Roman Reigns Says He Will Face Universal Champion at WWE SummerSlam 2017

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2017

MIAMI, FL- SEPTEMBER 01: Roman Reigns looks on during the WWE Smackdown on September 1, 2015 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Ron ElkmanSports Imagery/Getty Images)
Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

Roman Reigns stated his intention to challenge the universal champion at SummerSlam on Aug. 20.

Reigns teased last week a big announcement Monday night on Raw. The three-time world champion wasted little time getting down to business, courtesy of WWE's official Twitter account:

Brock Lesnar is putting the Universal Championship on the line versus Samoa Joe at Great Balls of Fire on July 9. Presumably, Reigns would face the winner of the match, considering how infrequently WWE's top titles change hands on free television.

The nature of Reigns' announcement could be extremely effective if WWE is willing to allow him to operate as more of an entitled heel.

The night after WrestleMania 33 was one of the most effective uses of Reigns since he split off from The Shield. Rather than speaking eloquently of The Undertaker after defeating him the night before, Reigns basked in the fans' boos and said five words: "This is my yard, now."

One of the constant arguments behind making Reigns a bad guy is that doing so would only lead the fans that loathe him now to turn around and cheer him when he's a heel, so what's the point?

However, beating The Undertaker at WrestleMania—and being incredibly smug about it—is a surefire way to ensure the WWE Universe hates you for a good while.

Jinder Mahal is an example that old-fashioned heels still have a place in the current WWE product. If WWE fully commits to Reigns' turn, then he'd arguably become an even bigger star than he is at the moment.