It's time for Roman Reigns to lose something, anything

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Before I start, there is something I want to make clear: this will NOT be a defense of the WWE reportedly not yet knowing how it wants to handle Roman Reigns as the unified champion. Any company in the business of storytelling should be able to consider short- and long-term plans for major stories. Storytelling isn’t easy, but having a creative thought or two shouldn't be hard.

That said, what exactly should be next for Roman Reigns?

All in all, Reigns’ story on Smackdown has been told well. It can get redundant—which I think is more a byproduct of having to produce a weekly two-hour program that complicates narrative pacing. But in the big picture, WWE gets brownie points.

Reigns' story has been simple: he wants to firmly be at the top of the WWE with no challengers. He aligned himself with Paul Heyman (who managed Brock Lesnar to a 504-day Universal Championship reign), manipulated his family into backing him up, ran through challengers that include Edge, Daniel Bryan, and John Cena, and tried to murder Rey Mysterio's son with a powerbomb.

And that last bit had little to do with Reigns' journey, but Christ it was awesome.

But the shadow of Lesnar's title run was always the big fish. And once Reigns was able to get a date with the final boss with everything on the line—something he couldn't have predicted but proudly accepted—Reigns seized all of the power.

Reigns' was on a journey for what he wanted, found (or kind of stumbled into) what he wanted, and took it. That's Story Structure 101. Thing is, the next step in this structure is for Reigns to pay some sort of price for finally getting everything he fought for. This is the part where Reigns should lose something.

The most obvious thing for Reigns to lose is the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. But this week, the WWE presented another possibility: the foundation Reigns has built.

Reigns seems to be on a journey to collect all of the gold. And I know Riddle mentioning Thanos and the infinity stones was goofy as all hell. But bro, Reigns really is at that level right now. This man sent the equivalent of Thanos' children to get more hardware. Win or lose, the results of the Usos following Reigns' orders will be fascinating.

While we can speculate that the WWE won't do anything adventurous with this next year, there are chances for the second part (and hopefully, second half) of Reigns' story to not be so predictable. I don't know what the WWE should do. I don't even know what I would like for them to do. I'm happy to just sit back and see what happens. That said, I have a creative thought or two on what WWE could do to complete Reigns' journey.

Cody Rhodes is the guy

The story is already set. Rhodes is on his own journey to be a World Champion and make himself and his family proud. The logical conclusion would be Rhodes defeating Reigns. This could be accomplished a myriad of ways, but it ends with Rhodes getting what he wants and Reigns being left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath.

Roman Reigns loses The Bloodline

Maybe Reigns doesn't lose the title, but he does lose his family and support system. So much of Reigns' success can be attributed to the company he keeps. But imagine the Usos are no longer champions. Could that create a big enough rift that the Bloodline splits? Or what if the Usos stay on top while Reigns doesn't? It would be interesting to see how going solo could change Reigns.

Roman Reigns runs through the Raw roster

I mean, heh, why not? In this scenario, the only thing Reigns' loses is challengers and motivation on his way to WrestleMania 39.

Roman Reigns gets exhausted or injured

I'm going to borrow some incidental MMA storytelling. There have only been four double champions in the UFC to hold two belts simultaneously. The one worth mentioning is Amanda Nunes because she is the only one of those four to defend both her titles and travel back and forth between two divisions. She lost one of her titles in December in a massive upset, a fight where Nunes seemed mentally detached from the moment—which is definitely discrediting her challenger Julianna Peña, but whatever, I'm trying to tell a story.

What if Roman just gets exhausted from fighting every person who comes after him? What if he has a storyline injury for taking on too many fights? The idea of Reigns losing simply because the pressure and competition got too high wouldn't be the worst idea. It would be like Reigns pays the price for flying too close to the sun.

Roman Reigns gets too arrogant

Here's another MMA comparison: Anderson Silva's historic reign falling at the hands of his own arrogance against Chris Weidman. I've been begging for a similar story in the WWE. Insane and crazy outcomes is what makes sports great, and I would be all in on the WWE pulling one with Reigns. Imagine Reigns running through the competition, only to suddenly lose to a guy like Riddle, cleanly (I might add), simply because Reigns is feeling himself too much. Reigns pays the price for his hubris.

Someone costs Roman Reigns everything

This may be the easiest path to The Rock x Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39—which at this point, feels as though it HAS to happen next April. Reigns pays the price for his ambitions by losing everything he put together thanks to meddling or direct involvement from someone else. And while that person doesn't have to be The Rock, the turmoil could open the door to Reigns and The Rock crossing paths.

I'm sure there are like 14,000,605 other possibilities I didn't consider or mention. I'm sure you have a lot of possibilities of your own (feel free to share them). The point is I don't know which possible outcomes are better, or if there is a "perfect" finish to an already good story. As silly as it sounds that the WWE doesn't know what to do next, I can't really blame them.

There can only be one, and if the WWE has already thrown all of their ideas on the table, choosing a direction doesn’t sound easy. Dammit, now I'm defending them. I swore I wouldn't do that, too. Didn't see this coming.

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