Days after his surprise return at SummerSlam, Roman Reigns shocked the wrestling world at the end of this week's Friday Night SmackDown when he revealed his alliance with Paul Heyman. Many fans were thrilled by the decision, as it confirmed the reports and theories of Reigns' heelish character change, while others were shocked to see the union given how Reigns had been in vicious feuds with Heyman's most notable client, Brock Lesnar, in previous years. According to Dave Meltzer via Wrestling Observer Radio, the decision to pair the two together on television was partially a financially-driven one.
Meltzer explained that while Heyman was fired from his backstage role as Monday Night Raw's executive director, but he still has a lucrative contract as an on-air performer.
"He wasn't doing anything at all ever since Lesnar left and that's been months now and he's making a lot of money. So I think that you want to justify that by having him work and being with Reigns, he's being paid like a top guy so he should be in a top program and it's not gonna get any bigger than Reigns.
Meltzer also confirmed WWE's plans for Reigns as a heel going forward.
"Reigns is going to be the biggest heel in the promotion," he said.
Been waiting on this for a long time. Here we go!! https://t.co/CaZDc2wHKM— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) August 29, 2020
Reigns addressed on this week's SmackDown that he never truly lost the WWE Universal Championship when he last held the title in late 2018. He relinquished the championship at the time due to his bout with leukemia and declined to chase after it once he returned to weekly WWE programming the following year. He was supposed to challenge Goldberg at WrestleMania 36 for the title but stepped away from WWE in late March due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. He returned at SummerSlam this past Sunday and viciously attacked both Wyatt and Strowman, berating the two for not being able to carry the responsibility of being world champion.
- WWE Universal Championship: "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
- WWE Women's Tag Team Championship: Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax
- Keith Lee vs. Randy Orton
- United States Championship: Apollo Crews vs. Bobby Lashley
- Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins & Murphy
- Matt Riddle vs. King Corbin
- Big E vs. Sheamus
- (Kickoff Show) The Riott Squad vs. The IIconics