Backstage news on Roman Reigns' last-minute return and its impact on SmackDown storylines

Just how secret was the Big Dog's return at SummerSlam?
Just how secret was the Big Dog's return at SummerSlam?

The Biggest Party of the Summer certainly ended with a bang this past Sunday. Moments after 'The Fiend' Bray Wyatt defeated Braun Strowman to recapture the Universal Championship at SummerSlam, Roman Reigns made an astonishing return to take out both men.

Roman Reigns had not been seen since before WrestleMania 36 when he dropped out of his scheduled match with Goldberg due to COVID-19 concerns. The Big Dog had given no indication before SummerSlam that he was close to returning to the company, and to their credit, WWE did a fantastic job of keeping his return a surprise.

Very few people knew what was going to happen. Even the two men involved with his return had no idea.

On the latest episode of the Dropkick Diskussions, Sportskeeda's Senior Journalist Tom Colohue reported that neither Braun Strowman or Bray Wyatt knew Roman Reigns was back until right before the start of the main event.

"Roman has been in constant contact for the last few weeks with the WWE, who've been giving him a lot more safety assurances and letting him know plans way ahead of anyone else in the company. The Fiend and Braun Strowman didn't know until just before the match that Roman Reigns was going to be there. They knew how the match was going to go. They were told just beforehand, 'Oh at the end, Roman Reigns is going to come out. Beat you up. You're just going to lay down and take it.' Whereas Roman knew about the ThunderDome months before anyone else knew about the ThunderDome. Right now, he feels safe returning. They did a great job keeping it quiet."

Roman Reigns now finds himself right where he left off - in the Universal Title picture. He'll take on new Champion Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman in a triple threat match this Sunday at Payback.

The question remains, though, what does Reigns intrusion mean for the ongoing Wyatt and Strowman story?

How is Roman Reigns' return going to impact Alexa Bliss' storyline?


Fans have watched the saga of Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman play out over the last few months. The two have told a long and twisted story while battling over the Universal Title this Summer.

Most recently, Alexa Bliss was brought into the fray as The Fiend attempted to use her friendship with Strowman to get into The Monster's head. The plan, however, seemed to backfire as The Fiend seemed to be showing some compassion for Bliss in recent weeks.

The angle had drawn the attention of the WWE Universe and many were expecting Alexa to be involved in the match at SummerSlam in some way. Instead, we saw the return of Roman Reigns.

So what happens now? Was Alexa Bliss simply a red herring the whole time? Tom Colohue says the plan post WrestleMania played exactly as it was supposed to, with The Fiend winning the title at SummerSlam. The inclusion of Roman Reigns, however, happened at the very last minute.

"There wasn't any formal plan for Roman to return because they didn't know for certain that they could convince him to return. When they did. They planned this out."

As far as the angle with Alexa Bliss, there's still a good chance that the fans get some closure, according to Colohue.

"The storyline isn't dead per se. They still want to revisit it and certainly Bray and Alexa, who were so involved in writing it, want to carry it on. A large part of this, as well, is how well received it's been on social media and by the fans. That's certainly going to encourage the WWE to follow it through to fruition. It has, unfortunately, definitely been pushed to one side for the moment, though. For the sake of Roman's big return."

We'll have to wait and see what happens this Friday on SmackDown when Roman Reigns will most assuredly appear ahead of his Title match at Payback.

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