On the WWE SmackDown January 20 2023 episode we were supposed to see a Contract Signing for Roman Reigns vs Kevin Owens for the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion..
Despite speculation to the contrary, Roman Reigns reportedly didn’t suffer an injury during his WrestleMania 38 main event match against Brock Lesnar.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer said on the Sunday Night’s Main Event podcast (h/t WrestlingInc’s Marc Middleton), Reigns did not get injured at WrestleMania, and his match against Lesnar went off as planned.
There had been speculation that Reigns suffered a shoulder injury, thus forcing him and Lesnar to end the match sooner than intended, but that reportedly wasn’t the case.
Reigns needed about 12 minutes to beat Lesnar with a spear, retaining the Universal Championship and winning the WWE Championship in the process.
Reigns is now the unified world champion, meaning he can appear on both SmackDown and Raw moving forward, which is something he has already done since WrestleMania.
On last week’s SmackDown, Reigns was confronted by Shinsuke Nakamura, who appears to be The Head of the Table’s first challenger coming out of WrestleMania.
A match has yet to be announced, but it seems likely that Nakamura will challenge Reigns for the titles at WrestleMania Backlash next month.
Meanwhile, Lesnar hasn’t been seen since WrestleMania, and it is unclear when he will be brought back to WWE programming.
Regardless of Lesnar’s status, there is little doubt that Reigns is the face of WWE currently, and he will continue to be presented as the top star in the weeks and months to come.
AEW star Chris Jericho gave a diplomatic response when asked Monday about Cody Rhodes leaving AEW for WWE.
Appearing on SiriusXM’s Busted Open (h/t WrestlingInc’s Danny Wolstanholme), Jericho said the following about Cody’s departure:
“I was honestly disappointed that he left. But, I get it. I’ve done it many times myself. You know this, we’ve discussed the reinvention of Jericho many times. I mean, I left WWE in 2017 for basically the same reason why Cody left AEW, from what I understand. He just didn’t think he was getting the—I don’t know if it’s the spotlight or the respect or whatever the word being, but you could kind of see the writing on the walls.
“Obviously now, Cody is as bigger than he’s ever been just by changing companies. And obviously, they did a great job in putting him over at WrestleMania, bringing him in at the highest of levels, and now it’s up to Cody to do the dirty work shall we say and continue that momentum and get that job done. And can he do it? Absolutely. He’s a very smart guy. He’s a great performer.”