Roman Reigns returned to SmackDown for the first time since testing positive for COVID-19 and missing the Day 1 event.
Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar are still vying for Paul Heyman’s services on WWE SmackDown. The main event triangle continued on Friday on a night that also cemented Seth Rollins as Reigns’ Royal Rumble opponent.
It appears that Heyman’s wish-washy allegiance will continue to be a focal point on the Road to WrestleMania and an expected champion vs. champion match between Reigns and Lesnar. Elsewhere on the card, The Usos defended their WWE SmackDown Tag Team championship in a street fight against New Day, and a swath of legends were announced for the 2022 Women’s Royal Rumble match.
— WWE (@WWE) January 8, 2022
Roman Reigns returned for the first time since testing positive for COVID and missing the Day 1 event. The universal champion insisted he did not want to see Brock Lesnar or Paul Heyman ever again. That desire was quickly ignored as Lesnar’s music hit. “The Beast Incarnate” made his way to the ring with Heyaman did his best impression of Heyman’s introduction, earning praise from his advocate. The WWE champion poked fun at the universal titleholder by riffing on Reigns’ “acknowledge me” phrase before challenging Reigns to a title vs. title match.
Reigns refused to do business with Heyman, eliciting an emotional response from his former special counsel. Heyman, on the verge of tears, expressed how he worshipped Reigns and was assaulted for his allegiance. An irate Lesnar told Heyman to shut up. Reigns then took advantage of the spat between the two and floored Heyman with a superman punch.
Later in the evening, Adam Pearce informed Sonya Deville that he was instructed to to determine a WWE universal title challenger for Reigns at the Royal Rumble. Pearce entered Reigns’ locker room prior to the main event, informing the champion that a challenger had been chosen. Reigns could not care less and asked Pearce to leave so “The Tribal Chief” could watch his cousins in peace.