Roman Reigns Beats Brock Lesnar, Wins Universal Title at WWE SummerSlam 2018

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2018

Credit: WWE.com

After falling short on several occasions, Roman Reigns finally slew The Beast at SummerSlam on Sunday in Brooklyn, New York, as he beat Brock Lesnar to win the Universal Championship for the first time and end Lesnar's 500-day reign.

Reigns delivered multiple spears and Superman punches to Lesnar at the start of the match, but it wasn't enough to put the champion away.

During the course of the match, Lesnar got distracted by Money in the Bank briefcase holder Braun Strowman. Lesnar re-entered the ring after attacking Strowman with a steel chair, and he was on the receiving end of a spear when he turned around.

That kept Lesnar down for the three-count.


NEW. CHAMPION! @WWERomanReigns has DONE IT! He is the NEW #UniversalChampion at #SummerSlam! #RomanReigns https://t.co/EpqgJJWWRa

Strowman made it clear he intended to cash in the MITB briefcase, but Lesnar's attack left him unable to challenge Reigns at SummerSlam.

Many fans were satisfied with the way the main event played out:

Kevin Berge @TheBerge_

That was fun. Close to the Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg sprints. They just never stopped and ended it quick. Braun Strowman's involvement helped. #SummerSlam

Will! @itswilltime

I am just so happy that Brock Lesnar isn’t the occasionally present champion anymore. WWE storytelling has been stunted for over year because of that.

Adam Pacitti @adampacitti

Roman finally does it. In all honesty, I'm just glad Brock's reign is over. #SummerSlam https://t.co/9sh9zVRiMg

Ben Axelrod @BenAxelrod

WWE used Braun to prevent the fans from crapping all over the match, found a reasonable excuse to both not have him actually cash in AND give Roman his victory. That was actually genius #SummerSlam

The feud between Reigns and Lesnar has been years in the making, dating back to WrestleMania 31 when Seth Rollins interrupted their match by cashing in the Money in the Bank contract to become WWE champion.

Reigns earned the right to face Lesnar again at WrestleMania 34 in April, but The Beast Incarnate prevailed in the main event to retain the universal title.

Despite the loss, The Big Dog was given another opportunity later that month at the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia.

The bout was a steel cage match, and it was a back-and-forth affair that saw Reigns come close to winning on several occasions.

In the end, The Big Dog speared Lesnar through the side of the cage. Although The Beast's back hit the floor first, Reigns' feet touched before those of his opponent.

That should have given Reigns the win by the letter of the law, but the referee ruled Lesnar the victor.

That led to The Big Dog calling for another opportunity for several months, but he was forced to earn his title match at SummerSlam.

On the heels of winning a Triple Threat match over Finn Balor and Drew McIntyre, Reigns took on Bobby Lashley in a No. 1 Contender's match on Raw.

Reigns lost to Lashley at Extreme Rules, but he bounced back and defeated the former ECW champion to secure another shot at The Conquerer.

Lesnar was plenty agitated leading up to SummerSlam, as he made it clear he had no interest in being on WWE programming.

He even went so far as to F-5 Raw general manager Kurt Angle and assault his own advocate, Paul Heyman.

With Lesnar readying for a return to UFC, it led to plenty of speculation that his run with the Universal Championship was on borrowed time. That likely played a role in Reigns finally beating him and returning to the top of the heap on Raw for the first time in a few years.

Fan reaction will almost certainly continue to be mixed for The Big Dog, but for those who grew tired of the universal champion rarely appearing on TV, they now have a titleholder who will be there every week.


Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).