At WWE’s Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view, Roman Reigns was defeated by Braun Strowman in an Ambulance Match, proceeding to nearly kill Strowman after the match ended. So what’s next for Roman Reigns?
The plan is evidently still to build up to Roman Reigns facing Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam, as the Wrestling Observer recently reported. Evidently, the plan was originally for Braun Strowman to face Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, but these plans have changed.
“It was confirmed to us that a few weeks ago, probably just before the Roman Reigns interview where he said he wanted a shot at the Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe winner, that plans for SummerSlam on 8/20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn changed from Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman as the main event to Lesnar vs. Reigns,” the Wrestling Observer reported on June 29th.
After Great Balls of Fire, a lot of fans assumed that either this reporting was wrong, or that plans have changed. After all, Roman Reigns declared that he should be the number one contender for the Universal Championship, only to lose clean to Braun Strowman, potentially indicating that it’s Strowman who will get the Universal Championship match.
However, Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio today that even after Great Balls of Fire, the plan is still for Roman vs. Brock at SummerSlam.
What will probably happen, then, is that the Roman vs. Strowman feud will continue over the next few weeks, with the two potentially having a Universal Championship number one contender match at some point. Eventually Roman will gain the upper hand and establish himself as the number one contender, going on to face Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. We’ll get a much better sense of where things are going over the next few weeks tonight on Raw, and the WWE.com preview of the night’s events says that “after Reigns took things way too far by crashing the ambulance into another vehicle with The Monster Among Men in the back in the aftermath of their contest, it would stand to reason that Raw General Manager Kurt Angle would be ready to hold The Guy accountable rather than reward him with a title match at The Biggest Party of the Summer.”
On Wrestling Observer Radio today, Dave Meltzer said that he asked around about whether Roman is a heel now, and nobody would give him an answer.
It remains to be seen whether Roman Reigns turned heel at Great Balls of Fire. On the one hand, Roman did try to murder his opponent after being defeated fair and square, which isn’t exactly something a hero usually does. The commentary team also seemed pretty stunned by what Roman did, describing him as having lost it. On the other hand, they did not completely admonish him, and there have been plenty of times in WWE history of faces doing shocking things like this but remaining faces.
Months ago, it was reported that the WWE was leading up to a match between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar for WrestleMania 34 in April 2018. It seems that these plans have changed, and that match has been moved to SummerSlam. The rumor is now that the WrestleMania 34 main event will be Roman Reigns vs. John Cena; this would explain why Cena returned as a “free agent” on July 4th.