As the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns was assigned to "WWE SmackDown" following the WWE Draft, making "WWE Raw" the official home of the newly revived World Heavyweight Championship. The journey to this point reportedly began over 16 months ago.
Fightful Select reveals that WWE's decision to unify the Universal and WWE Championships in 2022 was allegedly a "hasty" move after Reigns tested positive for COVID-19 before his scheduled appearance on Day 1. Initially, Reigns was set to defend his Universal Championship against "The Beast Incarnate" Brock Lesnar, at the January 2022 event.
However, due to his illness, Reigns was removed from the card, and Lesnar was quickly put in place to win the WWE Championship as a last-minute entrant in that title match. During this period, WWE also developed the concept of merging their two world titles at WrestleMania 38.
In the unification match between Reigns and Lesnar, Reigns came out on top, earning the title of Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, with Reigns now holding both prestigious titles. Fightful reports that WWE began charting a path to separate the two championships.
Although internal plans once suggested Drew McIntyre or Seth Rollins challenging Cody Rhodes for the WWE Championship, these ideas were never implemented. The proposal to divide the world titles was eventually abandoned.
Heavyweight Title at Night of Champions
Whether WWE will ever separate or defuse one of Reigns' titles remains to be seen, but a new World Heavyweight Champion will be determined at the Night of Champions event.
Initially slated to host the King and Queen of the Ring on May 27, WWE opted to rebrand the show due to the reintroduction of the title above. As the landscape of WWE continues to evolve, fans eagerly anticipate the crowning of a new World Heavyweight Champion at Night of Champions, further solidifying the distinctions between "WWE SmackDown" and "WWE Raw." The unfolding events will undoubtedly shape the future of WWE championships and the careers of its superstar wrestlers.
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