Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley wrestled at Extreme Rules on Sunday night, with Lashley taking the pinfall victory over Reigns.
Then last night on Raw, Kurt Angle booked a pair of triple threat matches, with the winners advancing to a singles match next week in a No. 1 contender’s match to determine who will face Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Title at SummerSlam in five weeks. Reigns beat Drew McIntyre and Finn Balor while Lashley beat Seth Rollins and Elias to advance.
Given WWE’s traditional 50/50 booking, Reigns is likely the favorite heading into the No. 1 contender’s match next week, “getting his win back” over Lashley from the pay-per-view. Historically, that’s how WWE would book the storyline. Hopefully, they break the mold, because if not, the results could be disasterous at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.
Lesnar is headed back to the UFC after he drops the title at SummerSlam. Does WWE remember what happened the last time Lesnar was leaving the company? In 2004, at WrestleMania 20 in New York, Lesnar wrestled his final WWE match against Goldberg, who was also leaving WWE.
The crowd totally rejected them. Not even Steve Austin, who served as the special guest referee, could salvage the match. The crowd booed and Lesnar and Goldberg dogged it. It was an embarrassing performance on numerous levels.
Granted this situation is different — Reigns isn’t going anywhere — but Reigns is also universally hated.
Therefore, hopefully WWE goes with Lashley against Lesnar. It’s the fresher match — we haven’t seen it — and the crowd will genuinely support Lashley. Despite the foolish booking between him and Sami Zayn, Lashley has been well received. And last night, WWE fans in Buffalo were chanting at Kurt Angle to strip Lesnar of the title, indicating that the fanbase is growing tired of Lesnar’s antics and are sick of him not appearing on TV with the title every week.
Besides, this gives WWE the chance to crown a new babyface within the company. They’ve tried it with Reigns, and it’s been rejected. Giving Lashley two wins over Reigns and then a clean win over Lesnar, all within a few weeks, is a heck of a statement.
Not to get overly political, but it also gives WWE the chance to crown a black world champion, which is something the company has lacked over the years, all while recently welcoming back Hulk Hogan into the company.
Lashley deserves the spot. Hopefully he gets it, and there’s not a cloud there hanging over his reign.
Other Raw thoughts …
Drew McIntyre will be a world champion by this time next year. … Why did Bobby Roode wrestle Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match, and lose? Non-title matches are usually there for babyface challengers to win, and earn a title shot.