WWE Superstar Roman Reigns is currently in an interesting position on the roster. Since losing against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 34, The Big Dog has been utilised in a lesser role on WWE television.
The backlash that the former Shield member faced over the past couple of years from live crowds was rampant. Reigns was victim to coincidental timing and the rise of fellow WWE Superstar, Daniel Bryan. Even though this happened years ago there is still an uneasy feeling every time Reigns is featured in a somewhat prominent spot on the card, will the crowd take to him or vehemently boo him out of the building?
With WWE looking to gain traction for the SmackDown brand, likely, Reigns will once again be placed near the top of the card on Friday nights. The Big Dog is one of the top performers on the Blue Brand and it is clear that the FOX Network see him as a top draw, especially with such a large chunk of their marketing for the 'new home' of SmackDown being centred around Reigns.
Reigns has seemingly always been targeted as one of the top Superstars in the company, especially with John Cena now taking a more part-time role.
Attempts to truly cement Reigns as the top draw of the company have fallen flat thus far, but there is still an opportunity to build some momentum for The Big Dog on FOX Network.
The question now is how will WWE look to book Reigns heading into 2020? With the WWE Draft recently taking place and a (somewhat) promise that Superstars will stick to their respective brands who does Reigns have to face on SmackDown?
Looking at the landscape of the Blue Brand and where the Superstars have ended up I look to highlight exactly who Roman can feud with heading into 2020.
#5 Shinsuke Nakamura
The reigning WWE Intercontinental Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura, has already stood across the ring from Reigns this month, but, there is an opportunity here for a lengthy program.
Slotting Reigns into an Intercontinental Championship feud might seem a bit redundant, however utilising someone with his stature to give the title more credence can never hurt. With Brock Lesnar ruling the roost as the WWE Champion the company needs a strong mid-card titleholder to elevate the show when the Beast Incarnate is not around. This is exactly what happened a couple of years ago when Seth Rollins was focused on as the IC Champion on RAW, whilst people questioned where Lesnar was.
Aside from logistical matters, there's no doubt that when on his game Shinsuke Nakamura is one of the most charismatic performers on the planet. The former IWGP Intercontinental Champion practically made that title whilst he was in New Japan Pro Wrestling, elevating his game to incredible heights with the likes of Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Sadly, we have yet to truly see this side of The Artist really since his debut NXT bout against Sami Zayn (and that was a long time ago).
Nakamura appears to be in a holding pattern, and a lengthy viable feud with Reigns could potentially help elevate him back to the top of the card on Smackdown.