Clash at the Castle: WWE's Roman Reigns' Historic Championship Reign Might Be Over

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After years of ups and down, Roman Reigns is currently in the primetime of his WWE career. However, Saturday's Clash at the Castle event at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, could spell the end for the Head of the Table's historic championship run. At 732 days as WWE Universal Champion, Reigns (real name Joe Anoa'i) is the longest reigning WWE world champ in the modern era and the sixth longest ever. (He also picked up the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 38 on April 3.) However, Drew McIntyre, Reigns' Clash at the Castle opponent, might end it all at today's event, which will stream on Peacock at 1 p.m. ET (noon CT).

McIntyre is on an absolute tear right now and maybe has more momentum than ever. A victory would be a huge return to the top for McIntyre that feels like it's been years in the making. He had a hot run against Brock Lesnar in 2020, ultimately winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 36. However that victory — and all of McIntyre's first and second WWE title reigns — occurred while coronavirus restrictions were in place. No fans saw the Scottish wrestler's success in person, and his run's impact was stunted by the world's overall lack of interest in an audience-less wrestling product. 

Despite this, McIntyre has been more-or-less "protected" as it comes to his status as one of WWE's top faces. Once he became No. 1 contender on the SmackDown before SummerSlam this year, it seems like he's been in overdrive. At SummerSlam, he stood amongst the audience members to cut a fiery promo. It really gave off "people's champion" vibes, complete with a flashy pyro display. He then went toe-to-toe with Reigns and the Bloodline, as well as starring in some show-stealing segments, such as an intense Raw face-off with Kevin Owens that fan viewers rave.

If you pair this momentum, WWE's rejuvenated creative under Paul Levesque (former WWE Superstar Triple H), and the fact that McIntyre is performing in the U.K. during WWE's first stadium show there in 30 years, it sure does feel like the stars are aligning. If there was a time to start a run with McIntyre as "the guy" in WWE, this has to be it.

On Reigns' end, it would not harm him to drop his title belts to McIntyre. He has truly etched his way into history as one of the wrestling industry's greatest stars. Long-term he could get a title championship any time down the road, or he could even become a "special attraction" performer making rare appearances like John Cena and Goldberg have done in recent years. Short-term he could even have plenty of rivalries lined up through WrestleMania 39. Especially given his sparser event schedule in recent months, Reigns could stay occupied with a McIntyre rematch before easing into non-title programs with Owens, Sami Zayn, his rumored-to-be-debuting-soon cousin Solo Sikoa and/or — in what would be a dream match — his other cousin Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Reigns' story as "the Head of the Table" transcends the belts, and the end of this chapter of his career could start with dropping the titles to McIntyre.

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But who knows, perhaps, WWE wants to keep building Reigns' dominance even higher. Another opponent down the line, like Bobby Lashley, Seth Rollins, or the currently injured Cody Rhodes, could take the belt instead. We'll just have to wait and see what happens at Clash at the Castle. As with all WWE premium live events, wrestling fans can watch it via Peacock. The streaming service has both mid-tier and ad-free plans available. Click here for sign-up info.