It had been fourteen thousand three hundred seventy days since the last WWE Superstar held the world championship for over a thousand days, that record that many felt was impossible to reach in the modern era of sports entertainment met its day where only one man could do the unthinkable and that man was none other than the Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table, Roman Reigns. It’s time to acknowledge his 1000 days as the WWE Universal Champion.
A whole lot has happened since August 30, 2020. The world was in a global pandemic and none of us knew what we were in store for when it came to the future of entertainment from all over the world. It was not going to be easy, but nothing was easy about the next 1000 days spent proving himself as the new face of the WWE and showing why the higher-ups did not make a mistake by putting him in charge of their future.
Reflecting on those 1000 days of the Tribal Chief’s reign, the world was able to witness these key moments in the world of sports, entertainment, and music.
The NBA’s first and only bubble in the NBA Finals had LeBron James winning his fourth NBA ring with the Los Angeles Lakers against the Miami Heat. The Giannis Antetoukonmpo-led Milwaukee Bucks won their first NBA Championship in 50 years when they beat the Pheonix Suns a year later before the dynasty of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green won their fourth NBA title as a unit vs. the Boston Celtics this past year.
Chef Curry broke Ray Allen’s record for all-time threes made and King James surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the leader in all-time points made.
In his first season in Tampa Bay, Tom Brady won his seventh NFL Championship against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Matthew Stafford’s first year following his trade from the Detroit Lions. Patrick Mahomes led Kansas back to the Super Bowl and defeated the Philadelphia Eagles.
Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers, Julian Edelman, and Eli Manning announced their retirements. Brady retired twice in back-to-back years, Brady also finished his career with the all-time passing yards record with 89,214 and the all-time most TD passes with 649.
The Los Angeles Dodgers won their first World Series since 1988 when they defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in six games. The following year the Atlanta Braves won their first World Series since 1995 when they beat the Houston Astros in six games as well, and the year after. The Astros returned and beat the Philadelphia Phillies in six games to earn their second championship in five years, this series also marked the first no-hitter since Don Larsen’s Perfect Game in the 1956 World Series, when Cristian Javier, Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero, and Ryan Pressly achieved a combined no-hitter in Game 4 for the Astros.
Albert Pujols also officially hit 700 career home runs before he announced his retirement at the age of 42.
The Tampa Bay Lightning won the 2020 and 2021 Stanley Cup Finals against the Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens before losing in 2022 against the Colorado Avalanche. The Boston Bruins set a new record for most wins in a season with a 65-12 record. Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, and David Pastrnak all had 60 goals scored in the span of 1000 days since Steven Stamkos did it in 2011-2012 and lastly, Alex Ovechkin surpassed Gordie Howe for the second-most in goals for NHL history.
Corey Crawford, Marian Gaborik, and Henrik Lundqvist announced their retirements. Lundqvist will go down as one of the greatest goaltenders of his generation as he is sixth in NHL wins, seventh in saves (23,509), eighth in games played (887), ninth in starts (871), ninth in time on ice (51,816:51) and 17th in shutouts.
Lewis Hamilton capped off a four-peat of championships with his record-tying seventh. The following year Hamilton became the first driver to surpass 100 pole positions and 100 race wins before losing to Max Verstappen in the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Verstappen also became the most recent youngest world champion at 24 years old.
Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson won their first NASCAR Championship in 2020 and 2021. Joey Logano won his second NASCAR Championship in 2022. Bubba Wallace also became the first African-American driver to win a Cup Series race since Wendell Scott in 1963, and Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion retired from full-time competition.
Argentina defeated France to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with a tie of 3-3, Argentina won the final after scoring all of their penalties, winning 4–2. This was their third World Cup win and their first since 1986. It also marked the first time that a South American team won the World Cup in 20 years. This was the first FIFA World Cup win for the legendary Lionel Messi.
In the world of MUSIC, Kendrick Lamar returned from a four-year hiatus and released Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers to go a perfect five stars on five albums. Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak gave us an Evening with Silk Sonic for their debut collab album. The Weeknd and Jim Carrey gave us an hour of commercial-free music with Dawn FM, the sequel to After Hours from 2020. We had more than just music for a sushi restaurant with the third studio album Harry’s House from Harry Styles. Bad Bunny dropped back-to-back Grammy award-winning albums in 2020 and 2022. Everything I Wanted by Billie Eilish won Record of the Year, and Beyonce earned the record for the most Grammys won by a female artist.
The moral of the history throwback from the last three years is to reflect on how many faces and names we saw throughout that time who made an impact just like the Tribal Chief has been doing for over 1000 days as the Universal Champion. The WWE reached a point a couple of years ago where they needed to see what steps could be taken next to ensure they had the right person to be the face that can run the place. The pandemic felt like forever and one of the key pieces of its success was Reigns aligning himself with the Wiseman Paul Heyman and showcasing the side that many of us wanted to see many years prior. The new and improved Reigns that we see today can be thanked because Heyman showed Reigns how to handle himself both professionally and competitively in strength and mind games against the best of the best.
The hardest job in the world of sports is winning a championship, what makes that feat even harder is doing it every year for three years in a row. This accomplishment is so hard in sports that the last time a team was able to win three consecutive championships was the dynamic duo of Shaq and Kobe on the Lakers from 2000-2002. In the last decade, the last three to have tried to come close to doing it like the Lightning, the Warriors, and Heat have all failed in their third championship games.
The Universal Champion’s reign has been retained twenty-seven times, it has been retained in three straight main events at WrestleMania and there have been 67 new champions crowned ever since the Tribal Chief became the king of the WWE three years ago.
The names that have fallen victim to the reign of Reigns as Universal champion have had incredible to legendary careers such as Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Jey Uso, Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, Daniel Bryan, Edge, Cesaro, Rey Mysterio, John Cena, Finn Balor, Brock Lesnar, Big E, Goldberg, Riddle, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, and Cody Rhodes. All 18 men have either had one, two, or maybe three chances to dethrone the Head of the Table, but they have all failed in their journey to stop history from being made.
Reigns hasn’t been pinned or submitted since December 15, 2019, when he lost at TLC to King Corbin. Since then, he has defeated everyone and if he is on the receiving end of a loss, it’s likely a loss by DQ or his partner being pinned.
From day one, it’s been molded into one of the greatest runs and stories in recent WWE history. The last world champion to do something like this was from 1984-1988 when Hulk Hogan held the WWF World Championship for 1,474 days in an era where he built the WWF into the company it’s become today.
Reigns has been able to join a very rare list of champions who surpassed over 1000 days at the top such as Hogan, Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, and Bruno Sammartino who held the world title on two separate occasions for over 1000 days each.
Think about it, legends such as Cena, Triple H, Randy Orton, and many others over the last two decades weren’t able to hold the world championship for that long, it’s not anywhere near a knock at any of the former world champions, this is an accomplishment we can look at and see that Reigns is in a league of his own in terms of being an incredibly dominant world champion and face for the WWE.
The world of sports, music, and entertainment has all seen new or familiar faces in the last three years. The WWE universe has had to witness Reigns dominate for those three years and showcase why he is the Tribal Chief for great reasons. It took fourteen thousand three hundred seventy days for the WWE to find a world champion to reach 1000 days and who knows how long it will be until the next WWE superstar can find a way to battle all the competition, overcome doubts, injuries, and more to be in the light of greats like Roman Reigns.
The only thing that’s left to do is sit back, reflect on the last three years, continue witnessing the history being made every day, and most importantly, acknowledge the Tribal Chief Reigns’ dominant 1000 days as the WWE Universal Champion.
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