WWE PPV, which makes me wonder what the long-term plan is here.
After not defending his titles at WrestleMania Backlash and Hell In A Cell, there were plans for Roman Reigns to wrestle at the Money In The Bank PPV. Sports Illustrated reported that’s no longer the case, however, claiming the plans changed after Money In The Bank switched from Allegiant Stadium to the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Apparently, the goal is to have Reigns’ next opponents wrestle him in a fan-packed stadium setting, so perhaps the switch to a smaller venue is the reason why he’s no longer on the card. It's alleged Reigns was supposed to face Riddle at the July event, but that's obviously not happening anymore.
It’s unclear at this time why Roman Reigns isn’t appearing at Money In The Bank, but it now raises questions on whether or not he’ll be at July's SummerSlam and September's Clash at the Castle. The WWE scheduled Reigns for those events, and rumors allege he was to take on Randy Orton at SummerSlam and Drew McIntyre at Clash at the Castle. According to reports, Reigns is still scheduled to feud with Riddle, Orton, and McIntyre in that order, though it’s not yet known how Riddle’s match will factor into things now that Money In The Bank isn’t happening.
Roman Reigns’ absence from the WWE, at what is arguably the height of his career, is one of the most baffling stories in pro wrestling at the moment. Reigns is in possession of the Universal and WWE championships but is currently working a reduced schedule, which is reportedly set up so he can pursue roles in Hollywood. The agreement put the WWE without its biggest star headed into the summer, and this latest canceled pay-per-view appearance means he’s even missing dates that were previously agreed to. What exactly is the endgame here?
That’s a question I believe is worth asking considering the WWE let Roman Reigns step away from television with its two biggest titles, with no known plans for him to vacate either of them. The WWE just lost Cody Rhodes to injury, and is missing a few other superstars due to various reasons. The roster is looking pretty thin without its biggest champion, especially when there’s not even an opportunity for someone else to take his titles. This is especially gobsmacking since Reigns is still wrestling in house shows unavailable to TV viewers, which includes title defenses, so it's very strange that his on-screen absence is being prolonged.
This feels very reminiscent of Brock Lesnar’s title reign, in which he only took part in 15 matches while Universal champion between WrestleMania 33 and 34 (via RealSport101.com), and only half of those were on television. Many fans complained about the oddball strategy, and Lesnar only held one title at the time.
It feels like the WWE runs the risk of turning fans on Reigns the longer he holds the titles without defending them more publicly, especially now when the roster is struggling. Of course, it’s not entirely clear at this time if this is something the WWE wants, especially with a rumored match with The Rock coming up next year. We’ll just have to wait and see what new information comes out and if Reigns’ lack of title defenses starts to make sense.
WWE’s Money in the Bank will stream on Peacock on Saturday, July 2nd. Even without Roman Reigns, it should be exciting to see which superstars get an opportunity at the briefcase, and the power to potentially change the trajectory of their careers with a timed title shot.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
By Mick Joest
By Riley Utley
By Adam Holmes
By Mike Reyes
By Nick Venable
By Dirk Libbey
By Dirk Libbey