Roman Reigns has become a simple man and a character that everyone can easily wrap their heads around. He isn’t the all-conquering babyface that would beat the odds no matter how they are stacked against him. He isn’t the overbearing company star that has to have a title at all times and the one that has to be pushed into the main event every single week. Even though his return from leukemia saw him be the hottest star in wrestling not named Becky Lynch, WWE have played it smart and have had Roman not be involved around a championship. Both the WWE and Universal Titles have their long-term plans in place which WWE haven’t ruined to accommodate Reigns’s return from illness. Kofi Kingston has had a super strong reign as Champion since his victory over Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania, and while Rollins’s title run was a bust, WWE are seeing it out to its natural conclusion. Meanwhile, Roman has been in feud that seem in-line with his character and hasn’t been an over-powering figure that has been made to challenge scrubs. His feud against Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre may not have been spectacular, but at least it was a perfectly justified feud which has seen a natural conclusion. Rather than thrust Roman into the championship picture now and have him unceremoniously dethrone Kofi, they are taking a highly intriguing story and hoping Reigns can make it work and re-attract viewers to the show. So, let’s check out Who Attacked Roman Reigns?
There are a whole host of candidates for this crime, but let us first narrow the field through a process of elimination. It wouldn’t be someone like Brock Lesnar, Drew McIntyre or a returning Bobby Lashley, because their characters have been portrayed as men who fight for what they want. Trying to eliminate Roman sneakily isn’t in line with their characters beliefs. Apart from them, we have other top heels like Samoa Joe, but Joe obviously couldn’t have done it because he was on camera when Roman was hit with the car. Maybe it’s a debuting or re-debuting figure? Well, a surprise debut may be a little out of our scope if we try to hypothesize who did this, but a re-debuting character may make sense. Even still, it cant be The Fiend Bray Wyatt because he would play mind games rather than such explicit acts of violence. Also, he is already in a feud with Finn Balor. It can’t be Aleister Black because he would rather look you in the eyes and then kick your teeth out. It could be someone like Cesaro, but it seems unlikely that they would saddle such a big storyline on the Swiss Cyborg.
So, who can it be? Let us start with the most obvious choice in Buddy Murphy. He fits the re-debuting part and was all over the news after the attack on Reigns last SmackDown. He was pictured walking away from the wreckage that landed on top of Roman Reigns. This led to basically all news sites reporting that ‘eagle-eyed fans have noticed that it is actually Buddy Murphy’. This makes Murphy the obvious choice. The former 205 Live wrestler and Cruiserweight champion was moved to Raw and SmackDown earlier this year, but is yet to do anything of note on the brands. He was drafted to Roman’s brand in SmackDown but hasn’t done anything on the brand since. Considering how his former rival, Cedric Alexander is getting pushed on Raw, maybe it is time for Murphy to get the same treatment on SmackDown?
Now that we have looked at the obvious in Murphy, let us look at the more uncertain options for this. While one may be a simple and justifiable guess, the other one would really be pushing the envelope. We start with SmackDown superstar and former WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. Bryan hasn’t done a lot of exciting stuff since losing his WWE Championship to Kofi Kingston at WrestleMania 35. He was expected to be the savior of the SmackDown Live Tag Team division after the Superstar Shake-Up saw them lose both The Usos and The Bar, while The New Day’s Big E sat on the shelf. Bryan has been teasing a career changing announcement, and maybe taking the role as Reigns’s antagonizer is perfect. The two have wrestled in the same atmosphere for a while but haven’t faced off since Fastlane 2015. While both have also served extensive amounts of time out injured, they are yet to meet in their current forms. Bryan seems like the twisted heel that would pull something off using his sidekick in Rowan. A modern Reigns-Bryan rivalry may just be what SmackDown needs to be it’s marquee feud along with whatever happens with the WWE Championship heading into their new TV deal in October.
Our final suggestion for this role may just be a bit of a reach. But there is some precedent to see why WWE would use this particular talent. When The Revival wanted to get out of their contracts, WWE gave them a tag team championship reign and massive contract offers to see if they’d stay. They could be using the same strategy to stop another one of their disgruntled talents from leaving. That talent is none other than former Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion, Luke Harper. This is unlikely, considering how Vince McMahon apparently sees nothing in the star, but his opinions may have been changed in the desperate times that WWE have entered. With the stock price falling and AEW eating up more market share than any competitor since WCW have, a hail-mary is what they need. Everyone can recognize the talent that Harper has, even if McMahon can’t. Running Reigns over and attacking him like this would fit like a tee to with Harper, who’s wrestling image has always been that of a twister wrestler. One of the most gifted brawlers of all time, Harper may be the most exciting yet risky choice to be the one to run Reigns over. Maybe it isn’t something that WWE story would dictate, but considering the era of wrestling we are headed in, this may be what WWE need to regain their edge and popularity.