One of the words you hear often when the conversation about Roman Reigns’ current run as world champion takes place is historic., and for multiple reasons; but looking into it, the word historic doesn’t quite fit with this championship reign.
The first reason WWE fans and others give the word historic to Reigns’ current world champion run is because of the length. Roman Reigns is the wrestler who has come closest to those legendary Bruno Sammartino reigns from the decade of the 60’s in this era of pro-wrestling. In that sense, it’s easy to see why WWE fans give Reigns’ run the title of historic. It will be interesting to see what will happens with Reigns going forward, and if WWE plans to give Roman a really long run and try to break Bruno Sammartino’s record, but this unlikely.
While Roman Reigns’ run is lengthy, it’s also important to take the reign into context with the title defenses and their quality, and unfortunate, this is the category where Roman Reigns’ run falls short. WWE has a stacked roster in terms of some of the best wrestlers in the world, but in WWE matches are not important but the key is to create moments that’ll last forever and be part of video packages for times to come, and on that department, you could say Roman Reigns’ run has two: Brock Lesnar using a tractor, and The Bloodline story with Sami Zayn, but this could change depending of the payoff of the story. But going back to matches itself there aren’t many you could say were all time great, on he had many that were good to great like we saw recently with Sami Zayn or the match with Drew McIntyre in Clash on the Castle of last year. A big factor why his matches are not that interesting is because: first, he doesn’t really need to work hard; second, WWE’s lack of interest on that; and third, Roman Reign’s matches having too much monologues and interference spots.
A key aspect of this reign is the Bloodline storyline with Sami Zayn, as previously mentioned. This story has been the crown jewel of this reign, and the story has connected with a lot of WWE fans. While the story has been good to even great by most, the big problem is the payoff of the story not being Sami Zayn winning the world title after months of build-up and just being a transitional feud for Reigns ahead of his WrestleMania world title defense against Cody Rhodes (2023 Royal Rumble winner). This not being the payoff is a huge mistake and will be discussed in the future when we look back at this reign.
Another key thing about this reign has to do with The Rock. It’s common knowledge at this point that WWE’s plans were for Roman Reigns to face The Rock at WrestleMania in a once in a lifetime sort of event, but circumstances around The Rock have postponed those plans. We still don’t know if WWE has changed their plans regarding this match and finally cancelling those plans or just waiting until The Rock is available and has the time to get ready for this match.
Is this the best modern day world title run? Depends really who you ask; most WWE will tell you a big yes, but wrestling fans will point about Kazuchika Okada’s 720-days reign being NJPW’s longest world title run, and as well as the world title run with the most title defenses in NJPW history. Another mention would be Kenta Kobashi’s 735-days reign with the GHC heavyweight championship with a total of 13 defenses. These two reigns are considered by many as legendary runs in all metrics, from length, match quality to number of defenses.