At times, you might have thought AJ Styles was a legitimate threat. And, given his pedigree, he’d certainly be a worthy champion. But, he was denied in his second attempt at wresting the title from Reigns, so perhaps Styles can’t cut the mustard.
But, after the Extreme Rules main event? Just as Roman thought he could catch his breath and maybe even celebrate a little? Out from the back stage area comes a returning Seth Rollins, who rocks the champ with a Pedigree. He raises the title, and gets a hero’s welcome, so to speak, as he is showered with chants of “thank you Seth”.
So what does it all mean?
It means, in short, that Roman Reigns’ days as WWE Champion are numbered. They have to be. WWE officials, from the creative team up to the owner’s box, have to know that the fans despise Roman, and that even before Rollins blew out his knee, he was getting turned by the crowd reaction. It did not matter one iota what Seth was doing, the crowds loved him and ate him up. A babyface turn was inevitable, and basically was already happening when he landed awkwardly in the ring, and then found himself on the shelf.
But that was then. And this is now. And now? Now Rollins returns, rebuilt, as he put it. Reloaded. Revitalized, and gunning for the man currently in possession of the WWE title, but a man whom Rollins no doubt does not see as the champion-keeping in mind that Seth has never lost his belt, at least not via the traditionally accepted methods. Of course, he did relinquish the title in the fall of 2015 due to the aforementioned injury, but in his mind he is no doubt the uncrowned champion. And I am betting a good chunk of the WWE Universe feels the same. It’s a common ploy when a wrestler loses the title due to injury.
Except that this time, I think it means so much more. For one, I think fans can get behind and embrace someone like Rollins as the champion and face of the company a lot more willingly than Reigns. Part of the reason, of course, is that even as a despised heel, fans respected the work Rollins did in the ring. He can actually perform pretty well on the mic. And while he was thrust upon us in the fallout from the breakup of the Shield, his push made sense and was executed with skill and precision. And his turn has been gradual, because as fans began to see how he worked, and how he excelled in the main events, they began to appreciate his skills more and more. And when fans begin to appreciate what you do in the ring, you have them eating out of the palm of your hand.
So what does it all mean?
For Roman Reigns, to be blunt, it means his days as champion are numbered.