Roman Reigns challenges Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Title this Friday afternoon at The Greatest Royal Rumble special on WWE Network. And, depending on who you believe, Reigns is expected to win the championship on Friday.
However, you wouldn’t know that watching this week’s episode of Raw.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman came to the ring for a promo, and Heyman — as usual — was perfect. He hit on all the right notes and generated a lot of heel heat for Lesnar going into the show on Friday in Saudi Arabia.
Roman Reigns came out and surprisingly wasn’t booed. Weird, right? Reigns didn’t cut a very long promo at all — it was only a few lines in a script — before Reigns dropped his mic, and left.
Seriously … he walked out.
The weirdest part of the whole segment was how friendly the St. Louis crowd was to Reigns. They weren’t hostile or unwelcoming whatsoever. In fact, this was the biggest babyface reaction Reigns has received in months. If not longer.
Having Reigns cut a short promo in front of a hostile crowd is one thing. And in WWE’s defense, they had no way of knowing how the St. Louis crowd would react to Reigns. Reigns has been so universally hated the last month, it was fair to expect more of the same on Monday night. But after watching the segment unfold, it would be hard to believe that WWE didn’t wish it called an audible.
And now we head for Friday … will WWE really pull the trigger with Reigns as WWE Universal Champion? On Monday, the crew returns to North American soil and heads to Montreal for an episode of Raw. That crowd, more than likely, won’t be friendly to Reigns. WWE might get the reaction it’s looking for in Saudi Arabia on Friday, but Monday night in Montreal — with many more eyes on Reigns — they’re not likely to get the reaction they want.
Will WWE (i.e. Vince McMahon) go through with its hard-headed plan with Reigns? Probably. Will it get rejected three days later in front of the world on live television? You betcha.