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Roman Reigns is not the main event

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Singles match

Jinder Mahal vs. Roman Reigns

WWE’s done a pretty good job of bringing some real heat to this feud, but it’s hard to get too invested when we all expect The Big Dog will resume his pursuit of Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship as soon as possible.

The Road to Money in the Bank

Like one of the SmackDown matches on the card, the roots of this one come from the Money in the Bank ladder match qualifying series.

Reigns was already reeling from a controversial loss to Lesnar at Greatest Royal Rumble which left him declaring himself an “uncrowned champion”. So when Mahal decided to take out his frustration from being left out of a qualifier by General Manager Kurt Angle on Roman, costing him a chance to compete for the briefcase...

... it brought out a side of Roman we haven’t seen in a while. Gone was the guy who complained about being screwed by management. Back was The Guy who runs his yard however he sees fit to do so:

Things have stayed at that kind of a personal and fevered pitch since. Jinder’s had run-ins with both Reigns and his Shield brother Seth Rollins. Even though a tag match where he partnered with Kevin Owens against the pair ended in defeat, Mahal got the last laugh by taking them both out with a chair:

A double team attack with Sunil Singh on Reigns helped Mahal defeat the pair when he teamed up with Elias a week later. Then Jinder played mind games, goading Roman into a one-on-one match last Monday, but feeding Singh to The Big Dog instead.

What’s at stake?

While I’m not as down on this program as my colleagues in our video department...

... I do agree there’s no chance this could, or should, main event. Which is an interesting step down for someone who really probably should have the Universal Title over his shoulder, even if he still gets booed a lot.

Part of the reason he’s facing Mahal, most think, was to put Roman opposite someone that vocal segment of the fanbase hates more than him. They’ve told an old-school story to give us a lot of reasons to want to see The Modern Day Maharajah get his comeuppance. Will it work?

There’s a lot riding on the answer to that, for both men in the ring and the team making decisions backstage. If Jinder can help get Reigns the reaction Vince McMahon reportedly wants, that’s a big feather in his cap as he seeks to prove he is the top heel they booked him as in 2017. If Roman is still treated as a pariah even against Mahal, will SummerSlam be another Reigns/Lesnar match - or will they move to a Triple Threat with Rollins? Or even give Seth the spot opposite Brock instead of Roman?

Then there’s the possibility they could put Jinder over here and do it again at Extreme Rules next month, or move on from The Big Dog as a #1 contender altogether. It seems unlikely, but WWE has proven to be stubborn in wanting to establish Mahal as a main eventer.

Well told or no, for what’s essentially a non-title, mid-card match, there’s a lot of drama in this one. Watch it unfold on WWE Network, and follow along right here at Cageside Seats, Sun., June 17 at 7PM Eastern.

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Roman Reigns
    (446 votes)
  • 24%
    Jinder Mahal
    (141 votes)
587 votes total Vote Now