5 shocking AEW stars who defeated Roman Reigns in WWE
Undisputed Roman Reigns is heading into his third consecutive WWE WrestleMania main event as the defending champion. Over the course of almost three years, the Tribal Chief has been infallible. But that hasn't always been the case.
A number of significant names have enjoyed victories over The Head of the Table, whether it be Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Brock Lesnar, or Sheamus. All names previously mentioned are not to be scoffed at, as they are all former WWE World Champions in their own right.
But it's not just WWE that serves as the playground for those who would usurp the Head of the Table. AEW has plenty on their roster who have crossed paths with Reigns at some stage or another. An obvious example that pops to mind is Jon Moxley, Reigns' former Shield brethren and later world title rival.
But let's take a look at some of the other more surprising names who hold wins over the reigning, defending Undisputed Universal Champion.
#5. Lance Archer surprisingly holds a win over Roman Reigns
Reigns and Lance Archer crossed paths during their shared time in WWE's developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling. Archer was known at the time as Vance, as opposed to Lance, and Reigns was named Roman Leakee at the time.
They faced one another on one occasion at FCW's Halloween Spectacular. Their bout came as part of an October 2010 card that also featured EC3, Trent Beretta, and Bray Wyatt.
The win did little for Archer going forward in WWE. But he has found his groove as 'The Murderhawk Monster' in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and AEW.
#4 Claudio Castagnoli defeated Roman Reigns long before he turned to AEW
Claudio Castagnoli joined AEW in 2022 after departing WWE at the end of his contract. He has since worked alongside Reigns' former Shield partner Jon Moxley with the Blackpool Combat Club.
During his time with WWE, he faced The Tribal Chief on a number of occasions, most notably for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania Backlash 2021. However, almost all of their solo battles were won by Reigns. To view the only victory the former Cesaro held over The Tribal Chief, one would have to go as far back as their developmental days once again.
They clashed during FCW TV tapings in November 2011, and the Swiss Superstar secured victory in less than four minutes. Evidently, Roman Reigns learned his lesson, as this was the first and last time the former Cesaro defeated him.
#3. Samoa Joe overcame Reigns in their first-ever clash
Samoa Joe in WWE was a story of what could - or should - have been, as he never managed to hold a world title despite fitting the billing in almost every sense. The three-time NXT Champion made his way to the main roster and set his eyes on RAW's grandest prize at the time, the Universal Championship.
The title picture was filled with powerhouses like Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, and Roman Reigns. So naturally, Roman stood in the way of Joe's pursuit. The pair met in their first singles clash during a February episode of RAW, with Joe taking the win after 10 minutes.
They battled some more, trading wins and losses, but while one succeeded in the quest for the Universal Title, the other has since taken AEW and Ring of Honor by storm.
#2. Paul Wight defeated Roman when he was The Big Show
Paul Wight's last years as The Big Show saw a spate of battles with Roman Reigns. Both as a face, fighting against the invasive Shield, or as a corporate heel, protecting The Authority's stranglehold over the main event. Like Claudio before him, the now-AEW broadcaster was on the losing end of their bouts more often than not.
However, he managed to defeat The Tribal Chief on one occasion during a February 2015 episode of RAW.
Their bout came shortly after Reigns had eliminated both Big Show and Kane from the Royal Rumble to win the match. Despite the loss, The Head of the Table would still go on to challenge Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 for the WWE title just months later.
#1. Chris Jericho defeated Roman for the WWE United States Championship
Chris Jericho has cemented himself as one of the all-time greats, winning titles across a career spanning decades and major promotions. He has held gold during his years with WWE, WCW, AEW, ROH, NJPW, and Stampede Wrestling and will undoubtedly enter the Hall of Fame when he decides the time is up.
Jericho also stands out on this list, but not for anything mentioned. Rather, Jericho is the only name mentioned here that never managed to defeat Roman in singles competition. But then he is also the only one who won a title when he defeated Roman.
Jericho pinned Reigns as part of a two-on-one handicap match for the United States Championship. Y2J partnered with his fellow Canadian and at-time Universal Champion Kevin Owens.
The stipulation was that whoever scored the pin on the champion would win the title, and with the odds stacked in their favor, 'Jeri-KO' took full advantage and scored the victory.
It was the only time Jericho managed to score a pin over Reigns, and would hold the title until his eventual loss to Owens at WrestleMania 33.
How long will Roman Reigns continue as the Undisputed Champion? Share your predictions in the comments section below.
Will Hulk Hogan step into a WWE ring again? We asked a WWE Hall of Famer here