Charles “The Prodigy” Richey is an on-air host and producer for chicagolandsportsradio.com
As the “March to Wrestlemania” continues unabated, several of Monday Night Raw’s toughest superstars went wild in the Elimination Chamber Sunday night to earn the right to face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 34 in New Orleans for the Universal Championship.
Featuring the Magnificent Seven of Braun Strowman, Elias, Finn Baylor, John Cena, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and The Miz there were no lack of fan favorites to invest rooting interest in. You could even give yourself to thinking that more than a couple of the guys stood a good chance of winning. But the whole time there was only one favorite in the mind of the person who counts, Vince McMahon, and that was the eventual winner, Roman Reigns.
Rumors of Reigns being set up to have a rematch with Lesnar from their rudely interrupted battle ending Wrestlemania 31 have floated about all year, it seemed a clear way to cash in on a couple of longer-running storylines and it gives the WWE a chance to hand over the title from its flagship show to a trusted entity in Reigns in the face of Lesnar’s likely hiatus from WWE post-Mania to return to the UFC.
Let’s flash back three years ago in where Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar squared off for the WWE Heavyweight Championship.
Lesnar dominated Reigns throughout most of the match, but Reigns was able to weaken Lesnar outside the ring in where Lesnar was thrown into the post and was seen bleeding profusely. Reigns would nail him with three Superman punches and two spears that Lesnar would kick out of.
Then out of nowhere, Reigns former Shield brother, Seth Rollins, who was defeated earlier on the night’s card by Randy Orton would make a surprise entrance and cash in his “Money in the Bank” title shot. With his signature curb stomp, Rollins pinned Reigns 1-2-3 to win the title.
Rollins’ surprise made him the first man in WWE history to cash in their Money in the Bank contract at the main event of Wrestlemania. What seemed like a long time ago seems even longer given all that’s happened then including Rollins’ eventful heel run as champ and his bonding and later breakup with former mentor Triple H.
There was also Rollins’ injury, his missing Wrestlemania 32, his redemption in beating Trips in 33 and the eventual reunion with Reigns and Dean Ambrose as the Shield late in 2017, which carried over story-wise into Sunday’s match as Reigns and Rollins eventually had to strike each other inside the Chamber. Now that Reigns is set up to contend for the Universal Championship again, what kind of strain could that put into the Shield brethren’s relationship, given that Rollins has to be jealous after failing to get himself back in the title picture.
Leading up to his first-ever Elimination Chamber match, Reigns gave off the attitude of a man who wants to right a past wrong, in reference to Wrestlemania 31’s controversial main event, when speaking with CBS Sports — “There’s always going to be that animosity to want to finish the job. Not only towards Brock but towards Seth for interrupting that,” said Reigns.
“The key is to be able to get to that point and deliver and capitalize. Hopefully I’ll get the shot. We got to go through the Chamber on Sunday. We got to make it out of that unscathed and then take a ride to Suplex City. It sounds a lot better than it really feels. Trust me.”
It will be interesting seeing this rematch come to fruition and how it’ll be booked leading up to the main event moment in New Orleans. Any number of other superstars could set themselves up to be included in the match itself at Mania or at least right away to pick up the pieces the night after on Raw — Rollins definitely could be in the mix as should the Monster Among Men, Strowman, who can never get enough of throwing around Reigns, as he proved after the match was over Sunday.
At the end of the day more lasting rivalries at Wrestlemania is not a bad thing, they help bind together the showcases and provide an even greater storyline for the ages that shows just who helped define WWE for years to come.
Brock vs. Roman, Reigns vs. Lesnar, “The Spear” vs. “Suplex City,” however you want to state it it is worthy of topping Wrestlemania and it should be a barn-burner!
Follow Charles at his personal blog and on Twitter @ProdigyRichey; Follow We Are Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under We Are Regal Radio