Part of the lead up to attending SummerSlam, today lets take a look at the match for the WWE Universal Title, the main title on WWE Monday Night Raw, Brock Lesnar (champion) vs. Roman Reigns.
This is by far the most controversial match of the night. Two men who should be great champions, but instead are hated by as many fans that cheer them. Two polarizing superstars who could have the best match of the night yet will still be jeered for not reaching some unspoken unexpressed desire the fans had for a perfect outcome. But how did we get to here?
The Universal championship was created in 2016 at the start of the most recent brand split. Brock Lesnar won it in April 2017 and in over a year as champion has defended the title a grand 13 times There have been champions who have defended their world titles that much in a month. He also is barely on TV. He shows up for big pay days and that’s it. Which seems a terrible move. One would think WWE would want a champion on TV every week. Even if he doesn’t defend the title, his mere presence can be used to build up the next big match.
A brief history of Brock Lesnar is necessary. Brock on his first run in WWE became the youngest World champion in the company’s history. He was young, successful, made a lot of money, and got a big head. So he went to WWE and said he wanted to work very few days during the year, for more money, and wanted private transportation to shows. WWE said no and Brock quit. He tried for an NFL career but got cut from the Vikings. He then went into the UFC and became heavyweight champion. Now, back in the public eye and making a lot of money, he returned to the WWE. Where he was given less dates, more money, private transportation, and the main title on Raw. So, way to hold your ground WWE.
Brock’s history of putting himself first has upset much of the WWE Universe. Many can relate to being the person putting in all the hours at work, making the machine run, and then someone else walks in like they own the place, gets more money, and takes a big crap on your work. Its discouraging to say the least. However, when he does show up he has the strength and speed that physics states a man of his size should not possess. Its super human. Which is why he gets to keep the title and be showcased as a monster.
Roman is the Rock’s cousin. The Rock is the most famous member of the Samoan dynasty in wrestling. Men and women for generations that can trace themselves as brothers, sisters, cousins, etc to one family. Members of this family have held nearly every title that existed in WWE. Roman is currently the biggest active wrestler from that family and being groomed as heir apparent as the face of WWE as John Cena steps into retirement.
The problem being this uncrowned king has been held up as the next star since he began as a single’s wrestler. Fans would cheer for this wrestler, or praise that wrestler’s work, yet WWE throws Roman out there front and center every time. Cheer Roman! “But I don’t want to.” Hey, its Roman in the main event again. “But we want someone else.” Yay, its Roman! “Are you not listening to us?!”
Now, he can wrestle, he can fight, and he has the strength to look like a legitimate threat to Brock Lesnar. But the fans feel like they have seen this before. And, to be fair, we have. Sequels have their places but at some point the audience wants a fresh story.
However, the crazy thing is most fans want Roman to win this match. If Reigns wins then the champion would be on Raw every week. It would be defended more often. All of the wrestlers on Raw would have a reason to fight. To get that title. As long as it’s on Brock it looks like everyone is fighting just to fight. You cant challenge for a title when the champion doesn’t show up.
Next time we’ll take a look at the Smackdown World title match and from there, the secondary titles.