Roman Reigns made his first appearance on WWE SmackDown in several months on Friday night. The appearance came following his return last weekend at WWE SummerSlam, a return which saw Reigns enter the ring following a match between "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman and destroy both men. During the SummerSlam appearance, Reigns appeared more aggressive than we have seen him before and it seemed like a bit of a character shift.
That shift with his character continued on SmackDown. All night during the show, we saw Adam Pearce trying to get Reigns to sign a contract for his triple threat match Universal Championship match against Strowman and Wyatt at Payback this Sunday. In the end, during the final segment of the show, Heyman was shown sitting next to Paul Heyman on a couch in his dressing room, making Roman the new "Paul Heyman Guy."
According to a report from PWInsider, the plan moving forward is for Reigns to be the top heel on SmackDown. Many had speculated last weekend whether what we saw from Reigns was a heel turn, and based on what we saw at SummerSlam it wasn't really possible to tell. The pairing with Heyman tells us a different story, and the heel turn now looks to be the direction moving forward.
The report notes that Strowman will also be continuing forward as a heel, a transformation that we saw begin following his match with Wyatt at Extreme Rules. Strowman will reportedly be a heel for the foreseeable future, rather than this just being some short-term thing based on Wyatt's mind games.
What might surprise some people is the PWInsider report notes that this leaves "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt as a babyface and the top babyface on the SmackDown brand. Interestingly, the man who the company is now making the top babyface is turning those around him into heels. Strowman, as previously mentioned, and Alexa Bliss also appears to be going through a transformation back into a heel based on her interaction with Nikki Cross during SmackDown. Logically, this one is going to be hard to explain based upon the ground work that has been laid. We'll certainly need a shift in the narrative to make sense of it all.
Looking toward to the future, and this is my own speculation, one would think that Big E would emerge as the top babyface on SmackDown if booked right during his current singles run. A potential match between a heel Reigns and a babyface Big E sounds like a strong match down the line.