Roman Reigns successfully retained his Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at Clash at the Castle last week in Cardiff, Wales. "The Tribal Chief" was gone from this week's SmackDown, though the fallout from his match could be felt as Drew McIntyre directly targeted Solo Sikoa (the man who cost him the match at Clash) and faced him in the main event. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer had an update regarding Reigns this week, writing in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Reigns isn't booked for the Extreme Rules pay-per-view on Oct. 8 in Philadelphia.
His next title defense will instead be at Crown Jewel on Nov. 5 in Saudi Arabia. Meltzer noted that, while he doesn't know Reigns' opponent, he knows that it isn't either Seth Rollins or Kevin Owens. Despite Reigns having beaten both men previously in his two-year world championship reign, both Rollins and Owens have hinted at challenging "The Head of the Table" again in recent promos.
Reigns signed a new WWE contract shortly after WrestleMania 38 that gives him a much lighter schedule, including fewer house show appearances, TV dates and pay-per-view bouts. Extreme Rules will mark the fourth main roster pay-per-view to go without a world championship match since Reigns unified the titles.
"For me, it was trying to balance everything. Someone who has five children, we're in a critical portion of their lives where they are so young and this is where we build these relationships and bonds and they get to know who their dad is. For me, it was extremely important that I can build my fatherhood as the priority and the number one hat that I wear. In WWE, Vince (McMahon) and everybody was very good about accommodating that and making sure to keep me in the WWE family," Reigns said while explaining his schedule in an interview with the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast last month.
"The main thing is, no, we're not going to be on every single pay-per-view, but anything that I am on, which will be all the major ones and a couple of the other ones that fall in-between the big four and the Saudis. I'll always support those with TV to build the story and rivalry going forward. Compared to what I did, technically, compared to a full-time, on everything, you only get a day and a half a week, yeah, it's part-time compared to what I usually run. I'm an annual character on WWE television. It's done well so far. The reactions, it makes everything feel more special if you're not as attainable or available. It puts a little mystique around you. Pretty much all of the houses have done well. The actual reaction, the decibel level is still very high. I couldn't have planned for it to go any better. Hopefully, we'll continue to build that. I've done it to where, I could do it every single week, that's no problem. At the same time, if the quality is high, the quantity doesn't have to be crazy," he added.