Home Where does WWE go with Roman Reigns vanquished, The Bloodline apparently done?

Where does WWE go with Roman Reigns vanquished, The Bloodline apparently done?

Chris Graham
roman reigns
(© Bjoern Deutschmann – Shutterstock)

WWE delivered its promised run-in-heavy title change at the end of Wrestlemania 40, “finishing the story,” to borrow from the script written for Cody Rhodes, who left Philadelphia as the “undisputed” WWE champ.

As predictable as it was that WWE would have the title change hands after a series of cameos by top stars, present and past, I’m not sure the company achieved what it needed to, other than getting the belt off Roman Reigns.

OK, yes, get it, The Usos got a moment, Solo Sikoa failed in his bid to score another cheap victory for Reigns, The Rock, John Cena (who should have kept his cap on) and an underdressed Undertaker (more biker than funereal) showed their age.

Seth Rollins, with his hair dyed blonde, and dressed like the glory days of The Shield, was a nice touch.

In the end, though, Rhodes scored the pinfall after a succession of Cross Rhodes finishers, in essence, the closest thing to a clean fall that you could get in what was otherwise a schmoz finish.

The problem here being, this would seem to risk burying The Bloodline, which is a problem because, WWE’s success on TV and at live events the past three-plus years – a period of time, you need to remember, that saw WWE become a multibillion-dollar company through the merger with UFC – has been based on the massive fan interest in The Bloodline.

Reigns, his 1,316-day title reign now over, didn’t just lose his belt; he was vanquished, conquered, if you will, as in, it will be hard to continue to sell Reigns, after whatever break WWE gives him, as “The Head of the Table,” if indeed there’s even a table for him to head up.

The lack of controversy in the defeat, and in particular, the lack of internal discord as it the match was playing out, doesn’t lend itself to anything for WWE to work with creatively post-‘Mania in terms of The Bloodline.

I’m wondering if that’s a signal that WWE is going to quietly move on from The Bloodline as a top-of-the-card faction going forward.

If that’s what’s going on here, it would be a ballsy move, basically moving on from the best money-drawing gimmick WWE had come up with in years with nothing obvious ready to go in its place.

And before you @me, no, I’m not sold on the sustained drawing power of Cody Rhodes as the top guy any more than Tony Khan was.

I’m of the mindset that Cody’s value in this storyline was akin to the role that his late father, the legendary “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, played as a top babyface in the NWA of the late 1970s and into the mid-1980s.

Dusty was at his best while chasing the heel NWA champ, and once he won the world title, which he did three different times, it was time to reset and get the belt on the next heel champ.

I don’t see the logical next guy for WWE, but I’m sure it’s not Cody Rhodes.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].