Dream Feuds for Heel Roman Reigns in WWE
Once Roman Reigns finally turned heel, it opened a whole new world of directions for his character to go.
No longer is The Big Dog handcuffed in only playing the role of the powerful, tenacious babyface who fights for what's right. For years, we've seen what that has to offer. Now, we get to witness what destruction he can create with Paul Heyman by his side steering him on a darker path.
With this new dynamic, there are several opponents who stand out as interesting feuds we should all look forward to that are either brand new or have a fresh twist now that he's the heel in the fight.
Between the draft, random trades and the wrestlers already on the SmackDown roster, let's discuss some of the Superstars who should cross path with Reigns in upcoming dream feuds for the newly villainous universal champion.
Drew McIntyre is no stranger to Reigns. The two feuded in 2019 with a match at WrestleMania 35, so they know each other well.
Normally, that would mean there's no need to rehash that storyline in any fashion, as it just recently happened. However, everything has flipped 180 degrees now that the heel and face alignment is the opposite.
With Reigns as the face, McIntyre was nothing but an obstacle for him to overcome. There wasn't any actual story to that program. This time, both have stronger characters to tap into.
McIntyre has proved himself an honorable warrior and Reigns has become corrupted. How does that change their fighting styles? What would it be like to cheer for the King of Claymore Country and boo The Big Dog?
Looking at the current rosters, these two champions are the top WWE has to offer. Their clash would be one of the biggest collisions that can happen on paper and in the ring, as they're also two of the largest athletes who can step in the ring these days.
Any time someone makes as big of a splash in as short of a time frame as Keith Lee, it's impossible not to fantasy book matches against the upper-echelon of WWE.
We've seen these two briefly fight last year at Survivor Series, but that was in a different bubble. Not only was that a tag team match, but both were babyfaces, so there was mutual respect.
With Lee as the type of hero Reigns used to be, once their paths cross, they'll be going to war. Their difference of ideologies will present Lee as the unstoppable force to meet the immovable object.
Out of everyone on the roster, Lee may be the best possible choice to eventually take down the universal champion and ascend the throne.
Like McIntyre, we've seen Kevin Owens against Reigns in the past, but with The Tribal Chief as the hero of the story.
This time around, instead of Reigns fighting a dastardly heel who is more cowardly than the prize fighter he claims to be, Owens would be the righteous everyman standing up to the increasingly dictatorial brute.
The verbal spats between Owens and Paul Heyman would be worth this feud alone even before anyone stepped in the ring.
Realistically, this would be a fight Owens would lose. Still, it wouldn't hurt to add more credibility to Reigns' newfound might by taking out a tough, big, former universal champion like Owens.
As time goes on, Reigns will be increasingly oppressive atop the SmackDown roster. Someone will need to step up and try to restore honor and balance to the roster.
There's no better man for the job than Daniel Bryan, who will always have the Yes Movement on his side.
This would be an interesting feud to develop, as it would be a rare scenario where the same dynamics still apply now compared to years before when they fought, but this time, it's what WWE actually wants.
Instead of fans preferring Bryan while WWE tells everyone to be happy with Reigns winning the 2015 Royal Rumble, it would be OK and encouraged to cheer and boo in that fashion.
Bryan could call out the hypocrisy of Reigns feeling like he needs to act like this when he's always been WWE's golden boy. Heyman could retort that it doesn't matter how much heart Bryan has, because this is one hurdle he won't overcome with the help of the WWE Universe, just as he could never be "the guy" while The Big Dog's been around.
Bryan's also a great babyface for Reigns to topple. He's someone the fans would firmly get behind and root for, only to be disappointed when The Tribal Chief knocked him down and kept his position of power.
Somehow, Otis still holds the Money in the Bank contract. It was a shock when he grabbed it to begin with and an even bigger surprise it's still in his possession.
Assuming The Miz and John Morrison aren't able to successfully steal it from him and he doesn't stay too busy swapping the contract between lunchboxes and briefcases, Otis will eventually try to cash in his title shot.
Unfortunately, he's got his work cut out for him. Even with the element of surprise and the ability to jump on any opportunity, he's likely doomed to fail.
Otis is such a lovable guy that a feud with Reigns will be fun to watch, since he'll be a sympathetic punching bag. Anything The Big Dog does to beat him down will look considerably more evil just because he's doing it to such a fun, optimistic character.
This could be the feud that takes a heel Reigns to a whole new level and really showcases how dishonorable he's become.
Without the pandemic changing plans, Reigns would have won the Universal Championship from Goldberg at WrestleMania 36. Braun Strowman subbed in as challenger at the 11th hour, and this match has yet to happen.
While it's hard to say this would be a dream match, knowing they couldn't possibly have some five-star classic, that doesn't mean the feud surrounding it doesn't have merit.
All it took to sell this match earlier this year was the two staring each other down. The same couldn't work this time since Reigns' heel turn, but that's a good thing. Now, it can have more depth.
Goldberg considers himself a superhero who steps in to take out villains like The Fiend. At some point, he's going to want to test himself against the evil Tribal Chief to see if he can stop the unstoppable.
There's no way it's any more than a few minutes of power moves, but it will get lots of eyes on whatever pay-per-view it takes place on down the line.
While The Shield had no official leader, Reigns was the standout who eventually took the biggest share of the spotlight. With The Undisputed Era, Adam Cole has been at the forefront from the start.
Those two factions were among the most prestigious in the modern era, and it would have been amazing to see them brawl. Now that that isn't an option with Jon Moxley in AEW, the next best thing is for the figureheads to fight it out.
Cole vs. Reigns isn't an even match as far as size by any means, but that shouldn't be a deal-breaker. Cole is still the longest-reigning NXT champion in history and an immensely talented performer.
From his debut, Cole's been a fan favorite no matter who he's been up against. Even while fighting white meat babyfaces like Johnny Gargano, he had his fair share of support from the crowd.
Now that he seems to be heading toward a face turn, Cole and his crew could roll with those punches and look to take the crown from Reigns, all with WWE encouraging fans to root for the underdog.
Whether the WWE Universe accepted it or not, Reigns has been "the guy" for the past five years. He hasn't been able to reach John Cena's level of notoriety, but he's the next best thing.
With that in mind, if he stays on this path and becomes an even more wicked champion than someone like The Beast Incarnate, shouldn't Cena at least try to step in and take out his successor?
We never got the Cena heel turn we were hoping for, but it's happening now with Reigns. It would be cool to see the parallels of the guy who wasn't corrupted fighting his replacement who fell victim to those temptations.
Cena already put Reigns over in their match at No Mercy 2017, but another win would cement The Big Dog as a Superstar of a different caliber.
Since that was a one-off match, WWE didn't get to milk the tension between the franchise players of their respective eras. On name value alone, this could be a WrestleMania headliner with zero build.
Shy of The Rock coming out of retirement to fight Reigns, this would be the biggest match WWE could possibly market. With Cena's rising stardom in Hollywood, it would bring in more mainstream attention and possibly bridge the gap to bring in more of the older audience that has tuned out over the past few years.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.