Whether Roman Reigns gets another crack at the Universal Title remains to be seen, but at least one avenue back to Suplex City has officially been closed off to the self-dubbed “uncrowned Universal Champion.” Reigns missed out on qualifying for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match on Raw, coming up short under Triple Threat rules after Finn Bálor capitalized on a bum-rush from a disgruntled Jinder Mahal.
Up until then, however, Reigns, who was riding high off his victory over Samoa Joe at WWE Backlash, was firmly in control. Reigns powered his way into the advantage until the brawl spilled into the WWE Universe, where Sami Zayn and Bálor ganged up on him with a Helluva Kick over the barricade and a Coup de Grâce off of it. When Reigns fought his way back into the fray, he began to roll, landing a Superman Punch on Bálor after The Extraordinary Man missed on a Coup de Grâce.
When The Big Dog revved up for the Spear, however, The Maharaja — apparently still smarting over Kurt Angle's refusal to add him to the match — appeared out of nowhere and yanked Reigns down to the mat. The shocked Reigns was easy pickings for a Helluva Kick from Zayn, who met his end when Bálor booted him into the turnbuckles and dispatched him with the Coup de Grâce to earn the victory.
Given the recent controversies surrounding his matches with Lesnar, Reigns may well be the uncrowned champion. But the line to The Beast’s throne is long, and he may have to take the long way to get to the top. All Bálor has to do, meanwhile, is climb.