When it comes to Saturday’s Crown Jewel main event, the result is merely a formality. The second this match was booked we all knew that Roman Reigns was going to fly back home from Saudi Arabia with the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.
Let’s be honest, it didn’t matter who WWE booked as Roman’s opponent, his historic 795 day reign was going to continue beyond this weekend. So, please don’t take this as a shot a Logan Paul.
As a matter of fact, I love the decision to put Logan Paul in this position. When a title run has reached the lengths that Roman’s has, it can be tough to find fresh and interesting match-ups. The Head of the Table has, quiet literally, smashed nearly every credible challenger the locker room has to offer over the last two years and change.
That’s not to say there weren’t other options available. I’m still waiting for creative to heat up AJ Styles so we can relive the magic he and Roman created in 2016. Bobby Lashley is another guy who feels strangely overlooked for this spot considering how strongly he’s been booked in recent years. Maybe a win over Brock Lesnar on Saturday will jump him to the front of the line.
Seth “Freaking” Rollins would have been another excellent choice. He’s the only man to beat Roman in one-on-one competition this year, albeit via disqualification. That said, I’m sure Triple H will get there. He’ll get to Rollins, Lashley, and Styles at some point in the not too distant future. He’ll need them to bridge the gap to the likes of Bray Wyatt, Karrion Kross, and GUNTHER. All newer additions to the main roster that aren’t quite ready yet for a World Title program.
A recent report from the Wrestling Observer says that WWE is at the very least considering moving ahead with a Roman Reigns/Bray Wyatt program sooner rather than later due to how white hot Wyatt has been since his return. It would make sense. Let us not forget who the last Universal Champion was before Roman won the Title at Payback in 2020. It was Bray Wyatt and Roman pinned Braun Strowman to take it from him. Wyatt also never received his rematch for the gold.
The story is there. It makes sense to go that direction and you can sign me up as wanting to see it. But I trust that Triple H will make the right call and wait. There’s no need to rush into it. Let whatever is happening with Bray and the Wyatt 6 play out, before revisiting his past with the Tribal Chief. Again, it’s not like there aren’t other options available.
I’d be remiss not to mention Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton, who will hopefully both be back healthy sometime in 2023. And that’s kind of my point here. Whether you acknowledge the Tribal Chief or not, you better settle in, because it’s extremely likely his reign as WWE Universal Champion is going beyond WrestleMania 39.
Whether it’s Bray Wyatt, Cody Rhodes, Karrion Kross or anyone else I’ve failed to mention, someone is (presumably) going to beat Roman for the titles one day, but it’s not going to be Logan Paul. And that’s ok. Predictable doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad.
Logan Paul didn’t get here just because of his social media following or the popularity of his podcast. He’s really good. He is way better than anyone wrestling in their third ever match has any business being. Triple H would not put Logan Paul in this position if he didn’t trust him to go out there and deliver.
Roman Reigns and Logan Paul are going to put on a hell of a performance on Saturday. And I suspect that this match will be constructed in a way that will try to sell the audience that Logan actually has a chance of beating the Tribal Chief.
This may or may not date me, but I’m thinking back to the ending of Cinderella Man. If you haven’t seen it, it’s one of my all time favorite movies. Based on the life of former Heavyweight Boxing Champion James J. Braddock. Phenomenal film. Paul Giamatti got robbed of the Best Supporting Actor Award, but I digress.
I suspect Roman Reigns will play the role of Max Baer early on in this fight. He’s not going to take Logan too seriously, because he doesn’t actually view him as a threat to the Championship. I suspect the Tribal Chief will look to carry him for the wrestling equivalent of a “few rounds.” Put on a good show for the paying customers. He’s going to be cocky and he’s going to slip, allowing Paul to hit that one lucky shot.
This Saturday, November 5, 2022: The End of #CelebrityFighting, as YOUR #TribalChief @WWERomanReigns will SMASH @LoganPaul live in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at @WWE #CrownJewel @peacock @wwenetwork @ShahidVOD— Paul Heyman (@HeymanHustle) November 3, 2022
Read the entire post here - https://t.co/rlTUDCWETv pic.twitter.com/jBAg3HSlLs
There will be a near fall. There will be several of them. I suspect Logan’s brother Jake will get involved as well. Somewhere along the way, we are all going to be sold that Paul had the Title won before Roman hits us with one of his classic last second kick-outs.
Unlike Ron Howard’s 2005 Oscar nominated classic however (spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen it), the clock will strike midnight on the underdog. Roman Reigns will win. But it’s how he’s going to win that I believe is the most important aspect of this match. He’s got to do it on his own.
There’s no denying that Roman Reigns is on a historic World Title run, but there’s also no denying that without Paul Heyman, the Bloodline, and even sometimes an act of God, this reign would have ended a long time ago. Sometimes the outside interference has made sense. He is a heel after all. Heels cheat. But there’s nothing wrong with a badass bad guy that just dominates his opponents either, and Roman has relied on getting assistance from his family just a little too much for this writer’s taste.
He shouldn’t need help. He’s the man. He’s the Head of the Table. He runs this damn industry. I acknowledge the Tribal Chief. I also acknowledge the need to protect certain Superstars in big matches. But Logan Paul is not that guy.
I can put Logan Paul over all day. He’s very fluid in the ring. His athleticism is off the charts. He knows how to work a crowd. I remember being there live in Nashville, watching this man get booed out of Nissan Stadium on his way to the ring at SummerSlam and then get a standing ovation after he beat The Miz. He was that impressive. But this is still a mismatch.
Logan, and Jake Paul for that matter, can throw everything they have and the kitchen sink at Roman Reigns and he should just plow right on through.
Now, am I making a big deal of something that won’t mean much in the grand scheme of things? Probably. 5-10 years from now, long after Roman’s run has come to an end, is anyone going to really remember how Reigns won his matches? Maybe some will, but not many. All they will remember is this epic, potentially 1000 day plus, reign as World Champion.
Me personally, I’d like to see Roman win this one clean. That’s what makes sense from a storyline standpoint. Allow me to beat a dead horse for one second, Logan Paul is wrestling in his third match ever. The Tribal Chief should not need help to stand tall.
You can make it close. It’s extremely possible to put Logan over in defeat and you can do it without screwing him over. You have to book your World Champion strong in this one. The result of this match may be a foregone conclusion, but it’s the finish that will ultimately mean more in the end... at least to me.