Roman Reigns’ long reign as world champion has had both positive and negative things to it like most world title reign. One of the most debated things regarding his reign is who will be the wrestler that will eventually dethrone him, and WWE has a list of wrestlers that are strong candidates to finally end his reign.
Dethroning Roman Reigns will be a massive event, and the wrestler that will eventually do this will get a massive push because of it. WWE has two options with this: using this opportunity to push someone young and invest in the future or going the safe route and push a more established wrestler.
Any wrestler that will eventually dethrone Roman Reigns will have to do so after WrestleMania, if the match with The Rock actually takes place, but that match is still up in the air and with no actual confirmation of the match happening and how open The Rock’s schedule will be at that point in time next year. The match with The Rock has been WWE’s plan for a long time and just as another way to put even more over Roman Reigns in the eyes of everybody.
The first name in people’s mind is Cody Rhodes. When Cody returned to WWE it was more obvious that the plan was for Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes to cross paths but the injury of the latter delayed those plans. Cody Rhodes could be a strong candidate to win the Royal Rumble, if the previously mentioned match with The Rock doesn’t take place. Rhodes would also make sense as a challenger for Reigns after WrestleMania, with both having a long-term program.
Big E is a popular option for fans. WWE botched Big E’s first reign and Big E in the eyes of many deserves a second chance, especially now that Paul Levesque is now in charge of creative on the main roster. Recent footage shows that Big E is health and he’s probably close to full recovery from his injury. He will most likely make his return to WWE in the Royal Rumble to maximize the opportunity of his return and give him even more time to fully recover. The most likely scenario is for Big E to be involved with New Day first and maybe later challenge Reigns.
It’s no secret that Johnny Gargano is one of Paul Levesque’s favorite wrestlers and him being on the main event scene of the main roster is a matter of time. It looks like Gargano could take the MITB briefcase from Austin Theory and challenge Reigns from there, with this, Gargano is pretty much out of the running for the Royal Rumble. There has not been any indication that both will cross paths for nowt this could obviously change.
There’s other option that WWE could consider, like Finn Balor and Judgement Day and have a battle of factions between Judgement Day and the Bloodline. This is more of a program that could take place later on the year but there isn’t any indication of both groups crossing paths. Austin Theory with MITB briefcase is always an option, but ever since Levesque took power, he has undermined Theory a lot and made him look like a geek.
This is not an easy option for WWE. The lack of a long-term plan has made the decision to who will dethrone Reigns more difficult than it should. All these options have good chances of becoming world champions in WWE but it all depends on what Levesque has in mind for the short and long term future of WWE.