Roman Reigns would have been the logical choice to come out of last night's Extreme Rules main event as the first in line to face Brock Lesnar. Coming off his epic defeat of the legendary Undertaker at WrestleMania 33, it seemed as if Reigns was in position to take his already top level career to an entirely different stratosphere.
If the rumors hold true, Reigns will instead be heading down the card to feud for an entirely different championship altogether.
The reason Roman lost last night had nothing to do with WWE souring on him as the new face of the company. Quite the opposite, in fact. The moment WrestleMania 33 was over, WWE penciled in the main event for next year's big event in New Olreans. Roman would go through a year long quest to take the Universal Championship from Brock Lesnar.
While this makes sense for a marquee match-up on the Grandest Stage of Them All, it leaves WWE having to book around both men for an entire year. Extreme Rules will likely be the first of many times where Reigns comes close, but fails to get his shot at RAW's top prize.
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Samoa Joe will get his shot at The Beast at next month's Great Balls of Fire ppv and the returning Braun Strowman will get his shot at SummerSlam, so Roman will have to occupy himself for at least three months before he can even mention the words, 'Brock Lesnar'.
It was revealed on the Dirty Sheets "DS Breaking News" Podcast that a feud with The Miz was already planned to begin after Extreme Rules, where Roman and Braun were originally set to face off in an Ambulance Match. Roman was surprisingly going to take another loss to Strowman, which would have then sent The Monster Among Men into his program with Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire and Reigns after The Miz and his Intercontinental Championship.
Strowman's unexpected injury caused the WWE to change course but maintain their longterm plans at the same time.
Bill Bhatti of WrestlingINC.com, went on to say, "Our sources also mentioned that the original plan was for Roman Reigns to win the Intercontinental Championship from Miz, with the idea being that when Roman challenges Lesnar at WrestleMania 34, the Universal Championship will be the only Championship that he hasn't won."
If all these rumors are true, Reigns and The Miz should be able to put together an epic program. With The Miz's ability to blur the lines of reality in all his feuds, it may allow him to vent some of the fans' frustrations with Reigns' character while also giving Reigns an opportunity to win that section of fans over.
But at this point of his career, is the Intercontinental Championship below Reigns? Coming off retiring the most legendary WWE Superstar in history, winning a mid-card championship seems like a bit of a let down.