Ranking The 25 Most Likely Wrestlers To Beat Roman Reigns And Take His Titles

Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 38
(Image credit: WWE)

At this point in his career, Roman Reigns is not only in the discussion of the best WWE superstars of his era, but also in conversation of the greatest of all time. Since first winning the Universal Championship back in late 2020, the Tribal Chief has been on a title reign that is up there with names like Hulk Hogan, Bob Backlund, and the late Bruno Samartino. Add in his year-plus run as WWE Champion after beating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 38, and it becomes even more clear.

Roman's Reigns

Roman Reigns walking to the ring in WWE Evil

(Image credit: Peacock)

Universal Champion: 900+ Days

WWE Champion: 300+ Days

But, eventually, Reigns is going to need to lose. WWE can’t keep -- in my opinion -- both the WWE Championship and the Universal Championship on someone who has publicly said he’s taking a step back. Besides that, there are just too many other good guys who are ready to step into the role. Part of being a champion is being on television most weeks. So, let’s go over the contenders and talk out the 25 people most likely to take one, or both titles, off Roman Reigns…

Shinsuke Nakamura at the 2018 Royal Rumble

(Image credit: WWE)

25. Shinsuke Nakamura

You could make a case for Shinsuke Nakamura having a better spot on this list, but the “King of Strong Style” only just returned from an extended absence back in April 2023. Over the course of his seven-year WWE career, Nakamura has won the NXT, Intercontinental, and United States Championship titles multiple times, and a victory over Reigns could put the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion in the same camp as Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, and Hulk Hogan, which is saying something.

Bray Wyatt in the WWE

(Image credit: WWE)

24. Bray Wyatt

In an ideal world, Bray Wyatt would be in the Top 10, but there’s so much mystery surrounding the status of the former WWE and Universal Champion, and not just because of his spooky and kooky in-ring character. After making his long-awaited return in late 2022, “The Fiend” hasn’t done all too much and was even pulled from the WrestleMania 39 card for unspecified reasons. Again, though, don’t count the enigmatic star out just yet.

Bronson Reed on Raw

(Image credit: WWE)

23. Bronson Reed 

Bronson Reed is another star in the making following his stellar performance at Elimination Chamber 2023, which capped off a remarkable return to form after being let go by WWE in 2021. The former NJPW wrestler has continued that path ever since. After a great performance in the United States Championship triple threat match at Backlash in early May 2023, it seems like the sky's the limit for this WWE big man.

Matt Riddle wrestles in a last chance Money In The Bank match.

(Image credit: WWE)

22. Matt Riddle 

I think Matt Riddle is in an extremely interesting situation. The “King of Bros'' appeared to be on top of the world throughout the early parts of 2022, but things kind of fell apart for the former MMA fighter in the second half of the year (his longtime RK-Bro partner, Randy Orton, was taken out of action and then Riddle was suspended), but he’s been in a marquee spot since his return post-WrestleMania. The continuation of his feud with The Bloodline could put him in a prime spot against the Tribal Chief.

La Knight with a suit on addressing the crowd while standing in the ring on Smackdown.

(Image credit: WWE)

21. LA Knight 

Sure, LA Knight isn’t being featured as heavily as he was earlier in 2023, but the clear fan-favorite is still one of the best things on WWE TV week-in and week-out. When given the chance to shine in the ring, the wrestling journeyman consistently proves he’s one of the most exciting wrestlers on the planet. If WWE lets him run with it, LA Knight could be a future world champion, and a contender for Roman Reigns’ belts.

The Miz on Monday Night Raw on USA

(Image credit: WWE)

20. The Miz 

Some of you are going to flame me for putting The Miz on this list, but the dude makes the most of every single storyline put in front of him. The writers toss him in with celebrities like Bad Bunny and Logan Paul, and he does a great job. They ask him to do comedy stuff, and he does a great job. They want him to use Miz TV to get other people over? He does a great job. He just gets it. I think he’s one of the greatest mid-card heels ever, right up there with Ted Dibiase and Bobby Heenan, and over the last decade, he’s bounced back up to the top of the card now and again when the right storyline calls for it.

Dominik Mysterio being led to the ring by police officers at WrestleMania 39

(Image credit: WWE/Peacock)

19. Dominik Mysterio

Do I think Dominik Mysterio will be champion by the end of 2023? No. Do I think the son of Rey Mysterio will be WWE Champion at some point in his career? Totally. There are few WWE superstars who generate as much heat as Dominik, and it’s not just “go away” heat. I’m talking NUCLEAR heat. The boos raining down on him are so loud, Dom can barely get in a word. That just doesn’t happen all the time.

Finn Balor wrestles on Monday Night Raw.

