Following his win over Drew McIntyre at Clash at the Castle thanks to interference from his cousin, Solo Sikoa, it is reportedly unclear who undisputed WWE universal champion Roman Reigns’ next challenger will be.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of ThirstyForNews.com), Reigns will not be part of Extreme Rules on Oct. 8, and he isn’t expected to have his next “major match” until Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia on Nov. 5.
Meltzer noted that while Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins have been teased as potential opponents and could face Reigns in the future, he has been told that neither of them will be The Tribal Chief’s opponent at Crown Jewel
Since beating Brock Lesnar to unify the world titles at WrestleMania, Reigns’ appearances and matches have been fleeting. In fact, Clash at the Castle represented only his third televised title defense since WrestleMania.
With Reigns taking on a lighter schedule, it has arguably made his matches mean even more, and it has also allowed him to stretch his title run to beyond two years.
Any title defense Reigns has at this point is significant, and while Owens and Rollins would be great opponents, they apparently aren’t on the immediate radar.
Karrion Kross makes sense as a potential challenger, given that he essentially gave Reigns a warning when he returned to the company last month.
Reigns could also possibly face Braun Strowman, who returned to WWE earlier this week and is seemingly ticketed to be a babyface on the SmackDown brand.
For now, it looks like Reigns will be left out of a major storyline for the next month, but his next rivalry is undoubtedly a topic of great interest to the WWE Universe.
WWE Waiting for Right Moment for Heyman Return
Paul Heyman is waiting in the wing until the perfect time to make his return to WWE programming.
According to Meltzer (h/t Mukherjee), Heyman has been in attendance at “all the Smackdowns and major events” since he last appeared on television, but WWE has been holding off in order for him to make a “dynamic return.”
Heyman has not been seen on WWE programming since SummerSlam when he was in Reigns’ corner for the Last Man Standing WWE Universal Championship match against Lesnar.
When Heyman attempted to stop Lesnar from attacking Reigns during the match, The Beast Incarnate put his former advocate through the announce table with an F-5.
Heyman sold the spot perfectly and has been kept off TV ever since in an effort to fully sell the effects of Lesnar’s signature move.
As a result, Heyman was not in Reigns’ corner for his match against McIntyre at Clash at the Castle in Cardiff, Wales. Reigns didn’t have The Usos or Sami Zayn with him either since McIntyre took them out the night before on SmackDown.
It was the unexpected main roster debut of Sikoa that bailed Reigns out, seemingly adding another member to The Bloodline and strengthening it even more.
Heyman is an integral part of The Bloodline in his own right, and there is little doubt that his presence makes the overall presentation and entertainment value of the group even better.
Morgan Addresses Negative Crowd Reaction
Liv Morgan wasn’t caught off guard when fans recently booed her following her win over Ronda Rousey at SummerSlam.
After Morgan won the Money in the Bank ladder match and successfully cashed in on Rousey to become SmackDown women’s champion at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Morgan retained the title against Rousey at SummerSlam.
The finish was controversial, though, as Rousey’s shoulders were counted down to the mat by the referee despite the fact that Morgan tapped out to an armbar just before the three count.
That led to Rousey attacking Morgan and the officials in a rage after the match.
On the ensuing episode of SmackDown, Morgan showed up with her arm in a sling and caught a promo in front of the live crowd, but she was met with some boos and a “you tapped out” chant despite being a babyface.
Speaking to Gorilla Position (h/t Mukherjee), Morgan divulged that the reaction didn’t shock her, saying: “No, it didn’t surprise me. I kind of weirdly anticipated it. But, in the same time, it kind of made me feel like I had a little bit of an edge because at the end of the day, the referee’s decision is final and I’m still SmackDown women’s champion.”
A big part of the reason why Morgan won Money in the Bank and the SmackDown women’s title seemed to be that there was an organic groundswell of support behind her from the WWE Universe.
Still, when a babyface isn’t booked to look strong, it is often difficult to keep that support in place.
Morgan made amends at Clash at the Castle by scoring a clean victory over Shayna Baszler, but it remains to be seen if she will be able to regain the support she had back at Money in the Bank.