Roman Reigns has looked back on his reign as WWE Universal Champion so far and discussed the title matches that are most special to him.
Roman Reigns has now held the WWE Universal Championship for over 400 days since he won it in a No Holds Barred Triple Threat match against then-champion ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman at Payback on August 30th, 2020.
He has defended the title an incredible 16 times during a dominant reign as the ‘Tribal Chief’. Challengers have included WWE legends such as Rey Mysterio and John Cena as well as the best of the current generation such as Daniel Bryan – now AEW’s Bryan Danielson.
Speaking to Bleacher Report, Roman Reigns has opened up about the matches that are his favourites and the things that made each special to him. Top of the list was the feud he had with his cousin, Jey Uso, when he was solidifying himself as the ‘Head of the Table’ and wanted Uso to acknowledge him as such.
“I think to me, personally, I think the most special was the stuff I did with my cousin Jey. I felt more connected to those two matches and that storyline than I’ve ever felt to anything else, and a lot of those promos and stuff like that and the emotion you could see in it were real. I think we were able to tap into baggage that we’ve had that we may have never spoke about or thought was an issue like common ground, but it was something we were able to dive into.”
Next up was the Triple Threat match he had with Daniel Bryan – now AEW’s Bryan Danielson – and Edge at WrestleMania 37. The end of the match saw Reigns pin both men at the same time.
“When you hear Paul Heyman go in on it and laying down the history of it being the dominant finish in WrestleMania main event history, nobody’s ever stacked two guys in the main event of WrestleMania, and I did that. For me to be able to say I did that is crazy, but I think that’s just recognition and an accolade alone.”
The final bout he spoke of was the epic one-on-one clash he had with the ‘Rated-R Superstar’ at Money In The Bank on July 18th, 2021. The match was acclaimed by both fans and critics alike, even garnering 4.25 stars from the Wrestling Observer. Roman Reigns himself believes the bout was “phenomenal”.
“One that’s super special to me as well, outside of the stuff I did with my family because it was so strong with Jey, was the match I had with Edge at Money in the Bank. I believe that was in Fort Worth, the first pay-per-view back. I haven’t watched that match back, so I can’t really detail the energy and if it was as loud as it was in the arena, but in the arena, that crowd was live. The timing and the pacing, I’ve seen some critique it and call it a little slow, but that’s what the heavyweights in main events do.
“I’m not going to go out there and sprint around and do flips for no reason. We were following the actual Money in the Bank ladder match, which is just a spot-fest and crazy stunt fest in its own right. To go in there with Edge–everyone knows what he’s done for this business, the experience and the passion that he brings, to go out there and experience that reaction and that story that was being told out there together, it was phenomenal.”
Roman Reigns is scheduled to make his 17th defence of the Universal Championship in Saudi Arabia at Crown Jewel on October 21st. In possibly his biggest challenge to date, he will face off against ‘The Conqueror’ Brock Lesnar.