(Image credit: WWE)

18. Finn Bálor 

I wasn't super high on Bálor's long-term prospects after he replaced Edge in Judgment Day, but the stable, like its individual members, has made a lot of improvements since the Bullet Club founder took over the reins. There’s no denying Bálor’s in-ring abilities, and his mic work is some of the best in all of wrestling, which is the perfect combination for a world champion. Before he gets there, Bálor just has to find a way to win the “Big” matches and finally secure a world title after having to give up his Universal Championship the night after he won it back in 2016.

Karrion Kross sending a message on SmackDown on Fox

(Image credit: WWE)

17. Karrion Kross

“Then all-time WWE legend Roman Reigns’ two-year title run was ended by Karrion Kross.” Does that sound like a sentence that should exist? I like Kross. His black and white creepy presentation with Scarlett is already one of the better visual looks in WWE. He’s quite imposing in the ring, and I think his ceiling is really high. Let this dude pay his dues for a while on the main roster and then we can talk about him being a credible threat for a career-defining moment like that.

Logan Paul in the WWE

(Image credit: WWE)

16. Logan Paul

Logan Paul was never going to win his match against Reigns at Crown Jewel 2022. There was just no way someone with his third career match was going to end the Tribal Chief's amazing run. The best case scenario for him was always going to be to lose in a contested match, while putting in a good performance. Well, mission accomplished. Logan Paul was excellent and looked like he belonged in the main event, which is a tremendous compliment given his limited experience. Then he proved it again with his stellar match against Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 39, which allowed the YouTube star to show his natural talent and charisma on the biggest stage

Drew McIntyre at the 2020 Royal Rumble

(Image credit: WWE)

15. Drew McIntyre 

Shocked! I’m still shocked Clash At The Castle 2022 didn’t end up with Drew McIntyre raising the belts over Reigns. The back-and-forth in that match and all the near falls had me even more convinced, but Triple H and company had other plans. That doesn’t mean McIntyre is done. He’s clearly still one of the biggest names in the company, and can pull off some impressive feats in the ring. Hell, even when he’s losing – like his show-stealing WrestleMania 39 match against IC Champion Gunther and Sheamus – the former WWE Champion looks like an absolute star. Finally coming back to the main event picture and beating Reigns would put the bow on an amazing story.

Sheamus on SmackDown on Fox

(Image credit: WWE)

14. Sheamus 

I’d love to see it. Sheamus has been putting on banger after banger for nearly a decade-and-a-half now in WWE, and while he’s been well-appreciated by many during that run, not nearly enough have recognized the Hall of Fame career he’s having. The crowd is going to need to play a big part here, but if they keep up the energy and appreciation, Sheamus will beat his way through better and better competition. He is more than due for a nice run at the belts, considering it’s been more than seven years since he captured the WWE Championship (by defeating Reigns).

Kevin Owens on Monday Night Raw in WWE

(Image credit: WWE)

13. Kevin Owens 

Year-in and year-out, Kevin Owens continues to prove he’s not only one of the best WWE superstars today, he’s one of the greatest of all time. In-ring work? He’s got it. The ability to tell a great story? He can cut a promo like nobody’s business. Longevity? Just look at this guy’s career and it speaks for itself. So, why is he so far back? Well, KO and Sami Zayn are the current Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions, and it doesn’t look like their run with the belts is going to be ending anytime soon. However, Owens does have some unfinished business with Reigns.

Sami Zayn at WWE's Elimination Chamber

(Image credit: Peacock)

12. Sami Zayn

Sami Zayn is a perfect example of no one ever being locked into a specific role. He's been one of the most reliable mid-carders on WWE's roster for years, right alongside The Miz. Over the past few years, however, he's reached new heights thanks to the remarkable Bloodline angle, which netted him the Tag Team Championships (and a five-star match) at WrestleMania 39. While Zayn will face Reigns with the Tag Titles on the line at Night of Champions in May 2023, this will probably be the end of his involvement with the Tribal Chief for the time being, as that story begins its next chapter.

Damian Priest in the WWE

(Image credit: WWE)

11. Damian Priest 

To say Damian Priest is having a good year would be selling the Judgment Day big man extremely short. Ever since joining the group in its earliest days back in 2022, Priest has become one of the most entertaining stars in the company, and it just keeps getting better. Priest looked like an absolute unit in his San Juan Street Fight against Bad Bunny at Backlash 2023. And this could very well be a sign of things to come, especially after the way he performed in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament shortly after.

Edge at the 2020 Royal Rumble

(Image credit: WWE)

10. Edge

I’ve enjoyed Edge’s comeback a lot. He’s still sharp in the ring and as good as ever on the microphone. I’m so happy younger fans have gotten to see the Hall of Famer work, but if he was going to win the title, it feels like it already would have happened. The opportunity was certainly there after he won the 2021 Royal Rumble. But, with Edge making it sound like his career will be ending sooner rather than later, the Rated-R Superstar should get one more run at the title, and give Roman Reigns a taste of his own medicine with a mean spear.

