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Seth Rollins and AJ Styles Take Shots at Roman Reigns Over His Championship Run
Both Superstars seem to be focused more on Roman Reigns than each other!
A new WWE World Heavyweight Champion will be crowned at Night of Champions – but are both competitors losing focus?
On May 27, Seth “Freakin” Rollins and AJ Styles, representing RAW and SmackDown, respectively, will collide in the finals of the World Heavyweight Championship tournament. Either Superstar is worthy of being WWE’s first World Heavyweight Champion since 2013 – it truly will come down to who is the best of the best at Night of Champions. However, both competitors have seemingly become distracted in recent weeks, leading many in the WWE Universe to believe that neither man is 100% focused on their upcoming title match. The reason? Roman Reigns.
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Interestingly enough, in the buildup to Night of Champions, both Seth Rollins and AJ Styles have brought up The Tribal Chief – also known as the man who many feel is the reason WWE created the World Heavyweight Championship in the first place. In fact, both Rollins and Styles haven’t shied away from controversy with recent comments directly at the reigning Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.
Seth Rollins Says He Loves Roman Reigns But Doesn’t Like Him
For the past few weeks, Seth Rollins has been featured in a series of sit-down interview segments with Corey Graves, as the hype train has kept rolling along ahead of a possible championship victory at Night of Champions. However, his most recent comments have almost certainly gotten the attention of his ex-Shield partner Roman Reigns.
“I love Roman Reigns,” Rollins told a speechless Graves on Monday’s edition of RAW. “But I don’t like Roman Reigns.”
Rollins continued the verbal onslaught, declaring he doesn’t respect the way Roman Reigns conducts business – and accusing him of taking opportunities away from other WWE Superstars by essentially holding the Undisputed WWE Universal title hostage. It’s an interesting play by Rollins, when conventional wisdom suggests that he should be focusing solely on his upcoming World Heavyweight Title match with AJ Styles. Is Rollins distracted? Has he taken his eye off the ball? Where is this sudden hostility towards Roman Reigns coming from?
It’s a peculiar turn of events, but Rollins isn’t the only man throwing shade in Reigns’ direction these days.
AJ Styles Thinks the World Heavyweight Title is “Secondary”
In an interview this week with the New York Post, AJ Styles was asked a pointed question: Does he feel the newly-instituted World Heavyweight Championship plays second-fiddle to the titles reign holds?
“Is it a secondary championship?” Styles asked. “Well, if the RAW championship is held by Roman and the SmackDown championship is held by Roman, then how can you argue that it’s not? We had to make a new championship because Roman holds them all.”
While many members of the WWE Universe think Styles’ comments are shocking – why would a current Superstar undermine the integrity of a new championship by anointing it “secondary?” – Styles was quick to follow up his answer with his reasoning. It’s clear that Roman Reigns’ stranglehold over WWE’s top singles titles is weighing heavily on the minds of competitors like AJ Styles.
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“What happens if he decides to wrestle for the World Heavyweight Championship?” Styles shot back. “It is what it is – and we got what we got. If we make the best of it, and if and when Roman does challenge [for it], we beat the brakes off of him, whomever it might be, then we’ll see what title’s secondary.”
While AJ Styles’ comments may seem harsh, he is speaking for the entire wrestling world when he says that any major world title pales in comparison to the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Facts are facts. It doesn’t mean that AJ Styles will fight for the right to become champion any less.
Why Is Roman Reigns Being Targeted?
It’s undoubtedly eyebrow-raising that both finalists of the World Heavyweight title tournament are fearlessly taking shots at Roman Reigns ahead of Night of Champions. Conventional wisdom states that neither man will be involved in Roman Reigns’ business anytime soon (although you can argue that by virtue of being on SmackDown along with Reigns, AJ Styles has a more direct trajectory to eventually collide with the Tribal Chief).
Roman Reigns has been the champion of both brands for an extended period of time, and it’s entirely possible that both rosters are sick and tired of it. It’s a testament to the competitive nature of Seth Rollins and AJ Styles that they’re even thinking about anything else other than the World Heavyweight Championship. After all, you don’t become a WWE Superstar to be content with one championship.
Deep down, Rollins and Styles are envious of the dominance exhibited by Roman Reigns, and if they had their way, they’d switch positions with him in a heartbeat.
First things first, however: The two men have a date with destiny in the form of the finals of the World Heavyweight Championship tournament. It all goes down on May 27 in Saudi Arabia in what promises to be a historic event. May the best man win – Monday Night RAW needs a champion to build around.
You can tune into Peacock to watch WWE's Night of Champions on May 27 and Money in the Bank on July 1. In the meantime, catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock.