Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar face off at the conclusion of SummerSlam 2021. (Picture: WWE)

The Inner Sanctum revisits the seven-year long rivalry between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar before it reaches its final chapter at SummerSlam.

On the 31st of July in Nashville Tennessee, Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar will main event this year’s SummerSlam, as they collide for the Undisputed Universal Championship in a last man standing match. Whether this is the final time they meet remains to be seen, as the fans have voiced their frustration towards the two feuding once again.

Randy Orton was originally rumored to face the Tribal Chief at the ‘biggest party of the summer’ for the company’s most prestigious championship, but a back injury has sidelined the star and it is unclear when he will make his return to WWE TV.

Instead of giving Reigns a fresh opponent for their alternative, they have opted to once again give him the Beast Incarnate in another high-profile encounter.

The two competitors are no strangers to one another and have had their fair share of matches for a number of years. Let’s take a look at every single one-on-one clash they have had in the lead-up to their supposed final battle next Sunday.

Lesnar hoists up Reigns for an F-5 (Picture: WWE)

WrestleMania 31 – WWE World Heavyweight Championship (March 29, 2015)

Going into the first one-on-one match between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar there was a lot of controversy in terms of the build-up, widely due to the fans not wanting the former to be in the spotlight so soon in his career. However, this clash exceeded expectations and is undoubtedly the best they have had.

Reigns won the Royal Rumble match in 2015, only eight months since the separation of The Shield, However, the WWE Universe was far from impressed with the company’s pushing of the former Big Dog and all predicted him to overcome Lesnar and become champion.

Everyone was anxious heading into the clash and refused to see Reigns being coronated at the biggest show in wrestling.

Early into the contest, Lesnar had all the momentum as he showed his opponent that his time in the main event scene was premature. Eventually, Reigns valiantly fought back and looked to have the Beast Incarnate’s measure.

But after an F-5 from the defending champion to the challenger It looked to be all over, but Lesnar was unable to capitalise.

In a shocking twist, then Mr. Money In The Bank Seth Rollins cashed in his contract to turn the match into a triple threat and became the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion in what is known amongst wrestling fans as the ‘heist of the century‘.

The fans were sent home more than happy to see WWE not give the green light to Roman Reigns just yet.

Nonetheless, the first Reigns vs Lesnar match was easily the best the company had produced even though there was no victor. From blood, momentum shifts and the spectacle, this match truly had everything.

It opened the door for future battles, although the WWE Universe thought that was enough.

Lesnar hammers Reigns with devastating blows (Picture: WWE)

WrestleMania 34 – Universal Championship (April 8, 2018)

The second out of three WrestleMania main events Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar had was definitely the worst, although it delivered a surprising and satisfying result.

The WWE Universe at the time were still against how Reigns was being utilised in the main event scene and all expected him to finally defeat Lesnar for the Universal Championship on the grand stage. However, the Beast Incarnate overcame the challenger in impressive fashion.

The match was a bloodbath but did not impress the 78,000 fans in attendance, as chants of, “this is awful” rang through the Mercedez Benz Superdome. It was sloppy, repetitive and did not represent or meet the high standards they set from their first clash.

The whole show itself was a huge disappointment and the main event certainly did not help its case. It was a frustrating match and night for all, including Lesnar.

After leaving the ring and heading backstage, the champion threw his title at WWE CEO Vince McMahon, in anger at how the match unfolded. This was documented on the WWE Network’s WWE 24: WrestleMania – New Orleans episode.

Reigns gears up for a Superman Punch on Lesnar (Picture: WWE)

Greatest Royal Rumble – Universal Championship (April 27, 2018)

Shortly after their second and most abysmal one-on-one clash, Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar fought again for the Beast’s Universal Championship inside a steel cage. However, this one was a slight improvement compared to the last.

Reigns had earned another opportunity prior to the event in Saudi Arabia and was once again, projected to win this match since he was much-loved by the Saudi faithful. It was also fairly even, unlike the previous two collisions.

