Saturday, January 27, 2024

Does Roman Deserve The Record

This post is just my opinion on the subject...

When Roman won the title at Payback 2020 I was happy for him, his first run had been cut short and he deserved to have a good run with the title.  And he started off strong feuding with Jey Uso, Kevin Owens, Brian Danielson and Edge.  I wasn't a big fan of him pinning both Dragon and Edge at the same time at WrestleMania, but it was good.  Through these early months the Bloodline story started and it has been a fantastic story, especially when Sami Zayn got involved, it was compelling.

However, I feel the hand has been overplayed.  Back in 2020 it was the pandemic still and it wasn't until July 2021 that WWE left the Thunderdome and started back up with their full time house show schedule, and for the most part everyone went back on the road full time.  Not Roman.... 

Between the dates of August 30, 2020 & January 27, 2024

Roman has wrestled 134 matches, mostly tag
2020: 10 matches, 2021: 61 matches, 2022: 52 matches, 2023: 11 Matches

He has defended the Universal Championship 56 times

By comparison during that same time frame
Jey Uso 317 matches
Jimmy Uso 285 matches
Sami Zayn 240 matches
Shinsuke Nakamura 225 matches 
Kevin Owens 222 matches

Seth Rollins 298 matches, also since winning the World Heavyweight Championship on May 27, 2023 he has defended the title 65 times in his 242 day reign.

Cody Rhodes returned to the WWE on April 2, 2022 has wrestled 147 matches since then and was out with his injury for 6 months

Currently Roman has the 4th longest reign for a men's top championship in the WWE, using the match listings on Cagematch and here is how he measures up compared to the top 3 as of January 28, 2024. 

Bruno Sammartino
2,803 days WWWF Championship May 17, 1963 - January 18, 1971
669 tittle defenses 

Bob Backlund 
2,135 days WWF Championship February 20, 1978 - December 26, 1983
884 title defenses 

Hulk Hogan 
1,474 days WWF Championship January 23, 1984 - February 5, 1988
474 title defenses

Roman Reigns 
1,245 days WWE Universal Championship August 30, 2020 - current
56 defenses 

I have heard a rumor that at this point they want Roman to beat Hulk Hogan's record because of inappropriate comments that Hogan has made in the past.  I'm not sure if I believe that or not.  To accomplish that he would need to hold to the title to September 12, 2024.  

When his title run started I thought it was great, when his run surpassed two years I thought it was fantastic, when he didn't lose the title to Cody at Mania in 2023 I thought it was a mistake, and the remainder of 2023 just seemed like they wanted that number to grow.  Admittedly every match he had in 2023 was a great match, no doubt.  But he doesn't deserve the record, not at this point. 

I feel the same way about Nick Aldis' 1043 day reign as NWA Champion with his 34 defenses during that time frame.

To me I still feel the titles are important, the title reigns mean something.  Like Gunther's current record breaking run as the Intercontinental champion, but you need to be present and not be off TV for months at a time.  Do I think having a title defense at every house show is important, not at all!  But this is a TV wrestling landscape you need to have title matches or at least the champion appearing and competing on TV to further storylines, not disappearing to a couple months at a time. 

When Roman does lose the title it really needs to mean something and I think Cody defeating him it will.  I don't think it will mean as much if The Rock or CM Punk win the title.  

I'm also very curious what they are going to do with the titles, as Roman holds the Universal and WWE Championships and they are listed separately on the WWE Website.  I feel like after his reign ends they will do away with the Universal Championship and just the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships. 

Thank you for reading, please leave a comment, check out my other posts, and if you want like my blogs Facebook page.  You can also head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of my book Limitless Wrestling: The First Five Years, or any of my other books as well.  

Until next time! 

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