Austin Theory in the WWE

(Image credit: WWE)

9. Austin Theory 

Austin Theory was on a pretty terrible run after Triple H took over, but once he was sufficiently humbled and knocked off the successor pedestal Vince McMahon put him on, he has regained his footing in a big way. He currently holds the United States Championship, and he's been regularly working with top stars like Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, and John Cena. It probably won’t be for a while, but there’s no doubting the fact that Theory will soon be in the main event picture.

Solo Sikoa on WWE Raw

(Image credit: WWE)

8. Solo Sikoa 

This one sounds like a wild card, but Solo Sikoa is another WWE superstar who could take the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship off Roman Reigns. I’m not talking short-term, as Reigns’ real-life cousin seems to be his most trusted ally at this point, but it’s only a matter of time, right? This guy has been built up as the next great Samoan wrestler, and it’s not like they’re going to make Solo languish in the lower rungs of the WWE ladder anytime soon. This could be a way to get the belt off Roman and build up the next great champ at the same time.

Bobby Lashley talking on Monday Night Raw

(Image credit: WWE)

7. Bobby Lashley 

Bobby Lashley may have lost his United States Championship, but he beat the holy hell out of Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel 2022, which ultimately led to an remarkable series of matches between the two wrestlers-turned-cagefighters-turned-wrestlers. Ever since then, Lashley has looked better than ever, especially during his triple threat match against Bronson Reed and Austin Theory at Backlash 2023. After being drafted to SmackDown earlier this year, the former WWE Champion could come back for his gold.

Jey Uso on WWE SmackDown

(Image credit: WWE)

6. Jey Uso

The ongoing drama surrounding the Bloodline could go any number of different directions, and one that could provide one of the best examples of long-term storytelling would be Jey Uso taking on and dethroning Roman Reigns. The cousins are currently on the outs after Jey and his brother lost the Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania 39, and it could only get more personal as the faction continues to be torn apart from the inside out. With the Tribal Chief and Solo Sikoa’s big match against Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens at Night of Champions, we could see the next chapter in this ongoing saga unfold.

Brock Lesnar in black hat on WWE Monday Night Raw

(Image credit: WWE)

5. Brock Lesnar

I know what you’re about to say. But Brock Lesnar just lost to Roman twice. How is he ahead of Drew McIntyre (and so many others)? Because if Brock Lesnar had told WWE that he would stick around for six months after SummerSlam and defend the belt at least once a month, I think he would have won. He’s either the biggest or the second biggest attraction in the entire sport, and even though he’s lost a bunch the past year, this is honestly the most I have ever enjoyed him. His mic work -- which was a concern for some without Paul Heyman -- has been spectacular.

AJ Styles at the 2016 Royal Rumble

(Image credit: WWE)

4. AJ Styles

AJ Styles is currently set to face Seth Rollins in the finals for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions, but he could go after Roman if that match doesn’t go his way. After coming back from injury, the former WWE Champion is looking better than ever, and a program with the Tribal Chief would be a fun one to watch. 

Seth Rollins at the 2019 Royal Rumble

(Image credit: WWE)

3. Seth Rollins

Seth Freakin’ Rollins is, for my money, the best wrestler in the entire world. He does everything well, and he’s really put in the work over the last year. He’s taken so many stupid losses against people he never should have lost to, and more often not, his match is the best of the night anytime he’s wrestling. The crowd would love to just unapologetically root for him in a match. Rollins is in the finals for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament, but he could always lose and then challenge his former Shield member for the two belts.

Gunther entering the Royal Rumble

(Image credit: WWE/Peacock)

2. Gunther

It’s a matter of “when” instead of “if” Gunther will be the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, especially after the year he’s had. His record-breaking Royal Rumble performance was followed by the match of the weekend at WrestleMania 39, and he hasn’t really slowed down since. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Gunther is the best wrestler in WWE and one of the best in the world right now. 

Cody Rhodes talking in the ring in WWE SmackDown

(Image credit: WWE)

1. Cody Rhodes

After Cody came back to WWE to enormous fanfare and gave us a spectacular match with Seth Rollins, his path to the title seemed so clear. He gave that excellent promo where he talked about his dad and winning the title for him, and it all seemed destined. Every pop from the crowd and every match win just felt like further evidence of what was obviously coming… and then he got hurt. He came back, won the 2023 Royal Rumble, challenged Roman Reigns to a main event match at WrestleMania 39… and then he lost in one of the most controversial endings in the event’s history.

Rhodes didn’t finish his story at WrestleMania, but he did start the next act with a feud with Brock Lesnar, and more to come that will see the “son of a son of a plumber” finally capture the belt that has eluded him like it did his father all those years ago.

Is there anyone else on this list that could make more of that moment? I don’t think so, and until a better candidate presents itself, he’s going to remain at number one.

Mack Rawden
Editor In Chief

Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.