For the first time since October of 2018, Reigns is WWE’s Universal Champion.
Roman Reigns pinned Braun Strowman in the main event of Payback to become the new Universal Champion, capping off a successful WWE pay per view that felt more like the second part of SummerSlam.
Taking place only a week after SummerSlam, this show, as well as added more clarity to the future of WWE. Keith Lee delivered the most significant win of his career in a dominating performance against Randy Orton, Big E took a big step toward becoming one of WWE’s building blocks in his victory against Sheamus, and Shayna Baszler starred in her tag title win with Nia Jax against Sasha Banks and Bayley.
The main event match was not without its holes. How could Reigns sign the contract for a title match after the bout had already started? The answer to that question is likely his association with new advocate Paul Heyman, who is fulfilling his role by ensuring Reigns gets what he deserves.
Despite some foul language to the referee following a chair shot on Strowman, I am still hesitant to believe Vince McMahon is ready to go all-in on Reigns as a villain in an era without live crowds, though it does appear headed in that direction. But Reigns has been placed in a position over the past week where he is the most widely discussed person in all of wrestling, so the current method is working.
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) August 31, 2020
The pressing question of whether Roman Reigns is a heel still remains unanswered. Yes, Reigns hit Bray Wyatt with a low blow, but that was only making use of the no holds barred stipulation. Reigns showed off his new opportunistic mentality, signing the contract to enter the match after Strowman and Wyatt had already wrestled for over 10 minutes. Now, for the first time since October of 2018, Reigns is WWE’s Universal Champion.