Paul Heyman's Future with Roman Reigns, Wardlow's Turn and More Quick Takes
To close out a very newsworthy week in wrestling, Roman Reigns shockingly severed ties with Paul Heyman on WWE SmackDown, leaving the world to wonder what's next for the genius behind ECW.
With WWE's Day 1 pay-per-view right around the corner, it would stand to reason that Heyman reunites with Brock Lesnar and helps him win the Universal Championship. However, there's also the possibility the angle was meant to be a swerve and Heyman will realign with Reigns at the event.
On the AEW front, it's fairly obvious what's coming down the pipe for Wardlow, and that's a big babyface turn. It was once again teased on Dynamite that it's merely a matter of time before he breaks away from The Pinnacle and becomes a beloved fan favorite on his own.
Kevin Owens was also a trending topic this past week after announcing he had officially re-signed with WWE. Although he's locked in with the company for another few years, there's no guarantee he will ascend any higher up the card or be booked better than where he finds himself on the card currently.
This installment of Quick Takes will tackle what the future holds for Heyman and Owens, the instant classic between Bryan Danielson and Adam Page on Dynamite, who should win RK-Bro's No. 1 Contender's tournament, and more.
Will Paul Heyman Ultimately Realign with Roman Reigns?
Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman had been WWE's most compelling act since Reigns returned to WWE TV in August 2020. The dynamic was vastly different than the one Heyman had with Brock Lesnar in that Reigns was more in control of Heyman than the other way around.
The many signs of dissension, which have been going on since SummerSlam when Lesnar reemerged to confront the duo, finally came to a head on Friday's SmackDown when Reigns "fired" Heyman as his special counsel. He also laid him out with a Superman punch before teasing hitting him with a con-chair-to.
On the surface, it seems the endgame will be to get Lesnar and Heyman back together as a babyface combo, unless Heyman is indeed legitimately leaving WWE. Nothing has indicated that's actually the case, so Heyman is going to be utilized in some sort of an on-air role no matter what.
Lesnar and Heyman have always been a money pairing, and as interesting as it would be to see them back on the same side, it's still too soon for that. Lesnar has been firing on all cylinders lately on his own and doesn't need Heyman speaking on his behalf, not to mention that it's far easier to boo Heyman than to cheer him.
Reigns doesn't necessarily need Heyman, either, but the hot angle from SmackDown should serve as a swerve that ultimately sees Reigns and Heyman reunite. If Heyman can explain that he took the Superman punch as a sacrifice to make it look believable, then he can surprise everyone by aiding The Tribal Chief to victory at Day 1.
Bryan Danielson and Adam Page Deliver a Late Match of the Year Contender
The month of December in wrestling is usually reserved for the "best of" conversations in regard to the top matches, moments and wrestlers of the year. With that said, Adam Page vs. Bryan Danielson for the AEW World Championship from the Winter Is Coming edition of Dynamite should be added to a lot of those lists.
AEW has hosted a slew of stellar matches in 2021, but Danielson vs. Page ranks up there as among the greatest of the year, especially on television. The two told a tremendous story and crafted a masterpiece of a match over the span of an hour, ultimately resulting in a time-limit draw.
The only issue with the finish was that AEW just had a time-limit draw in a Danielson match back in September when he faced Kenny Omega on Dynamite. Otherwise, this was the smartest way to keep the feud alive and leave fans excited for an eventual rematch.
Of course, AEW's Battle of the Belts special in January would be the perfect place to do the next installment in the series. There, Page can decisively defeat Danielson to retain his title and move on to other challengers.
There was plenty of hype surrounding this championship clash going into it, and they had no issue living up to—and arguably—exceeding it.
Kevin Owens' Booking in WWE Won't Drastically Change Despite Re-Signing
With the way Kevin Owens has been booked in recent years, all signs seemingly pointed to him departing WWE for AEW when his contract came due at the onset of 2022. Given his history with many people in that promotion, it was considered to be the most logical landing spot.
Instead, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select broke the news Thursday that Owens opted to re-sign for a few more years. The former Universal champion revealed to Pat Laprade and Kevin Raphael on their TVA Sports podcast les Anti-Pods de la Lutte (h/t Jeremy Lambert of Fightful) that the decision to stay was easy because it was what was best for his family.
No numbers have been confirmed, but it's assumed that his new deal is fairly lucrative and puts him in the upper echelon of what most WWE Superstars make. Despite that, the company's perception of him from a creative standpoint isn't likely to change.
Although he'll be contending for the WWE Championship at Day 1, he hasn't won a televised singles match by pinfall or submission in many months. It can be argued that was because he hadn't yet committed to a long-term deal, but it wasn't as if he were positioned as a top star in the years before.
Owens has almost always been an upper-midcard competitor in WWE. He's very much capable of more, especially with how over he is with the audience, but if he wasn't being booked as such previously, a new contract won't change that.
The Mysterios Must Win RK-Bro's No. 1 Contender's Tournament
RK-Bro kicked off a tournament two weeks ago to determine the next No. 1 contenders to their Raw Tag Team Championship at Day 1. The opening round saw The Street Profits defeat AJ Styles and Omos by count-out and The Mysterios advance over Alpha Academy.
The finals were supposed to take place on the December 13 edition of Raw before unknown injuries to members of both teams pushed the bout back to December 27. If it goes on as planned, Rey and Dominik Mysterio should emerge victorious and earn the title shot at the pay-per-view.
RK-Bro against Street Profits may be the biggest match WWE can do in the Raw tag team division at the moment and therefore should hold off on that for a little longer. The Mysterios make sense as temporary challengers before they eventually go their separate ways and feud with each other.
Rey and Dominik have been teasing tension for months, and although they've been on the same page since being drafted to Raw, it's apparent WWE is waiting until WrestleMania season to do the breakup. Before then, they should unsuccessfully challenge for the Raw Tag Team Championship to add fuel to the fire.
That only happens if the Mysterios first reign supreme in the ongoing RK-Bronament.
AEW Is Wise to Hold Off on Wardlow's Inevitable Face Turn as Long as Possible
Wardlow getting an increasingly larger role on AEW Dynamite in recent weeks isn't an accident. He's obviously being primed for a push as a breakout babyface, and that turn has to be coming soon if recent crowd reactions are any indication.
It's been the endgame since the moment Wardlow was introduced as MJF's bodyguard in late 2019. MJF has unnecessarily scolded him on numerous occasions since then, but it was never the right moment to pull the trigger on a breakup.
Now isn't the time for it, either, but it's clearly coming in the not-too-distant future. Currently, MJF is embroiled in a heated rivalry with CM Punk, and if MJF can beat Punk in their first singles match (ideally at Revolution), he should go on to unseat Adam Page as AEW World champion at Double or Nothing.
Wardlow shutting MJF up with a brutal beatdown won't mean as much as it should unless MJF has accomplished his goal of capturing the AEW World Championship. He may not be the strongest choice to beat him for the belt, but a feud between them has to happen at some point.
If AEW can continue to play its cards right, it may have a major babyface on its hands with Wardlow.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.