Roman Reigns retained the WWE Universal Championship against Jey Uso Sunday at Clash of Champions. The match was the destruction many expected it to be, with Jey’s currently injured twin brother Jimmy Uso throwing in the towel on behalf of his brother. Jimmy begrudgingly declared Reigns the Tribal Chief before tending to his brother in a brilliantly-told story. This was Reigns’ first Universal Championship defense, and his first title defense as a heel.
Given the aforementioned circumstances, this title defense will be an important step in the long-term storytelling of Reigns as a heel world champion. Jey Uso serves as the perfect opponent for Reigns in this situation, as Reigns came off as even more of a heel in his intent to destroy a family member in order to retain.
A longtime tag team specialist, Jey Uso hardly projects to be in a long-term feud with Reigns. In fact, WWE already planted the seeds for a possible future storyline with The Fiend after future Fiend disciple Alexa Bliss stared Reigns down on SmackDown.
WWE continues to be in turmoil amid blatant storyline continuity issues and the poorly received rollout of RETRIBUTION. But Reigns alongside Paul Heyman has been one of the few bright spots of a product that has been struggling by all accounts for years now.
Reigns admittedly slow-played his heel turn despite his alliance with the villainous Paul Heyman. But Clash of Champions represents a point of no return, as Reigns emphatically placed his flag as a fully formed bad guy who will be booked as a dominant monster on Friday nights.
Reigns’ stature as a top heel will benefit against other overmatched, yet charismatic, babyfaces like Jey Uso. In a perfect world, a would-be feud with The Fiend will be tabled for a high-profile pay-per-view feud months down the road. But nothing is guaranteed in today’s fly-by-night WWE. Despite Reigns’ promising start, his entertaining title reign will always be in danger of sabotage at the hands of WWE’s unpredictable and at-times incompetent creative.
Source: Forbes – Business