Acknowledge Roman Reigns’ two years as WWE Universal champion

Back in 2020, a week after returning from an early pandemic hiatus, Roman Reigns won the Universal title after low-blowing The Fiend and spearing Braun Strowman at Payback. He’s held it ever since.

That show was on Aug. 30, and Reigns has kept the blue belt ever since. Which means today he’s celebrating two years as Universal champion. It’s the longest reign in the title’s brief history (it was introduced in 2016, so Roman’s held it for 13 of its existence during this run alone; he was also Universal champ for two months in 2018 before vacating it when his leukemia returned).

For much of his reign, fans have been on board despite his Tribal Chief character being a villainous one. His rivalry with Jey Uso before the formation of The Bloodline was great storytelling, and challenging Reigns was a high point of a sometimes meandering Kevin Owens babyface run.

After he stacked and pinned both Daniel Bryan (now AEW’s Bryan Danielson) & Edge at WrestleMania 37, more people soured on the run. That sentiment was shared more often after he beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 38 to add the WWE title to his collection. But even as fans questioned WWE’s decision to put both its top belts on a part-time act, Roman’s performances have remained highly praised.

Booking quibbles aside, since returning as a heel at SummerSlam 2020, Reigns has delivered a brave performance. The final judgment will depend on how they eventually wrap up this run, but if it involves cementing a few big babyface main eventers like Sami Zayn & Cody Rhodes and features a huge gate for a ‘Mania showdown with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, it should be considered among the greatest of all-times.

Acknowledge him.

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