After turning down John Cena’s challenge for a title match at SummerSlam, Roman Reigns agreed to a bout with a surprise opponent.
The Tribal Chief announced at the end of Friday’s SmackDown he will defend the WWE Universal Championship against Finn Balor.
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What did <a href=”https://twitter.com/FinnBalor?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@FinnBalor</a> do during his <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWERAW?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#WWERAW</a> debut in 2016? Oh, that’s right, beat <a href=”https://twitter.com/WWERomanReigns?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@WWERomanReigns</a>! <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SmackDown?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SmackDown</a> <a href=”https://t.co/QNnYDTRCvR”>pic.twitter.com/QNnYDTRCvR</a>
Balor, who returned to the main roster last week for the first time since 2019, has been waiting for this opportunity for nearly five years.
When Balor made his debut on Raw in 2016, he pinned Reigns to earn a match at SummerSlam with Seth Rollins for the newly-created universal title.
After beating Rollins at the pay-per-view, it was revealed Balor had to undergo surgery for a torn labrum suffered in the match, and he vacated the title. He didn’t get another championship match until the 2019 Royal Rumble against Brock Lesnar.
Meanwhile, WWE has been setting up a Reigns-Cena main event at SummerSlam for the past week. Cena made his triumphant return at the end of Money in the Bank after Reigns retained the title by pinning Edge.
Cena opened SmackDown on Friday by challenging Reigns to a match, but he didn’t get the response he was looking for.
Instead, Reigns will put up his crown against Balor. A date and location for the match wasn’t announced.