Bobby Lashley, getting pushed hard by creative as they look to take WWE in a more credible, MMA-focused direction, will still be ruling the roost as WWE champion. This will probably be done with a continuation of his current feud with Drew McIntyre. Bianca Belair’s inexorable rise to the top of the SmackDown brand will surely continue too, while the possibility of a Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair rivalry in the red brand is certainly welcome. But there are known unknowns too, and chief among them is the positioning of Seth Rollins.
The Architect has made his in-ring return and has pretty much picked up where he left off. His attire when decimating Cesaro at WrestleMania Backlash, that famed ‘drip’ suit, was heel, as were his promos, tweets, and social media posts. So, the general feeling is that Rollins will continue with his evil streak for a while yet. But can he and Reigns co-exist as heels on the SmackDown brand, or are they on a collision course?
The Smart Choice
It was no surprise when The Tribal Chief retained his gold at Backlash given that he was priced at 1/6 to defeat Cesaro in the WWE PPV event online betting odds, but his next opponent is unknown – it seems unlikely that his package with the Swiss ace will continue. Indeed, the shocking conclusion to Backlash suggests that Cesaro vs Rollins is locked in for the time being.
Reigns may be given a lighter workload to protect him ahead of SummerSlam – his health issues are well documented, and there doesn’t appear to be a clear opponent for him to tackle right now. Edge is one possibility, although it seems that Big E, who was a possible nemesis for Reigns, looks to be targeting an Intercontinental title program after insinuating as much when guesting on Talking Smack.
But all eyes are on SummerSlam, where the possibility of fans returning to the stands would set the tone for an epic heel vs face clash in the main event. Is Reigns vs Rollins the smart bet for that right now?
Reigns’ extraordinary run as a heel will only continue to gain momentum if he is given a credible face opponent to torment. Meanwhile, a ‘soul shift’ for Rollins back to the forces of good will be the blockbuster rivalry that creatives need to carry WWE through the hectic summer schedule.
It may be a move forced by necessity, too. With Daniel Bryan seemingly having left the company, there is no credible opponent for Reigns on SmackDown. It seems senseless for Rollins to continue in a gimmick that has divided fans for more than a year now.
The Architect, fresh from his paternity leave, has plenty of gas in the tank, and who wouldn’t want to see the old Shield allies lock horns for the first time with Reigns in his heel role?