5 Best Feuds for Roman Reigns Leading Up to WWE SummerSlam 2021
The odds were stacked against him, but Roman Reigns retained the Universal Championship over Edge and Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 37.
That should be a strong indication he's set to hold that title for a long time, with SummerSlam 2021 most likely being the earliest WWE would consider booking him to lose.
With several months to fill to get to that point, The Tribal Chief is going to need a handful of challengers willing to step up to challenge him. Thankfully, there are just enough Superstars who could fit the bill.
Here are the five feuds Reigns should have ahead of SummerSlam in August.
A Continuation of Edge and/or Daniel Bryan
Repeats are bothersome and are far too big of a crutch for WWE, but that doesn't mean a rematch should never happen. It's all about justifying how often it takes place, whether the product is good enough to warrant seeing again and if there are better options available.
Given the popularity of Edge and Daniel Bryan, their level of performances and the fact that we have seen them clash with Reigns in a Triple Threat match, there is enough to squeeze at least one more fight out of this.
Ideally, it would be Edge against Reigns. In fact, WWE could get away with Reigns not defending his title at WrestleMania Backlash by having Edge vs. Bryan in a No. 1 contender's match. That way, fans get to see that singles contest, and it could set up one more attempt for The Rated-R Superstar.
Bryan has had his singles contest with Reigns, but if need be, a gimmick match like Two-Out-of-Three Falls or a submission match with The Yes Man being forced to say "I quit" to a guillotine choke would work.
If both happen, that carries Reigns past Money in the Bank and into July.
The Big Dog against WWE's Biggest Underdog sounds like a hokey tagline, but it is more than good enough for a one-off.
Rey Mysterio doesn't have the momentum on his side to challenge for the title and be a convincing threat, but he's a legend, a future Hall of Famer and a multi-time world champion.
All it would take are a few segments wherein he beats some other performers to become No. 1 contender and then catches Reigns with a 619 and the match is good to go. Mysterio could fight Jey Uso along the way, while Dominik can be the fall guy to make the heels look good.
This would be a serviceable match for a B-event like Extreme Rules. Better yet, if WWE burns through Edge and Bryan prior to Money in the Bank, Mysterio would make a great opponent at that event. If anyone feels it isn't a big enough contest to sell the show, the titular ladder match is the bigger draw and would counteract that.
At some point, Big E needs to get a title opportunity. There has been a clamor for him to take that step into the main event for long enough that he's deserving of at least one match on a pay-per-view that isn't an Elimination Chamber or something where the focus isn't on him.
Many fans were rooting for him to be the men's Royal Rumble winner. That portion of the WWE Universe would fall for this tease that now is the time he wins the Universal Championship.
Big E is more than capable of cutting the promos to set up that story. Also, now that he's lost the Intercontinental Championship, his focus isn't on that belt and he can move onwards and upwards.
While a match with Mysterio would see a size differential and be more about speed against strength, this would be a clash of two big brutes smacking into each other like wrecking balls until Reigns came out victorious.
A win over Seth Rollins at WrestleMania, even without a title on the line, is the biggest win Cesaro has had in a long while, if ever.
Riding that wave of momentum, assuming WWE doesn't start booking him to lose over the next month or so, The Swiss Cyborg is a perfect opponent for The Tribal Chief.
In fact, he was the first and only person to step up and challenge Reigns after the champion declared no one would have the guts to face him. That may not happen by Backlash, though, as Rollins attacked Cesaro and said he's not done with their feud.
Much like Big E's situation, fans have wanted to see Cesaro reach the top of the industry for years and would be ecstatic to see him finally get a singles opportunity at the title, so much so that some would convince themselves now is the time the trigger is pulled.
After all, you're not likely to find a stronger Superstar on the roster than Cesaro. If he can't beat Reigns, who else could?
At the very least, this would be a selling point for Extreme Rules, if not SummerSlam itself, depending on when Big E's match would take place. But there is still one person left whom WWE would likely prioritize over both of them.
Rollins is still a heel. His Messiah gimmick isn't going to last forever, though, and when that ends, the top money match on Friday Night SmackDown will see the two former Shield members resume hostilities.
To be fair, Rollins doesn't even need to turn babyface for that to happen. It wouldn't work as well, but he could still pick a fight, saying he deserves to be the top of the mountain rather than Reigns, knowing the only way to achieve that goal is to take the title.
The problem with that is it positions The Head of the Table as more of a heroic character in comparison, which WWE shouldn't play around with. He needs to stay heel.
Whether it's two villains against each other, some shades of gray or a simpler story with Rollins seeing the light and becoming a good guy again to fight his former friend, this is the match you can set your watch to. If WWE doesn't do it at some point this year, it would be shocking.
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.