Finally, WWE has planted the seeds for a potential showdown between Roman Reigns and John Cena.
There has been talk, mainly rumors, over the past couple of months that the 16-time world champion would split time between Monday and Tuesday nights in an effort to maximize his star potential and to boost ratings. The thought was Cena would take on Samoa Joe in a feud that would draw fan interest. Now it looks like that confrontation may be on hold.
The “mega” feud between the former Shield member and Cena is another plot to help The three-time WWE World Champion get over with the fans. Cena is the company’s most polarizing figure. If anyone, besides Undertaker, can put Reigns over, it should be “The Champ”.
Of course, WWE must build this potential blockbuster like it did Monday night. There was tension between the two superstars, a tag team match in which they took on Samoa Joe and The Miz, and controversy in the ending where Cena was on the business end of a Superman punch. Much like Steve Austin and Undertaker, and The Rock and Nick Foley, the plot will simmer a bit, gain momentum, and come to a head and a pay-per-view near you.
My only issue with this kind of headliner is what happens to Joe and the current Intercontinental Champion? Wouldn’t it be prudent for the four superstars to be booked in separate feuds? Cena and Joe dance around the ring for a while and The Miz and Reigns battle over the second most important title on Monday nights. Also, should Reigns beat The Miz, then he becomes one of a select few to have won The WWE World Title, The Intercontinental Title, The United States Championship and WWE’s Tag Team Title. All that’s missing is a Universal Championship and Reigns could argue he is the most decorated superstar in WWE history.
You cannot fault WWE for trying something new. After a solid SummerSlam pay-per-view, the McMahons must strike while the iron is hot. Title changes aside, the fact Brock Lesnar and gender Mahal both retained their straps tells fans how the remainder of the year plays out.
The slow play between the four superstars last night allows Braun Strowman to finally grab the Universal Title from Lesnar at some point, possibly at No Mercy. It’s only a matter of time before Shinsuke Nakamura takes Mahal’s prize. But for the now, Cena and Reigns create a new dynamic WWE can build on.
And by creating this kind of feud, not lost on me is the idea that fans may finally see the heel turn in Reigns that should have happened over a year ago.
I’m always interested to see how the night following a pay per view is booked. In most cases it is better than the show we plunk $9.99 down to see her. Monday night didn’t disappoint. The confrontation between Stroman and Lesnar was on point. Strowman is the best big man to come along since Lesnar and Big Show, AKA “The Giant” in WCW. The main event did its job. Oh, and that tag team match between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose and Matt and Jeff Hardy was pretty damn exciting. The tag team division on Monday night is must-see television once more.
I pray WWE doesn’t drop the ball on this one. Create drama like in decades past between baby faces and use heels to draw heat against them. The formula worked for the McMahons, Jim Crockett, Fritz Von Erich and Verne Gagne. It can work here. Two of the biggest names in the business across the ring from each other – I like it.
Now, it’s time to turn that storyline into gold. Hopefully WWE has the right blueprint to make that happen.