At WrestleMania Night 2, Roman Reigns single-handedly defeated Brock Lesnar to become the new Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. This would mark their third Mania match going back to WrestleMania 31, where Reigns, an over-pushed babyface, would challenge Lesnar for the title. Neither man would walk out with the title though, as Seth Rollins would weasel his way into the main event and steal the championship.
Fast forward to WrestleMania 34, where Reigns would once again unsuccessfully challenge for the Universal Championship against Lesnar. It appeared that Reigns would win the big one but, Lesnar would embarrass him and retain the title until SummerSlam.
This would be the last time these two juggernauts would cross paths until the 2021 SummerSlam pay per view thanks to the pandemic.
Reigns had just accomplished his goal of solidifying himself as the top guy in WWE after taking out sixteen-time world champion John Cena in convincing fashion. “The Tribal Chief” stood over his fallen victim as guitar riff echoed throughout the arena and “The Beast Incarnate” made his triumphant return to the WWE. This time it was much different with Reigns positioned as the top heel of the company and Lesnar’s longtime advocate Paul Heyman in The Bloodline.
Two superstars would face off at Crown Jewel where Lesnar would be screwed out of the match essentially pissing off The Beast. Lesnar would eventually win the WWE Championship at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view setting up this massive title-for-title match at Mania 38. Lesnar would produce some of his greatest storytelling since 2003.
Ahead of their match, Lesnar would speak with the New York Post on his thoughts on Reigns and this is what he said: “I see a f–king superstar. I see I guy who came into his own and is a real threat as person and as a character. … Roman has the It factor, has had it. It’s exciting to me. I get goosebumps just thinking about this match.”
Never before have I believed that not only does Lesnar sees Reigns as the real deal but, also bestows some respect on his opponent. I think a lot of the WWE Universe felt that Lesnar knew that Reigns being pushed as a babyface was a huge mistake. I truly believe that Reigns defeating what seemed to be the last big boss in his way solidifies him as a G.O.A.T.
While their big-money match didn’t live up to the hype as WWE wanted, there were some clear signs that respect was there. The callbacks from their previous encounters where Reigns smirked at Lesnar, and Lesnar taking his gloves off ala WrestleMania 31 and 34 was something special to see. Reigns winning means way much more than him just unifying the titles, it means WWE trusts him to run the company, and at this point who can honestly stop The Tribal Chief?
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