Roman Reigns' Inevitable Return to Title Scene Must Start Post-Money in the Bank

Aaron Bower@@aaronbowerFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2019

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR WWE - WWE superstar new world heavy weight champion Roman Reigns celebrates his victory at WrestleMania 32 at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, April 3, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (Brandon Wade/AP Images for WWE)
Brandon Wade/Associated Press

WWE has made no secret of the fact Roman Reigns is primarily the main reason behind the introduction of the company's controversial Wild Card Rule, which allows up to four Superstars to switch between Raw and SmackDown on any given week.

Since the ruling's introduction on May 6, The Big Dog has appeared regularly on both shows, clearly in an attempt by WWE to boost ratings heading out of WrestleMania 35, when there is typically a dip in interest from fans.

However, the fact Reigns is also appearing on television more than any other star the company possesses is a sure-fire sign he's going to be back in title contention sooner, rather than later.

That return to the title picture should take place immediately after Money in the Bank.

Reigns is booked to take on Elias at Sunday's show in what will be a match that does little to stir the interest of fans. His clashes with Shane McMahon also don't capture the imagination too much, given how it's a rehash of a story WWE has done multiple times before: authority figure versus popular babyface.

The sooner the company drops the angle, the better. That can allow Reigns to push on and compete for the world title again. If WWE is serious about him being in a prominent position to boost ratings, then it makes complete sense for him to be doing so at the top of the card on a weekly basis.

And with Seth Rollins holding the Universal Championship, the only logical choice for Reigns is the WWE title: which is handy, given how he was drafted to SmackDown Live in the wake of WrestleMania.

Naturally, Reigns will have to bide his time while Kofi Kingston is in possession of the company's most prestigious title, but that doesn't mean his push to the top of the card on the blue brand can't start straight away.

Have The Big Dog quickly see off Elias this weekend at Money in the Bank, before showing up on the next taping of SmackDown and declare his desire to win the WWE Championship.

That can provoke a reaction from Kingston and, most notably, Kevin Owens. It's highly unlikely there will be a definitive finish to their match for the title on Sunday, meaning KO will be furious that someone else is trying to muscle their way into his plans to capture the company's biggest prize.

Who knows, that could even lead to a Triple Threat match at the next pay-per-view, Extreme Rules. And if Owens wrestles the title away from Kingston, with Reigns being protected from taking the pinfall, it could hurl him into title contention by the time SummerSlam rolls around.

But even if it doesn't happen as quickly as that, it isn't a major issue. What's vital is that the building blocks are put in place for a path back to world title contention for Reigns as soon as possible, because it feels pointless having one of the company's biggest stars floundering aimlessly in the middle of the card without any real booking direction.

There is the option of switching him to Raw and entering a feud with Rollins, but that wouldn't make sense at this time. The Architect is arguably the biggest babyface in the entire company, and there are enough high-quality opponents on the red brand for him to be contending with without throwing Reigns' name into the mix.

The Big Dog belongs on SmackDown, and with the switch to Fox happening in October, WWE will likely want a big name headlining the show on a weekly basis. The identity of that individual is obvious.

Reigns is a wrestler who belongs at the top of the card, no matter which show he is drafted to.

Now he's backand arguably more popular than everthere's only one thing he should be chasing on a weekly basis, and it isn't midcard guys like Elias or tired authority angles with Shane McMahon. It's a world title.

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