WWE Hot Take: Sorry Roman Reigns, Fans Are Ready for a Brock Lesnar Title Run

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2021


WWE wants to slam through another Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar feud in the company's top slot for the most important stretch of the year with WrestleMania 38 looming. 

In most years that would be a terrible idea. But this isn't most years. 

Yes, Reigns vs. Lesnar is exhausting on paper. They've main-evented multiple 'Manias together at this point, and there's only so much the two can do together differently in the ring. WWE's inability or unwillingness to crown new stars has led to this moment—in addition to other factors. 

But this might be the best character work and story this feud has had...ever. And 'Mania just happens to loom right as Reigns' dominant run as champion has gotten incredibly stale.

Make no mistake, the run has been historic and a sweet vindication for fans who suggested Reigns would be better as a heel. But the proverbial wheels have fallen off the run in recent months after a dud of a match against Finn Balor, a meh encounter with Lesnar at Crown Jewel and then Reigns—for some reason—needing to get the win over Raw's top champion, Big E, at Survivor Series (where WWE bamboozled fans all night by teasing The Rock, only to never deliver). 

So now's the perfect time for Lesnar to win WWE's top title back. 

Right as Reigns' run gets bland, Lesnar's character work has been as great as it has ever been. He's shifted into the babyface role, and WWE is letting him talk, which has given fans a jarring reminder that he is, indeed, amazing on the mic. He doesn't need a mouthpiece like Paul Heyman. Fans are behind him and, funnily enough, it's now Reigns in that "monster final-boss" heel role that spams moves like Suplex-City Lesnar. 

WWE's working hard to make sure "WWE Day 1" is a force in the industry. The new pay-per-view looks like a new annual major event the company wants to pull off, according to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio. That would explain it getting the Lesnar vs. Reigns showdown. 

So WWE should pull off the shocking Lesnar win there, right? It's blatant these two will be in the main event of this year's 'Mania, too. If there was ever going to be a family-based showdown between Reigns and The Rock, it was going to happen out in Califonia at WrestleMania 39, the year after this year's show. 

That leaves Lesnar as the biggest threat to Reigns for this year's 'Mania. It wouldn't make a ton of sense to have him lose at Day 1, then possibly at the Royal Rumble, then at 'Mania again before disappearing again for another six months. 

If Lesnar pulls off a stunner at Day 1, fans can't complain too much about a top champion disappearing with a belt for a bit, like he did for extended periods in the past. He'd be right back at the Rumble for a rematch, where a dirty finish could lead to the final showdown at 'Mania. Reigns going down at Day 1 would ruin his long-running streak, but it would make for a moment fans won't soon forget. It would also establish the new pay-per-view as must-see material annually and a key table-setter for each year's 'Mania, right alongside the Rumble in importance. 

Besides the interesting new character dynamics for both Superstars, Heyman's floating in the background of all this. He played a role in the match at Crown Jewel, but truthfully, that was a holding pattern sort of affair because WWE wasn't going to make a major change at a non-traditional show in Saudi Arabia. 

Now? We're in funny-business season where WWE pulls out its best stories. Heyman can easily be the reason Reigns takes a loss at Day 1. He can be caught in a tug-of-war of sorts at the Rumble before his ultimate fate at 'Mania, too. 

An added bonus to this feud getting the extended treatment via a Lesnar win? While it won't do much to elevate other Superstars along the way, it will keep the title scene isolated. That could mean really great stories and builds for the rest of the SmackDown roster ahead of 'Mania—as opposed to, say, Reigns needing a holding-pattern feud for the Rumble and completely squashing a Superstar there, who then turns around and has nothing for 'Mania. 

None of this would be feasible if Lesnar wasn't so much fun on the mic as a character right now. If it was the same old Suplex City monster who hardly talks and just disappears when he wins a title—forcing Reigns into that tired babyface chase mode—it'd be a flat-out nightmare. 

But cocky, arrogant, heel Reigns hitting chase mode because a trash-talking Lesnar, possibly helped by a betraying Heyman? That's 'Mania-type stuff, and it would be hard for fans to decide who they would want to root for at each step of the feud. They'd just know they can't miss it. 

This would freshen up Reigns' stay as top dog so as to not befoul his heel character now. WWE needs another year of it before a (possible?) showdown with the Rock. Extending this Lesnar feud with smart storytelling before getting back to normal programming maximizes both Superstars, never mind a new big event.