SmackDown from the WWE Thunderdome this weekend ended with the reveal of one of the most significant new relationships in recent WWE history.
Paul Heyman is now aligned with Roman Reigns!
A show long angle saw producer Adam Pearce attempting to get all three participants in Sunday’a Universal Title Triple Threat Match to sign the contract for the bout.
The official first appeared as Postman Pearce on the Firefly Funhouse to persuade Bray Wyatt to sign ‘on behalf’ of The Fiend.
Later in the show, Pearce was witness, and almost framed for, an attack on Braun Strowman by Drew Gulak who was out for revenge for Strowman’s attack on him last week. Strowman subsequently agreed to sign as long as Pearce gave him a match that night with Gulak. The match was made and the contract duly signed.
This left only Roman Reigns to sign and Pearce got his signature in the closing angle of the show. Reigns guaranteed he would be at Payback on Sunday and in the match.
Then came the big reveal. He said his winning the match was not just a conviction…it was a spoiler!
The camera then panned to a grinning Paul Heyman who delivered the show closing ‘Believe That’ line.
This was a shocking end to SmackDown that leads to the conclusion that Roman Reigns is now a heel. If true, this makes for a huge shift in then dynamic of WWE’s main event scene and its business model.
Long thought of us as an untouchable face character similar to John Cena, do WWE feel the circumstances are right to make Reigns heel?
Drew McIntyre has done a wonderful job in the role of totemic babyface with an edge that Reigns never quite fit into. Whilst there are no fans in arenas, the sense is that the fanbase accepts and supports McIntyre as that ‘face of the company’ in a way they never did Reigns. Is it because he is perceived to have paid his dues, whereas Reigns was hand-picked for the role?
Whatever the truth, the SmackDown main event picture, Payback and Roman Reigns just got significantly more interesting.