Roman Reigns recaptured the WWE Universal Championship on Sunday night at WWE's Payback pay-per-view, effectively solidifying himself as Friday Night SmackDown's top heel with Paul Heyman as his new manager. Over the past week a few reports about how the pair was formed and what WWE's plans for the two are going forward. Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer reported earlier this week that WWE wanted Heyman back on television because of the money he was still making off his talent contract, and on this week's Sunday Night's Main Event he confirmed he stated Reigns had been looking to turn heel, so the company came up with the idea to form an alliance a while back.
"This has been in the cards, I don't know how long but it wasn't something they threw together like in the last week. I think it's a combination of Reigns wanting to go heel, because he did want to, and Heyman having a very high-dollar contract and not being used at all. So it kind of made sense to put them together. Plus with Heyman, you know he's [Reigns is] a heel, even if he changes his attitude and works as a heel people may not figure it out. Really there's so little difference between babyfaces and heels now ... people really don't know who is what half the time."
WrestlingNews.co's Paul Davis also reported on Sunday night via a source that Reigns is expected to hold the Universal Champion through WrestleMania 37 (at least).
"We were told that this is the start of a long title reign for Reigns and Vince McMahon is all in with pushing him to the moon because he wants him to be on the level of John Cena," Davis wrote. A WWE source said, 'Vince is not playing around. He wants Roman to hold onto that belt until WrestleMania at least. Everyone knows the fans will cheer him and we all expect him to be a babyface sooner than later but the games with the silly verbiage in promos are done with. Roman will have more input this time with his promos.'"
What do you think of Reigns' heel work so far? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Here are the full results from Sunday night's Payback event:
- (Kickoff) The Riott Squad def. The IIconics
- United States Championship: Bobby Lashley def. Apollo Crews
- Big E def. Sheamus
- Matt Riddle def. King Corbin
- WWE Women's Tag Team Championships: Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax def. Sasha Banks and Bayley
- Keith Lee def. Randy Orton
- Dominik Mysterio and Rey Mysterio def. Seth Rollins and Murphy
- WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns def. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman