WWE has gone through several changes over recent years, with John Cena becoming a part-time in pursuit of an acting career and legends like Steve Austin making rare appearances at Wrestlemania. One thing that fans often forget when they’re invested in who’s active on the roster is how many people get cut from the roster every year. Popular wrestlers like Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowmen, and Aleister Black have been released in favor of budget cuts, while up and comers such as Tony Storm, Kyle O’reily, and Ember Moon have also fallen by the wayside. While this is often the most regrettable news of the year, it may be evidence that WWE can afford to lose top performers and bottom carders alike.
Reports are coming in that Roman Reigns is done with his full-time role in WWE and it comes during a time where fans are left wondering who the next top guy will be. Roman Reigns has been the self-proclaimed tribal chief and head of the table since he won the WWE title and every time he enters the ring, he proves why he has given himself those monickers. Will the next face of the company be the previous top guy Drew McIntyre, a returning face like Cody Rhodes, or a new superstar altogether? The showcase of immortals just recently concluded which gives WWE almost a full year to prepare and build Reigns’ replacement, and the roster is full of great talent to choose from.
There are few reasons to truly worry about Roman Reigns becoming a part-time performer as the company was able to work with the stars they had when John Cena decided to step away, and that will almost certainly be the case with Roman Reigns leaving. Like AEW and NJPW, WWE is drowning in talented wrestlers whether they have a thirst for the brass ring or not, with amazing athletes like Ricochet, Mustafa Ali, Gable Steveson, Humberto, and LA Knight often sitting on the sidelines while others get their opportunity to shine. On top of the existing sports entertainers they have, some AEW wrestlers may be looking to make the jump over to the international brand and rumors suggest that MJF could be WWE’s next top guy if he chooses to make the jump.
Predicting who will take Roman Reigns’ place as the top guy is difficult given Vince McMahon’s ever-changing opinion on who’s worthy of the aforementioned brass ring. Cody Rhodes is a popular wrestler who just made his return, but his sights are on the US Championship rather than the WWE title. Seth “Freaking” Rollins has been a work horse since he turned on his Shield brethren, but many fans have go away heat with him due to limited changes in character since then (especially his laughter). Drew McIntyre seems like the most valid candidate given his pandemic-era run, but Vince McMahon may be looking to his new favorite, Austin Theory. Regardless of which star WWE goes with, one thing is for sure, there are many top guys that are talented enough to fill the void left by the tribal chief.
Prior to the pandemic, WWE had been signing countless wrestlers to ensure that they’d be under the WWE umbrella rather than potentially increasing AEW’s popularity. This came to a head during the pandemic-era which was full of releases due to budget cuts and WWE continues to bring in tons of profits as a result of business moves like this. Roman Reigns’ new part-time schedule will ensure that he can return to put over WWE’s next top star, but Vince McMahon is losing time to build up the next guy every day that passes.
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