Everything You Need to Know about the Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns Rivalry

Published 12/16/2020, 10:00 AM EST
Professional Wrestling: WWE SummerSlam: Roman Reigns in action vs vs Brock Lesnar during Universal Championship match at Barclays Center. Brooklyn, NY 8/19/2018 CREDIT: Rob Tringali (Photo by Rob Tringali /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (Set Number: X162079 TK1 )


Modern-day rivalries in WWE lack the intensity that Attitude Era feuds held. No rivalry comes close to the Rock vs Steve Austin or Vince McMahon vs Steve Austin, or even HBK vs Triple H. WWE had a potential goldmine on their hands in Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns, but botched its execution completely.

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Roman Reigns was the favorite to beat the Beast

Before we dive into the matches, let’s look at why Roman Reigns was the perfect man to dethrone the Beast. Prior to Shield splitting up, Roman Reigns was one of the most popular superstars on the roster. His hard-hitting style and no-nonsense persona made him a modern-day anti-hero. At the 2014 Royal Rumble, Reigns broke Kane’s record for the most eliminations by dumping 12 people out of the match.

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WWE were clearly trying to groom Roman as the next face of the WWE. Unfortunately, the fans did not like Roman being forced down their throats when there were already more popular superstars in their ranks. This notion came to fruition at the 2015 Royal Rumble, when Reigns was booed out of the arena after winning the Royal Rumble match.

Roman vs Brock’s matches

Reigns faced Lesnar at WrestleMania 31. The two would have a brutal slugfest, which climaxed perfectly with Seth Rollins cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. Reigns would not get another crack at the title till Survivor Series, where he eventually won it. He would cross paths with Lesnar (the triple threat match also featured Dean Ambrose) once more at Fastlane to determine who would challenge for the WWE title at WrestleMania 32.

Roman had never pinned Lesnar, which was not a startling fact. The Beast always proved to have Reigns’ number, and he did so again at SummerSlam 2017. In an amazing fatal four way match also involving Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe, Brock pinned Roman to retain the WWE Universal Championship.

The next time Roman and Lesnar met was at WrestleMania 34. Reigns was the favourite to beat Lesnar for the title, but WWE had other ideas. Fans hated that match for a variety of reasons. Roman kicked out of five F5s. That’s two more than what it took to put down the Undertaker. Lesnar ended up hitting a sixth F5 to end the match.

Reigns pinned Lesnar for the first time at SummerSlam 2018 to win the WWE Universal Championship. Although it took a distraction from Braun Strowman to win, it will go down as a clean win for Roman. This was the last time the two met in the ring.

How did WWE botch Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar?

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By booking Brock Lesnar like an invincible supervillain, WWE booked themselves into a corner. They needed a superhero to level the playing field against the Beast. Reigns would have fit the bill. As Paul Heyman puts it, Reigns was the best person who WWE could offer to beat the Beast.

Reigns and Lesnar are the only superstars to beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania. WWE did not even use that fact to their advantage. The blatant mismanagement of Reigns’ momentum and throwing him from one feud to the other cooled off his popularity. Eventually, the WWE Universe was tired of seeing Reigns being pushed to the moon.

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WWE really had a goldmine on their hands in Lesnar vs Reigns. Can WWE right that wrong in 2021? With Reigns aligned with Paul Heyman, it levels the playing field. A Brock vs Roman match might be a delight to watch in 2021.

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Nathan Fulgado

1021 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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