Roman Reigns has been on the run of a lifetime, having held the Universal Title since 2020 before becoming the Undisputed Champion at WrestleMania 38 in April.
He is on the back of defeating Drew McIntyre at Clash at the Castle, a name that many thought would dethrone the Tribal Chief and his two-year tenure at the top.
After 700-plus days as world champion, Reigns has overcome several superstars and it is unknown when he will be defending his title next. He now operates on a part-time schedule, which makes it more difficult to predict his next move and when he will be involved in another major rivalry.
So, what is next for the Undisputed Universal Champion?
The Inner Sanctum will take a look at what the final three months of 2022 should like for the Tribal Chief, heading into WrestleMania 39 in Hollywood.
Cardiff win, will he be at Extreme Rules?
To recap, Roman Reigns was able to conquer Drew McIntyre at Clash at the Castle to retain his Undisputed Universal Championship. However, some did not agree with the decision for multiple reasons.
The fans are eager for change and to see someone else fulfill Reigns’ position, as they have the view his title reign has been repetitive since he has been champion for two years. Roman’s part-time contract has also frustrated the audience, as the world titles are not being showcased weekly on television.
McIntyre was touted as someone who could dethrone the Head of the Table and there was no better time to execute than in Cardiff, the challenger’s homeland.
Some also argue that the Scottish Warrior is owed a huge crowning moment in front of a live audience, since COVID-19 prevented McIntyre from winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 36 in the presence of a crowd.
However, this was not to be the case, and Roman’s reign as Undisputed Universal Champion continued.
Post-Cardiff, it is now unlikely that the Tribal Chief will be wresting anybody in the short-term due to his schedule. This would include WWE’s next Premium Live Event, Extreme Rules on October 9.
Reigns has missed multiple Premium Live Events since unifying the world championships at WrestleMania, including Money in the Bank which is regarded as one of WWE’s biggest shows.
Crown Jewel and Survivor Series
Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia follows Extreme Rules on the Premium Live Event calendar, taking place on November 6. Reigns will more than definitely defend his Undisputed Universal Championship at the show and there is one name he needs to face: his former Shield brethren, Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins.
The two had a match at this year’s Royal Rumble, where Rollins won by disqualification after Reigns struck him with a steel chair. The ending was not clean, which warrants another clash between the current champion and Visionary.
Rollins has stated several times that he wants to face Reigns for the Undisputed Universal Championship and has every right. It needs to be revisited and by the beginning of November, The Visionary’s rivalry with Matt Riddle would have surely concluded.
Kevin Owens is also another potential opponent for Reigns at Crown Jewel, as he has repeatedly said on Monday Night Raw that the Tribal Chief owes him one after allowing The Usos to try to beat on Drew McIntyre on August 16.
However, that match took place several times last year and although both are differently positioned now, Rollins is still the perfect challenger for Saudi Arabia.
Owens should also be involved in a program for the Undisputed Tag Team Championships with Sami Zayn against The Usos, when Jimmy and Jey inevitably betray the Honorary Uce.
Regarding Survivor Series, Reigns might not even make an appearance as he holds both the WWE and Universal Championships. The show is built around brand vs. brand warfare, and with Roman carrying the world titles of Raw and Smackdown, who could he even face?
However, a viable solution would be to place The Bloodline (Roman, Usos, Solo Sikoa) in a four vs. four against four of their biggest rivals: Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn for when he gets removed from the group.
Although it’s not strictly Raw vs Smackdown, it would still be an entertaining encounter and be of similar format to the traditional five vs. five match that is displayed on Survivor Series every single year. Triple H could also introduce the WarGames concept to the show that he adapted in NXT.
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What happens in 2023 and at WrestleMania 39?
Competition may be thin for Roman Reigns heading into the later stages of this year into 2024, but there are still some solid opponents for the Tribal Chief to face if WWE wishes to explore them.
Randy Orton was originally supposed to face Reigns for the Undisputed Universal Championship at SummerSlam, but a back injury sidelined him and prevented that match from occurring.
If the 14-time world champion is healthy by the time of Day 1 or the Royal Rumble in 2024, that is a feud WWE could easily capitalise on.
AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley and even Johnny Gargano are also three names that could line up and contest Roman Reigns pre-WrestleMania, but the two that have drawn the most attention for Hollywood are Cody Rhodes and The Rock.
A match between the Undisputed Universal Champion and Great One has been much-anticipated for multiple years, but it was never known when it could occur.
The announcement of WrestleMania 39 emanating from SoFi Stadium in California has now given this possible contest a massive boost, as The Rock is obviously a huge presence in Hollywood.
The two are also related, which has been a backbone of why this match could take place down the line. It all depends on The Rock’s schedule though, and if he is allowed to perform for WWE under his obligations with his acting career.
However, Cody Rhodes could be a cog in this clash from happening, and has to be the front-runner now to end Roman’s title reign following McIntyre’s loss.
The American Nightmare made his remarkable comeback to WWE to win the world championship for his late father’s legacy.
He returned at WrestleMania 38 to challenge Seth Rollins, before the two had a trilogy of contests. However, Rhodes unfortunately ruptured his pectoral muscle in June and is not expected to be cleared to compete until next year.
Fans are predicting him to win the Royal Rumble match in 2023 and earn a shot against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39 through that route, before finally dethroning the Tribal Chief’s record-setting reign as world champion.
This would be the best-case scenario over Reigns vs The Rock and seems very likely if the latter is unable to compete at next year’s ‘showcase of the immortals’.
Rhodes would represent the Undisputed Universal Championship on a weekly basis and is much-loved by the fans, while Roman would still be part-time in WWE and could make a transition into Hollywood.
Overall, the Tribal Chief should still hopefully play a prominent role in WWE television heading into the new year before gearing up for a huge WrestleMania, regardless of who he faces.
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