Just 24 hours from his epic title showdown with John Cena at WWE SummerSlam, WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns upped the stakes in the final segment Smackdown on Friday night.
Engaging in one final war of words with Cena, the “Tribal Chief” threatened that if he doesn’t walk out of Allegiant Stadium with the title, he will leave WWE.
"Either I'm leaving that stadium as Universal Champion or I'm leaving @WWE." - @WWERomanReigns w/ @HeymanHustle to @JohnCena #SmackDown pic.twitter.com/60LG4QRecZ— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) August 21, 2021
There’s nothing more old school than a good, old fashioned retirement stipulation in wrestling. From Ric Flair to Terry Funk to now Roman, there’s a litany of storylines involving wrestlers putting their careers on the line over one match.
But this might be somewhat valid.
Reigns has spent the past year as the dominant force on Friday Night Smackdown and after a year-long reign as the top dog, it may be time for him to take a break. I say “break” instead of retirement because 99 times out of 100, the dramatic loser leaves town/retirement stipulation is inevitably walked back and the loser is written back onto television.
Then again, we know that Cena’s return to the squared circle is limited and beyond September, who would pick up the mantle as the top guy with both him and Reigns out of the picture.
Either way, it presents an interesting wrinkle to what should already be an epic encounter.