The final WWE Raw pay-per-view before WrestleMania is a little over a week away. In its aftermath, most of the red brand's WrestleMania card will shape up, most importantly, its main event. For over a year now, that's been slated to be a WrestleMania 31 rematch between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship.
Ever since Kevin Owens dropped that title to Goldberg a year ago at Fastlane, the WrestleMania 34 main event has been the worst-kept secret in wrestling. Already set to meet Brock Lesnar at last year's Show of Shows, Goldberg would drop the title to The Beast, who would hold on to it until April 8th, 2018, to drop it to Roman Reigns.
Vince's mindset regarding Reigns isn't hard to read by this point. His dream for years has been The Big Dog's triumph over The Beast, probably ever since the latter's infamous squash of John Cena at SummerSlam 2014. The story was obvious - the transition from one "top guy" to the next. That story would finally conclude after a long pause over the course of 2017-18.
But during these last 12 months, a monstrous wrinkle in that story has formed. The rise of Braun Strowman has been as entertaining as it's been meteoric. As a result, it's not only unclear whether Roman Reigns should be in this year's main event, but whether he should even be considered the next "guy."
On the contrary, everything in the past 12 months has pointed to Braun Strowman's triumph over Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania being the correct decision. He deserves to win the Elimination Chamber next Sunday and here's why.
#1 Roman Reigns hasn't changed
Roman Reigns has improved tremendously since his first match with Brock Lesnar, there's no question about that. At WrestleMania 31, it was painfully clear that he wasn't ready for the top role Vince McMahon had in mind for him. His ring work was limited and his promos were some of the worst ever.
Thankfully, since then, the attempts at making him the second coming of John Cena have stopped. As a result, his promos have automatically improved. His ring work has improved even more and now he consistently puts out some of the most engaging matches of the night.
Despite this, though, something still feels like it's missing. Roman Reigns hasn't changed much over the course of the past year. He feels no different today than he did when he defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33.
Other acts have passed him by and are more interesting and entertaining. He stands in stark contrast to the exponential growth Braun Strowman has shown over the past year.