What if Finn Balor had beaten Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship?
WWE pulled off an electric finish to SummerSlam 2018. Yes, Brock Lesnar finally lost the Universal Championship and yes, Roman Reigns finally beat him—each of which was largely predictable. The addition of Braun Strowman, however, and particularly his thwarted attempt at cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase added some much-needed intrigue, uncertainty, and downright chaos to the proceedings. Lesnar was projected to come back one day, a monster who’d been distracted when he lost his title. Strowman and his briefcase remained in play. And Reigns? It seemed that we were off and running with the long-term title reign many have predicted for him for over two years.
Monday Night Raw the very next night threatened to shake things up further when Reigns opened the show by announcing he’d defend the title against Finn Balor that very night. Few expected Balor to actually beat him for the title, but the false finishes that suggested he might bring the fans in live attendance to their feet in Brooklyn.
So what if WWE had made the biggest swerve of all, and sent The Demon King home with the Universal Championship? This article takes a look at five implications and potential outcomes if that were to have gone down.
5. Reigns edges toward a heel turn
Throughout the match between Roman Reigns and Finn Balor, the commentary team repeatedly brought up the talking point of speculating what it would do to Reigns psychologically if he lost his coveted just title twenty-four hours after winning it. While they were probably merely trying to create intrigue, the choice also could have alluded to bigger changes for Reigns’s character.
If beating Lesnar, and then doing the right thing by becoming the fighting champion Lesnar never had back fired, we could have been looking at a fascinating look at a Superstar in shambles. The Big Dog would have no one but himself to blame for taking on a title match so abruptly, but might he lash out at fellow face Balor? At the entire roster? A Reigns heel turn—disappointed and thirsty for revenge—could have been a fascinating result of Balor taking the gold off of him at Raw.