Why Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar at WWE WrestleMania 38 Is Bad for Business

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2021

Why Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar at WWE WrestleMania 38 Is Bad for Business

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    Credit: WWE.com

    On paper, Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship is as straightforward a win for WWE as one could imagine.

    Reigns has had one of the strongest title runs in years and firmly positioned himself the top of the company. Lesnar is a once-in-a-lifetime performer and arguably the most credible WWE Superstar of all time.

    However, while all signs seem to indicate the company is planning on this as the headlining act for WrestleMania 38, it's a path it shouldn't go down.

    Here are the reasons why Lesnar vs. Reigns at WrestleMania is not what's best for business.

We've Already Seen It Multiple Times

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    One of WWE's biggest problems in the past few years has been repetition. So many feuds and matches are copied and pasted into oblivion long beyond the point where fans are tired of seeing it.

    Lesnar vs. Reigns is no exception. If anything, it's one of the exemplary feuds of this repetition.

    They first clashed at WrestleMania 31. Then again at Fastlane 2016, SummerSlam 2017, and it seemed it was all going to end at WrestleMania 34.

    However, The Beast Incarnate retained the title, setting up another match a few weeks later at Greatest Royal Rumble, followed by another at SummerSlam 2018. That finally felt like the end, until Crown Jewel 2021 came around, and we're already going back to the duel at Day 1.

    And this doesn't even include the three Royal Rumbles they were in together.

    Each time they've fought, it's been weeks and months of the same types of confrontations. If they meet again at WrestleMania 38, it will be seven years they've been going at it on and off.

    Even with their heel and face dynamics being swapped this time, another match at WrestleMania would offer nothing we haven't already seen.

It Makes the Rest of the Roster Look Bad

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    These two former multi-time world champions are only good enough to do this?
    These two former multi-time world champions are only good enough to do this?Credit: WWE.com

    When Reigns was built up to fight Lesnar the first time, it wasn't exactly what the fans wanted but it did  make sense and was meant to be a crowning moment for one of the new guys WWE had built up for the future.

    This time, it's a sign that the company hasn't made any new stars over the course of seven years, or Vince McMahon and the top brass don't consider anyone else to be a big enough star to fill the void.

    Perpetually ignoring the active roster that wrestles the other 11 months of the year and going with the part-timers for WrestleMania implies The Grandest Stage of Them All is too big of a venue for anyone else to step foot on.

    The reliance on older talent isn't sustainable, either. When these names are gone, all WWE will be left with is the Superstars who were deemed lesser, particularly if the company keeps releasing people on a regular basis.

    And why would the fans bother watching the other wrestlers who weren't worthy of the WrestleMania main event?

Where Do You Go from There?

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    Credit: WWE.com

    When Lesnar lost the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 31 to Seth Rollins' Money in the Bank cash-in, it was clear another fight between Reigns and The Beast Incarnate would happen to settle the score.

    The former MMA star won a few more times, including rather soundly at WrestleMania 34. That should have been the end, but WWE clearly wanted to give The Big Dog a win. It took until SummerSlam 2018, but it happened.

    This year's Crown Jewel restarted everything with Paul Heyman's allegiance placed in question, but we already know that's no longer a story worth telling. He is on The Tribal Chief's side. This feud is already at an impasse for Day 1, let alone having the legs for WrestleMania 38.

    Nothing sets up a great option for what could come after WrestleMania. Either Reigns is still a dominant champion who has fought the same guy for months or he's no longer the top of the food chain, but we're recycling Lesnar's bloated title runs of the past where he'll disappear for months at a time.

It Kills the Road to WrestleMania

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Even before getting to WrestleMania, there's a conundrum over how boring the road to get there would be.

    If Lesnar wins at Day 1, we all know Reigns will become No. 1 contender. All of February and March is spent waiting for April 2-3 to come around to see the inevitable rematch.

    If The Tribal Chief wins at Day 1 and the plan is for Lesnar to fight him again, the situation isn't much better.

    The Beast could win the men's Royal Rumble match, but that wastes an opportunity to give that big victory to someone who needs it more. Then, we'd all know he'd challenge Reigns anyway, so we'd be back to waiting two months to see the fight.

    WWE could just arbitrarily announce Lesnar is the No. 1 contender, but that's lame and leads to the same boring two months.

    Wrestling Observer Radio's Dave Meltzer (h/t Paul Davis of WrestlingNews.co) has reported ticket sales for The Show of Shows are low. Isn't that an indication that the interest in this rivalry isn't all that great?

Everyone Wants The Rock vs. Reigns

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Why go with Lesnar again if the real money match is Reigns against The Rock?

    That's the match that is fresh, would draw a bigger crowd and garner more media coverage due to Dwayne Johnson's status as one of Hollywood's leading stars.

    Heyman shot down the idea for WrestleMania 38 while speaking to Ariel Helwani of BT Sport:

    "This coming April? Not a chance. Number one, I would want to spend a lot more time on that storyline instead of bum-rushing it. For something that enormous? I'd want more time in it. Number two, I think Dwayne's schedule for next year is in place and he's not available, and even if he was, I don't think it would be a bigger box office at the moment than, if you look at a trajectory right now, isn't it Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns? Did [Crown Jewel] end the storyline or did it make it more compelling, more intriguing [to see the rematch]?

    "Or Big E, Big E vs. somebody, or Drew McIntyre? I don't know. I could certainly make the case to see Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre as well. Is there a time and a place for Roman Reigns vs. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson? Absolutely. Is Hollywood the place to do it? Seems like a natural place for The Rock to main-event his final main event at WrestleMania, but I don't think this coming April is the place for Roman Reigns for Dwayne Johnson."

    Even if Reigns vs. The Rock has to wait another year from now, though, that doesn't mean Lesnar should have yet another match.

    It's important to remember that when WWE says to wait and it'll get around to something, it doesn't always pan out. We never got The Undertaker vs. Sting, The Four Horsewomen of WWE vs. The Four Horsewomen of MMA, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan or a number of other dream matches.

    Hollywood is a better setting, yes, but there's no guarantee a year from now can work out. If it's possible to do it for WrestleMania 38, WWE should take the opportunity to book the match rather than falling back on another Lesnar fight as Plan B.


    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.