We're only 17 days away from WrestleMania 33 in Orlando but it appears the WWE already has their sights set on next year's main event in New Orleans. And just like this year, next year's marquee match up is set to revolve around RAW's top prize, the Universal Championship.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported yesterday that WWE officials are planning to retread a match that has already headlined a previous WrestleMania. If all goes to plan, Roman Reigns will challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Title, which is the exact same match we saw at WrestleMania 31.
Reigns is scheduled to face The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33 while Lesnar is challenging WWE Universal Champion Bill Goldberg but plans for next year do not mean Reigns is going over Taker or that Lesnar will hold the title for a full year, the Observer notes.
From a story telling standpoint, you would have the only two men who beat Undertaker at WrestleMania facing off for their brand's biggest prize. I get that, but if you recall, the best part of their first 'Mania match was not the amazing chemistry between Reigns and Lesnar. It was Lesnar coining the phrase "suplex city, bitch" and Seth Rollins cashing in his Money In The Bank Briefcase to win the WWE Championship.
But Lesnar and Reigns alone aren't the reason these plans are awful. The bigger problem is that, with all the talent on the WWE roster, why do we need to see another rematch?
Meltzer reports that the WWE is once again looking at building The Big Dog up for a whole year for a coronation at WrestleMania 34 and the idea between now and then is for Reigns to replace Cena as the new face of the company, not just when he wins the title.
But seriously, how much more can they "build up" Roman Reigns than they already have? He had his coronation at WrestleMania 32 and it did not produce the "top guy" fruit they were hoping for.
If Meltzer's rumors prove to be true it means we'll be getting much more of the same for an entire year. Instead of an interesting and much needed heel turn, Reigns will continue to be the top babyface that "defies the odds" while half of the audience loathes his existence. Meanwhile, emerging stars like Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Shinsuke Nakamura will continue to be viewed on a level just below Vince's golden boy.
Regarding Lesnar, the current plan is for him to work more dates in what will be the final year of his three-year deal. It's believed Lesnar will never work a full-time schedule but he will work more shows over the next year, live events and TV tapings.
I have a suggestion for the WWE ... if you really want to make Roman Reigns the next John Cena, don't give us another Roman vs an "unstoppable force" match. Be bold and give us Roman Reigns vs John Cena.
Thankfully, we all know a year is a long time and plenty of things can change in the crazy world of the WWE. Last year at this time no one in their right minds would have ever believed Goldberg would be heading into Orlando as a WWE Champion.