Experts Foresee an End to Reigns’ Undisputed Reign

Mar 8, 2023 - by Steve Gerweck

Last year, Roman Reigns became the first and only pro wrestler to don the now-prestigious title of the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. His quest began when he earned the Universal Championship at Payback in 2020. Two years later, the WWE Championship presented itself to The Tribal Chief at WrestleMania 38.

He had to battle the mighty Brock Lesnar in a Winner-Takes-All match, but Reigns came out on top to become the Undisputed Champion of the WWE. On top of the wrestling world since April 3, 2022, he’s fended off many an opponent, but many suspect that Reigns’ reign will soon come to a close. Given his dominance in recent months and the prominence of the Bloodline faction, some will scoff at this notion. Still, there are hints at him losing the Undisputed title.

This comes in the form of the scheduled clash between Reigns and Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania goes Hollywood. Already being heavily advertised as the main event, it’ll be the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on the line for the April 1 or April 2 meets. So, maybe Reigns only has a couple more months in charge.

Reigns not expected to be the Undisputed Champion for more than one year

WrestleMania 39 cruelly finishes one day before Reigns would celebrate his first anniversary as the Undisputed Champion. Meeting that bar would send a tremendous message out to the rest of the WWE now and to those who decide on the figures who reach legendary status for the company. Regardless, with many of the bookies who feature in a state on the list of states where sports betting is legal, the wrestling odds aren’t in Reigns’ favor. In states like Tennessee, Wyoming, New York, Arizona, North Carolina, and Colorado, some bookmakers have odds up for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match of Reigns vs. Rhodes.

In these odds, while there are differences between those offered between sites, most settle at around Reigns being the +200 underdog in the WrestleMania meet, while Rhodes is the heavy favorite at -300. Of course, a Reigns win wouldn’t be the first time that he’s defied the odds, and he’s certainly a big favorite among fans right now.

Building up and beyond the Undisputed Championship clash

Roman Reigns has enjoyed an emphatic start to 2023. At the 2023 Royal Rumble, Reigns got the better of Kevin Owens to defend his Undisputed status once again, but the main event wasn’t to be the end. Sami Zayn was drawn into the action, and at that point, the champ instructed him to steel chair Owens, Zayn instead took a swing at Reigns. It didn’t end well for the upstart, and Reigns left as an even more imposing figure in the WWE.

Since then, the defeated Zayn and Cody Rhodes have appeared together on Monday Night Raw, both being positioned as upcoming challengers to Reigns’ throne. The two were recorded hyping each other up, but in true modern heel fashion, Reigns took to TikTok to say, “if you’ve got to have a pep rally to convince each other that you can beat me, you don’t stand a chance.”

Interestingly, some have been recalling how Rhodes and Reigns met in 2014 at Raw. Both are very different wrestlers now, of course, but the match saw Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins conquer Cody Rhodes and Goldust, with the focus being on Rollins vs Rhodes. Reigns mostly kept Goldust out of the equation, helping The Shield land another triumph.

Removing the obstacles in his path

There’s very little doubt that Roman Reigns has earned his place as the champion, plus, his role as heel has been rather epic. His steely glare, embrace of the boos, and incredible presence in the ring make him seem undefeatable at times. Seeking some revenge with the crowd fully on his side, Sami Zayn came to WWE Elimination Chamber 2023 to try to stop Reigns from even having the title by the time he’s set to meet Owens. It didn’t go too well.

Zayn, amped up by the crowd and getting them going as Reigns waited in the ring, looked a bit too confident. Reigns was merely happy to take whatever Zayn could throw at him, even letting a chop bounce off of his chest before ploughing the contender to his WWE Universal Title Match crown to the canvas. He goaded the crowd, clearly unhappy that he even had to share the same space as Zayn.

While The Untouchable didn’t go down without a fight, superbly frog-leaping over a spear before just missing out on a pin and superman punching the champion. Reigns looked done for after Zayn seized the momentum, and even Owens got involved. Eventually, though, with the help of the steel chair, Reigns beat Zayn into submission, put him down with a spear, and the ref tapped him out.

This was, perhaps, the main match on the schedule that could have potentially thrown Reigns’ big meet with Rhodes in the air. Without his Undisputed title, the WrestleMania Goes Hollywood top billing wouldn’t hold anywhere near as much weight and, arguably, would
have to be rematched to Zayn vs Rhodes if the Canadian was able to hold onto the two straps until April.

Rhodes and Reigns to dominate headlines in March

The WWE knows exactly how to ramp up to a major event, and now that those Reigns would see as the pests are out of the way, the focus can turn to Rhodes. The two were announced as set to meet on March 3 on WWE SmackDown, but that’ll undoubtedly be the first of many. Now that superstars have so many other means at their disposal, in-ring meets won’t be all that’s going on up to WrestleMania.

Before the two met in the ring, Rhodes took to The AJ Awesome Show to reveal who he plans to fight next. The odds say that Rhodes will defeat Reigns at WrestleMania, so his discussions in the interview might not be too much of an overshot. As the Undisputed champ, you’d think that the WWE would let Rhodes have his pick of matches, at least for a while. According to the American Nightmare, Edge, Gunther, and Johnny Gargano are on his list. Beyond this, it’ll certainly be worth tracking both of their social media posts over the coming weeks.

Yet, there is this sense among the fans that Reigns’ place as this commanding figure won’t come to an end against Rhodes. Above all else, he’s very entertaining and gets a reaction from the crowd. Without the Undisputed title, his power in the company fades and his ability to be such a mighty heel is reduced a bit. He could always mount a revenge campaign to get the straps back, which could be interesting, but it seems like the Reigns vs Rhodes conflict could be taken further than the upcoming WrestleMania if the title is retained.

Right now, Reigns is larger than life, and it’s tough to see him losing to Rhodes at WrestleMania 39 – Undisputed Champion or not – and yet, the way that he’s beating these potential foes down sets him up for a big loss.

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