Reports have surfaced which suggest that Roman Reigns’ suspension just before the Brand Extension changed more than a few long-term plans for WWE, so just for fun, we decided to see how many of their current issues they could blame on The Guy. According to the Wrestling Observer, the biggest change caused by Reigns’ suspension was the fact that it ended up sending the WWE World Heavyweight Title to Smackdown, with Dean Ambrose as champion, instead of Raw, which was allegedly the original plan. Reigns and Seth Rollins were expected to feud over that title, while the Universal Championship was supposed to be introduced as a Smackdown-exclusive title, and most importantly, won by AJ Styles, likely in the match against John Cena which happened at SummerSlam anyway. In addition, a planned undercard match for SummerSlam was supposed to see Finn Balor fight Chris Jericho, as the two were expected to have an extended feud for Balor’s initial period following his promotion from NXT. Instead, as Reigns was removed from the Universal title picture, Balor was inserted, and ended up winning the title at SummerSlam…and seriously injuring his shoulder, putting him out for roughly 4-6 months.
The reason why this is important is because once the decision was made to have Finn win the title, plans were apparently made to have him feud with Kevin Owens leading up to the Raw-exclusive Clash of Champions PPV, and then build to a Triple Threat match involving Owens and Jericho at the next PPV, Hell in a Cell, with the intention being that Rollins and Reigns would be kept out of the main event for a while. However, Finn’s injury scuttled all of those plans, and now the Universal Title will be determined this week on Raw in a match between Rollins, Reigns, Owens, and Big Cass, with the smart money being on Rollins or Reigns to come away with the win (although Owens is still in the match, so don’t count him out just yet). Clearly, life, uh, found a way to put Reigns back in the title picture. Chaos theory!