Ever since his rise as a singles star in WWE, fans have theorized the potential of a villainous Roman Reigns. Nevertheless, the Vince McMahon-led promotion was adamant to put over The Big Dog as a strong babyface and a successor to John Cena as the company’s franchise player. Fans didn’t react too kindly, and for years Reigns represented a tug-of-war between the WWE Universe and the management.
Reigns, however, was a talented in-ring performer who improved every day and had no fault in the above-mentioned struggle. When WWE finally decided to turn him heel, Roman Reigns proved himself from day one.
Assisted by the presence of an incredible storyteller in Paul Heyman, Roman Reigns has turned out to be a must-see WWE Superstar.
Reigns has held the WWE Universal Championship for more than 450 days and has defeated the likes of Cesaro, Finn Balor, Edge and Daniel Bryan.
However, there is no shortage of probable challengers to face The Head Of The Table for the top gold. Here is a list of five superstars who could potentially challenge Reigns next.
#5 Former WWE Champion Jeff Hardy
Survivor Series proved, if nothing else, that fans still possessed an incredible amount of love and respect for Jeff Hardy. WWE has consistently misused Hardy in his latest singles run, and even his lack of major victories have not been able to ruin his credibility. Hardy is a beloved babyface, and the company must use this to their advantage.
Roman Reigns, the numero uno villain of SmackDown, must be pitted against the veteran, daredevil babyface spirit of Jeff Hardy.
The Charismatic Enigma is heading towards the twilight of his career, and this might be the final chance to be involved in a main event storyline.
Reigns should still be the victor of the battle against the fans’ wishes, cheering for Hardy’s return to the zenith.
#4 Former WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn has been a member of the WWE main roster since 2015, and he has hardly achieved the expected success. While he perfectly fits in the role of an exceptional comic heel claiming conspiracies against him, the gimmick has a midcard ceiling. Sami Zayn as a performer has the potential to move beyond that.
Zayn vs. Reigns is an interesting match-up, but it won’t work if the former remains a heel. Sami Zayn must return to his babyface roots and regain adulation from the fans before facing The Tribal Chief for a match or two.
SmackDown doesn’t have too many main-event babyfaces at the moment and Zayn would effortlessly occupy the empty spot.
#3 Current WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura
WWE fans are yet to taste the captivating matches Shinsuke Nakamura is capable of producing. He has never been anywhere near his best since his arrival on the main roster. Nakamura may not be a world champion in the company, but another main event program is both exciting and probable.
Nakamura can move forward to a program with Reigns as the WWE Intercontinental Champion or he can drop the title before entering a rivalry with The Tribal Chief.
#2 Former Universal Champion Brock Lesnar
The Beast Incarnate has not been seen in WWE since his absolute destruction of authority figure Adam Pearce. For whatever reason, Pearce has revealed himself to be a villain.
The company has already hinted at a Lesnar return through an interview with Paul Heyman. Interviewer Kayla Braxton noted that rumors suggested the former WWE Universal Champion’s suspension has been lifted.
Lesnar can return and move back to his usual place at the top of the card, challenging Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship and creating general trouble for Paul Heyman.
#1 Former WWE Champion Drew McIntyre
Ever since Drew McIntyre was drafted to SmackDown, a feud between him and the Universal Champion has been seen as inevitable. If the company doesn’t decide to save the rivalry for WrestleMania season, this is the right time to pull the trigger.
Reigns has been champion for an extended period and a match-up against one of the company’s most dominant full-time stars will be a great challenge to his Championship run. The reign must end at some point, and there’s no one more credible than the Scottish Terminator to end the rule of Roman Reigns.
Reigns and McIntyre are no strangers to each other and their previous match-ups displayed in-ring work of outstanding quality. Fans may expect some severe and physical battles between the duo.