On the July 23rd edition of Smackdown, we got to see Roman Reigns flat out deny John Cena’s challenge and instead accept one from The Prince, Finn Balor. This is an extremely interesting match for me, but I am going to save that for now.
We all knew John Cena would be coming to Smackdown and it was painfully clear that they were going to have him target Reigns. Why else would you have the sixteen time champion return to Smackdown if not to immediately challenge for the world title and potentially break the record set by Ric Flair for most title wins in history? But you see, WWE has kind of shot themselves in the foot with this.
Reigns has had an absolutely fantastic run as a heel. Let’s face it, this is the best character he has portrayed since his days in the Shield. He’s been a dominant champion, he’s run roughshod over Smackdown and he’s the most interesting he has been in years. He basically does what he wants, when he wants, and he isn’t afraid to tell you no.. Well, that or he has Paul Heyman do it for him. That brings me to my lone problem with the new Reigns portrayal. He is too much like Brock Lesnar to me now. He has Heyman do a lot of the mic work, Heyman delivers his messages and he is essentially playing the same role for Reigns that he was for Lesnar. Reigns is an infinitely better promo than Lesnar is, so having Heyman in the same role doesn’t make much sense to me..
It’s no secret that the WWE would absolutely love to book a WrestleMania match between Roman Reigns and his cousin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I’m sure they would book it as a ‘passing the torch’ moment between the two and have Reigns go over Rock in a pretty epic match. I’m guessing too that they would most likely want that match to be for the title. So the chances are slim that John Cena actually beats Reigns for said championship at SummerSlam, if WWE hasn’t actually changed their minds on the match in general.
I say that because of what happened this past week on Smackdown. With Finn Balor coming out and challenging Reigns to a match at SummerSlam, and Reigns accepting said match, it’s like WWE wants us to believe that Cena won’t face Reigns at SummerSlam. Now, I personally would rather see Finn Balor face Reigns and if I were WWE, I would have Balor be the one to actually dethrone Reigns, and give him the championship reign that he was denied when he became the first ever universal champion. Granted, he had to relinquish due to injury, but you brought Balor back to the main roster and thrust him into the world title picture pretty much immediately. You shouldn’t do that with someone as talented as Balor is without the end game being that he wins said championship.
Finn went back to NXT and reinvented himself. He brought out the Prince persona, he turned heel, and he proved to the world that he still had all the tools needed to be at the top of the division. Hell, he was until Karrion Kross dethroned him. He’s also said that some day, the Demon will return, but he doesn’t need the Demon right now. Balor is more than capable of defeating Reigns on his own, he doesn’t need that persona. The Prince is a perfect character for Balor and he is positioned to have a much better run this time around than his first time on the main roster. I say that because the Prince is cocky but he backs it up. He’s also a lot more aggressive than he used to be when not performing as the Demon.
I don’t trust WWE to give us Reigns vs Balor straight on. I really don’t. Especially when they brought John Cena back to take on Reigns at SummerSlam. I’m sure there will be some sort of twist that makes it so Cena gets that match instead of Balor. I get it, Cena is a huge draw for WWE, he really is. But I personally think he would be better served elevating the mid-card for now. He doesn’t need to be in the main event, going for the world title, especially if you’re going to just use him to further cement Reigns’ legacy.
If I were booking for WWE, and they absolutely insisted on having Cena vs Reigns at SummerSlam, I would instead book it as a triple threat match and include Balor. I say that because it gives WWE a few different options in the booking instead of either Cena wins (LOL) or Reigns wins. Plus, the benefit of the triple threat match is that you can protect one, or two, of the performers and not have the loss impact their momentum too much. So let’s say WWE wants Reigns to keep the title. He can defeat Cena clean and then Balor can get his one-on-one since he didn’t eat the pin. He gets put over by Cena and sets up a further feud with Balor to continue potentially until the Royal Rumble. There are just too many different ways a triple threat match could go to get into them all, but suffice it to say that is the safest bet of what WWE will book for SummerSlam.
There is one -major- thing though that I haven’t mentioned yet and it is something that everyone needs to keep in mind. The Money in the Bank briefcase. Big E currently holds that opportunity and can cash it in anytime he sees fit. You never know what the holder of the briefcase will do and that’s what makes it the Wild Card. Big E could cash it in on Reigns before SummerSlam. He could cash it in -at- SummerSlam. It’s just something that everyone needs to keep an eye on because you never know, Big E could be the one to dethrone Reigns. It’s been rumoured that that is what WWE is indeed planning, so take that as you will.
That said, WWE’s made it pretty clear that they want Cena to face Reigns at SummerSlam and whether Finn is involved or not will be up to Vince and the WWE writers. I think it would be a better match with Balor involved, but that’s just me and my opinion. Whatever WWE does leading up to their Summer spectacular, they will surely do what they feel is best for business.
I just hope they can stop getting in their own way and do something that actually makes sense for once.