WWE has long had an issue with Roman Reigns as its unified champion.
Things would be great if Reigns was showing up on both Raw and SmackDown the majority of the time. But instead he has been a part-timer while midcard titles instead headline shows.
The unified title situation was lined with forehead-smacking decisions, such as dedicating the entire run of pay-per-views before WrestleMania 38 to making Lesnar look good at the cost of the entire Raw main event scene.
As WrestleVotes noted, it sure sounds like WWE would like to have this whole line of decisions back now that the attention turns to the next 'Mania season:
The situation w/ the world titles & Roman Reigns is “complex” according to a source. They would like to go into “Mania season” & WrestleMania itself with 2 champions, but they also don’t want Reigns losing AT ALL prior. I’m told HHH & co are open to all things creatively here.
But here's the thing: The fix is easy.
Roman has two belts. Make him lose one. Easy. Some might scoff, but WWE can do whatever it wants with its storylines.
Find a way to make Roman defend both titles in one night or even both titles in one match. What if Paul Heyman betrays him via contractual language? Or his arrogance causes him to overlook a stipulation written into a contract?
Reigns himself could just decide to only put one up for grabs, too, or he could be betrayed by The Bloodline. WWE could even have a Raw GM come out and declare the show needs its top title back—the options really are endless.
There's also Austin Theory's Money in the Bank briefcase, which theoretically only guarantees him a shot at one title.
Reigns losing a title won't hurt the legacy of his current run. In fact, the mentioned derailing of an entire men's main event scene is doing more damage than a loss would. Now that it's getting a bit stale, it actually feels like an extension of when WWE shoved Reigns at fans endlessly as a babyface for all those years.
Never mind the fact that the execution of the "loss" matters. Maybe he retains the SmackDown title but is just so obsessed with an away-from-ring slugfest with Braun Strowman that Kevin Owens pins Theory or vice versa for the Raw title.
As long as somebody else eats the pin that strips Reigns of the Raw title and it's not because he's incapacitated, he doesn't look weak. WWE can revisionist history the heck out of it, and Reigns can play it off like he doesn't care about the belt he swiped from Lesnar.
It's pretty clear this was Vince McMahon's way of making a GOAT run for Reigns that goes down in history. But McMahon is gone from creative now, and his dropping one belt to help both programs get back to normal could register as a defining moment for the new Triple H era.
Reigns eventually walking into WrestleMania 39 in California against The Rock with just one title strap isn't all that terrible compared to two. It doesn't really need a title at all. If he walks into 'Mania with both, it means most of the men's roster on Raw had nothing but a midcard title to chase, too.
WWE would probably like to have Reigns win a big one at WrestleMania 39 and then run an angle where he relinquishes the titles and things reset there. But the situation restricts too much for too long in the meantime when there are easy outs possible.
Otherwise, everything between now and 'Mania is again filler. That crushes the product and deserving stars until 'Mania, when that massive non-hardcore audience WWE wants will watch just to see The Rock fight no matter how many belts his opponent has.
So the solution to a much more entertaining product is to take Raw's title off Reigns. Give it to a deserving star like Owens, one of Triple H's chosen ones on the main roster. Heck, give it to Theory and really get his long ascent to the top going.
No matter what, just make it happen via some fun pro wrestling storylines, because only in pro wrestling can a company dig itself out of this sort of hole in such an entertaining manner.