If they’re going with this match, they need something to make it stand out from the other bouts, and have the finish lead the company somewhere in the future.
It’s a nice storyline, but WWE has a couple of problems
By Mo Hussain, Contributor
The main event of Wrestlemania 38 is set in stone with Roman Reigns taking on Brock Lesnar in a “winner take all” match for both the Universal and WWE Championships. On the bright side, this is a pretty good match to headline with. Having both titles on the line gives the match high stakes, both guys are big names, there’s long-term storytelling dating back to August, etc. But it also presents WWE with a couple of problems.
The finish of the match is predictable, and a win does nothing for either star. On one end, it makes no creative, financial, or any other sense to give Brock Lesnar the win. He’s getting old, only works part-time (so he can’t defend the championship consistently), doesn’t need the win for credibility, etc. WWE is obviously going to give the win to Reigns, who’s currently the clear-cut face of the company and probably will be for at least the next five years. A win for Lesnar would just destroy everything that WWE has built with Reigns over the last year and a half.
The issue with Reigns coming out on top is that he would have nothing else to accomplish and the win would just make his character so dominant that no one in the roster can pose as a real threat. Ever since he debuted his “Head of the Table” character, he’s already torn through everyone. He’s beaten John Cena, Edge, Drew McIntyre, Big E, Seth Rollins, Finn Bálor, Daniel Bryan, Goldberg, Kevin Owens, etc. He’s already beaten the top guys on Smackdown, and the company hasn’t built up anyone in the meantime that can pose a threat in the foreseeable future.
It doesn’t help that Lesnar also plowed through everyone on the Raw roster in the build-up to this match. He beat four other guys at Day One, threw out the remaining wrestlers in the Royal Rumble like action figures, and single-handedly eliminated everyone at the Elimination Chamber. Having Reigns beat someone like that would just widen the gap between him and the rest even further and make his title reign stale because of the lack of viable opponents.
Another issue about this match is that fans have already seen it countless times. Both guys wrestled at Wrestlemania 31, Wrestlemania 34, Greatest Royal Rumble 2018, Summerslam 2018, and Crown Jewel 2021. It’s fair to say that both wrestlers have evolved into different characters over the years but it’s ultimately still the two same guys headlining the biggest shows.
If they’re going with this match, they need something to make it stand out from the other bouts and have the finish lead the company somewhere in the future. Here’s an alternative route that can fulfill those requirements.
First of all, If WWE is marketing this match as “winner take all,” they need to go all-in on making the stakes as high as possible. That would mean outlining things like how this will be the final time Reigns and Lesnar will be in the ring, making it a unification match, no disqualifications, etc. The company should also consider adding in another competitor. Since having Lesnar or Reigns win is a lose-lose, WWE should add Seth Rollins to the match to make it a triple-threat. Rollins has had compelling feuds with both wrestlers in the past, but fans have never gotten to see all three men start and finish a match together.
Since the stakes are so high with this many characters, it should also take a special kind of referee to make sure this match goes through properly. That referee should be Stone Cold Steve Austin. Wrestlemania is already in his home state, and he would add an interesting element to the match because of the relationship he would have with all three competitors.
With Reigns, Austin would just play into how he is full of himself and how he won’t tolerate his bossy attitude. With Rollins, Austin would play into how annoyed he is with Rollins’s shenanigans through his new ‘drip’ gimmick. With Lesnar, Austin has already had real-life drama with him, so WWE can lean on that story.
As for the actual match itself, it should have plenty of moments where all three guys are arguing with Austin, and it looks as if he could cost any of them the match at any point. However, the climax of the match would be Brock Lesnar F5’ing Rollins. Rollins would then kick out of two, which puts Lesnar in disbelief. That disbelief would then turn into rage as Lesnar would put his hands on Austin and beat him up. The Rock would then come down to save Austin by beating up Brock Lesnar since Austin is a long-time friend. After the Rock drops a people’s elbow, Reigns rolls into the ring and both of them have a face-off. Reigns asks The Rock why he’s in his ring, and the Rock should “acknowledge” him, etc. After about 30 seconds of Reigns going off, the Rock picks him up for a Rock Bottom, hits him with a people’s elbow, and leaves the ring. Rollins then slowly crawls and spreads his hands out to pin both guys and wins the match. The finish of this match sets up multiple different stories to run in the future.
There’s obviously the Reigns/Rock match that can come about because the Rock cost Reigns the title, and both of them have family ties that they can play around with. The Rock and Brock Lesnar can even have a story moving forward because he also cost him the match, but also because of the history, they’ve had with Lesnar beating the Rock in 2002. Finally, this also helps get the championships off guys who wouldn’t be efficient with them moving forward. Giving the titles to Rollins will make title defences more consistent, and he’d have viable opponents who fans believe can beat him.