This particular contest is probably the least memorable out of the other matches they have had against each other. The conclusion saw Lesnar beat Reigns for the second time, but it was not at all convincing.

The challenger delivered an emphatic spear towards the champion through the wall of the cage and both ended up on the outside. Lesnar was then able to roll over to the concrete and make contact with his feet, therefore declaring him the winner in the rules of a steel cage match.


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Lesnar applies the Kimura Lock on Reigns (Picture: WWE)

SummerSlam – Universal Championship (August 19, 2018)

Even though the result from their match at the Greatest Royal Rumble was conclusive and saw Lesnar rightfully retain, the controversial finish warranted a fourth match between the two in the span of four months.

The WWE Universe in attendance were not receptive to this match occurring once again and were ecstatic when Braun Strowman threatened to cash in his Money In The Bank contract. The reason for this poor reception was that the fans heavily desired for a new face to be involved and were hopeful for a different outcome.

The clash was typical of a match that these two had produced, featuring nothing but each’s signature moves and only lasting just above six minutes. However, the result was different compared to their first three encounters.

After Lesnar was finished dealing with Strowman on the outside and preventing him from cashing in, Reigns seized the moment and speared the Beast to finally become the new Universal Champion. Thus ending Lesnar’s record-setting reign of 503 days.

He was then tipped to have a long reign with the title, but had to relinquish it only a few months later due to being diagnosed with leukemia.

Reigns jumps over the top rope and connects with a dive on Lesnar (Picture; WWE)

Crown Jewel – Universal Championship (October 21, 2021)

After SummerSlam in 2018, Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar had their fifth one-on-one bout three years later at Crown Jewel. This time, the situation had drastically changed.

Reigns was now the defending champion and had finally gained the approval from fans as a loveable heel, along with aligning himself with Lesnar’s prior advocate, Paul Heyman. The match felt very fresh and featured a new dynamic, while the two competitors had adopted different gimmicks and appearances.

The manager was the story in this contest and it was a mystery who he was going to pledge his alliance to – stay with Roman or go back to Brock. The referee was accidentally struck by Reigns during the match and it opened the opportunity for an unclean finish.

Heyman had the Universal Championship in possession and was debating who to give the title to, so they could strike the other and take advantage of the scenario. Eventually, he threw the championship in the middle of Reigns and Lesnar, and was having a nervous breakdown.

Lesnar was able to retrieve the title, but Jimmy and Jey Uso delivered a double superkick to the Beast Incarnate before he could hit Reigns, and assisted their cousin with a second consecutive victory over the challenger.

Reigns strikes Lesnar with his Universal Championship (Picture: WWE)

WrestleMania 38 – Championship Unification (April 3, 2022)

Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar’s final battle to date was their third WrestleMania main event and everything was on the line. The Head of the Table walked into the match as the Universal Champion, while the latter defended the WWE Championship after capturing it in February.

Since both world championships were up for grabs, WWE labelled this match as the ‘biggest WrestleMania main event of all time’. It did not live up to that expectation and to give the contest that level of hype was very questionable, as it underdelivered.

Both superstars also developed injuries during the match, which definitely affected the potential the encounter had to be truly great. However, the format was similar to their encounter at Crown Jewel as it saw the titles get involved, as well as the referee getting knocked down once again.

At the conclusion, Roman won to keep his record Universal Championship reign intact, whilst also becoming the new WWE Champion to unify both belts. The fans were content with the outcome, as they knew Reigns was a full-time presence in WWE and was going to be featured weekly on TV, unlike Lesnar.

However, the Undisputed Universal Champion has now transitioned into a part-time schedule, as Reigns has only defended the titles once since WrestleMania 38.

The head-to-head ledger when these two have a singles contest is 3-2 in favour of Reigns, who is expected to have his fourth victory over Lesnar at SummerSlam. It will occur on Sunday, July 31 at 10am AEST on the WWE Network.

Stars such as Seth Rollins, Riddle, Bobby Lashley, Becky Lynch, The Usos and even global phenomenon, Logan Paul will all feature in the show and set up what should be a decent last man standing match between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar.

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