There is a plan in place for WWE to headline WrestleMania 34 on April 8, 2018 with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns just like they did at WrestleMania 31 in 2015. This time it would be for Raw’s Universal Title instead of the WWE Title. This report comes from the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter although it should be noted that Dave Meltzer wrote that “obviously could change.”
The finish of both Lesnar’s and Reigns’ WrestleMania matches aren’t known at this time, but the expectation is that Lesnar will beat Goldberg for the Universal Title at WrestleMania. Reigns going over Undertaker makes sense since he’s the younger guy. Plus, if WWE really wants Reigns vs. Lesnar next year then having Reigns lose this year wouldn’t be a great idea.
Meltzer adds: “The plan is to once again build for a year and have the big coronation at WrestleMania. The idea between now and then is for Reigns to be the face, not just when he wins the title, but to fully replace John Cena as the lead babyface of the company. How they’ll make that work is uncertain. They may just go with the idea that the fans that attend TVs and PPVs that boo Reigns are a minority of their worldwide audience and ignore the obvious crowd reaction. It’s hard to believe that in one year, considering it’s been more than two years since they’ve tried to change things, that the Santa Clara reaction of Lesnar being far and away the most popular wrestler on the show as the heel, and Reigns being even more far and away the most hated, even positioned as main event babyface, will change much with another year of attempting to convince fans Reigns is the guy.”
It was also noted by Meltzer that there is a plan in place for Lesnar to do more shows from this point forward. Lesnar’s WWE deal expires at next year’s WrestleMania. He could stick around after that, but at least for the next year they have him signed to a deal. If he is doing more shows then perhaps he would wrestle at every Raw PPV, which would be more than what he did when he was WWE Champion in 2014.
As for Reigns, it’s not known how he might be booked over the next year. Perhaps WWE will move him to Smackdown to keep him away from Lesnar, then one of them can win the next Royal Rumble while the other guy is holding a title and that could lead to a challenge at WrestleMania. Other than that, I feel like it would be difficult to keep them apart.
It’s also possible that Reigns could turn heel at some point this year and WWE could try to turn him into a face before next year’s WrestleMania.
In case you forgot, Reigns vs. Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 ended with Seth Rollins cashing in the Money in the Bank contract to leave with the WWE Title. I wrote about that match in detail last week.
TJR Thoughts: This is one of those stories where you really have to put it in perspective. Just because something is written in March 2017 doesn’t mean it’s actually going to happen in April 2018. It might, though. I think it would be silly to keep Reigns as a face for the next year and I hope that WWE is smart enough to realize that a heel turn would really help his character. They don’t have to keep him as a heel for two years either. Do it for eight months, see how it goes and change him back if you really want him to be the next Cena.
An example of plans changing is from 2015. Triple H vs. The Rock had that altercation at WrestleMania 31 with the idea that they would have a match the next year. That’s why Triple H went over Sting at that show. Plans changed because The Rock didn’t end up wrestling at WrestleMania 32. Things change all the time.
To the people out there that will rip on Meltzer for mentioning this story one year before the match may take place, just remember that he’s not saying it’s a sure thing. He must have a reliable enough source to put it in his newsletter. His sources are usually pretty good because he’s the one that reported this year’s WrestleMania lineup in January and nearly every match he reported back then has come to fruition.
Between now and the next WrestleMania, a lot of things can change while other factors will be in play. This is not like The Rock vs. John Cena being set up one year in advance because both of these guys will be on the shows and it will have to be set up in a more natural way. For now, take it as a rumor.