Roman Reigns Declines John Cena’s SummerSlam Challenge, Finn Balor Steps Up on WWE SmackDown

Published 07/23/2021, 10:21 PM EDT


WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns appeared with Paul Heyman to answer John Cena’s challenge on WWE SmackDown this week (7/23). However, things took a shocking turn in the end.

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In his promo earlier, Cena said that no one wanted Rollins as the Universal Champion and The Tribal Chief “sucks.” Starting his response in the main event, Reigns wanted the Cleaveland crowd and the fans at home, to acknowledge him first.

He argued Cena had already done so at MITB, RAW, and SmackDown with his continuous promos. In fact, Reigns also wanted to acknowledge John Cena but the latter’s “nostalgia” and same old tactics. act bored out Reigns.

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He said if he wanted more of Cena’s old gimmick he would watch the videos from 2005. The Tribal Chief, then poked fun at Cena’s audacity to ask for a title opportunity after a year of absence.

Reigns was not motivated or interested in John Cena anymore, so the latter was right. Roman Reigns did not “see” John Cena, he did not want to “see” Cena. Hence, his ‘answer’ to John Cena’s SummerSlam challenge is ‘no.’

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Finn Balor emerges to challenge Roman Reigns on SmackDown

The crowd booed Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman after the refusal. Then, all of a sudden, Finn Balor‘s music hit and he came to confront Reigns. While Reigns thought The Prince was there to acknowledge him but in reality, Balor challenged Reigns for the title.

The Tribal Chief was baffled at the proposal at first. The Crowd chanted “Roman’s scared.” This prompted Roman Reigns to accept the impromptu challenge as SmackDown went off the air.

On the MITB go-home edition of SmackDown, Finn Balor returned to the main roster after three years. This week, he defeated Sami Zayn early in the night as well.

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At WWE’s The Bump, Balor said he was back for championship gold and revealed his intentions to reclaim the Universal Championship. Balor was the first-ever Universal Champion but had to relinquish the shortly after his victory thanks to a shoulder injury.

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 15: Michael Conlon and Finn Balor pose at the Final Press Conference for the Jose Ramirez vs Amir Imam Super Lightweight fight at Madison Square Garden on March 15, 2018, in New York City. (Photo by Bill Tompkins/Getty Images)

Till now, Balor has won the Intercontinental Championship and the NXT Championship. However, he is yet to win another World title. The Reigns vs Balor match’s date and venue are yet to be announced.

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Could Finn Balor reclaim the title he never lost ad put an end to Reigns’ Universal title run? Let us know in the comments below.

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Angana Roy

1266 articles

Angana Roy is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports, having published more than 800 professional wrestling articles. She is currently pursuing higher studies in English language and literature from the University of Calcutta and has over three years of experience in journalism. As a life-long fan of the sports entertainment brand of pro-wrestling, her work consists of live coverage of weekly shows, PPVs, speculating the future course of storylines and everything in between.

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