5 reasons why Paul Heyman betrayed Roman Reigns

The Roman Reigns-Paul Heyman is officially over after nearly 16 months together. They first aligned two days before Payback 2020, and it marked the official heel turn of Reigns.

Only two days after that, he defeated Braun Strowman and ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt to capture the Universal Championship – one that he has held for 474 days as of this writing.

The alliance has been a significant one and not the same as Brock Lesnar’s relationship with Paul Heyman. While the latter was a full-time mouthpiece for Lesnar, that wasn’t the case with Reigns.

It was more of Heyman being The Tribal Chief’s special counsel. On the 17th December episode of SmackDown, Roman Reigns fired Paul Heyman after the latter told the Universal Champion that he was protecting him from Brock Lesnar and not the other way around.

So why did Heyman betray Reigns? And why did WWE decide to end their alliance? Here are a few possible reasons:

#5. To re-establish the babyface-heel dynamic between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar

One thing that often happens when a heel is popular is that they slowly stop getting the same level of heat they once did. When fans start to see character progression, those boos eventually turn into cheers.

In the case of superstars like The Rock in 1999, the face turns are carefully calculated and the trigger would be pulled when the time is right. For Roman Reigns, many believe the time isn’t right for him to turn face just yet.

There’s no doubt that he is enjoying the best run of his WWE career, is putting out the best work of his career, and is the strongest character in the company right now.

Fans have truly begun to acknowledge Reigns, and the crowd in Chicago seemed to favor him a lot more. This isn’t good timing because Brock Lesnar is the babyface in the feud.

While Lesnar has largely transcended being a face or heel character between 2015 and 2020, his return to WWE in 2021 and feud with Roman Reigns helped establish him as a big babyface.

By having Heyman betray Reigns and The Tribal Chief fire his special counsel, it helps re-establish the clear-cut face-heel dynamic between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns.

While Reigns was the face during their feuds in 2015 and 2018, the dynamic is different this time, and it’s likely how they want it to play out until WrestleMania 38. It will be interesting to see who the crowd cheers for more at the Day 1 pay-per-view.

#4. Roman Reigns doesn’t need Paul Heyman

Paul Heyman served as more of an extra to Roman Reigns. He was undoubtedly integral in the progression of Reigns’ heel character, but as we mentioned before, it was different from his relationship with Brock Lesnar.

Heyman wasn’t The Tribal Chief’s mouthpiece. He was the “wise man” and his special counsel, and Roman Reigns did the bigger share of talking. He was notorious for being weak on the mic during his early babyface singles run in 2015-2018.

However, that has completely changed with him as a heel, and the reality is that dropping Paul Heyman from his side won’t make that much of a difference in terms of impact.

The Roman Reigns character has never seemed like he needed Paul Heyman but hired him more out of respect for his experience, and the fact that Heyman has a long association with the Anoa’i family – 40 years, according to Reigns.

WWE has probably known for a while that The Tribal Chief doesn’t need Paul Heyman by his side to thrive, so the matter of them breaking up was just a matter of when and not if.

#3. Did the Roman Reigns-Paul Heyman alliance go on longer than required?

The Roman Reigns-Paul Heyman alliance has been crucial to the last 15 months of WWE programming. However, one has to wonder – if Brock Lesnar never took an extensive 18-month hiatus, would the alliance have come to be on SmackDown?

It’s always possible that Lesnar would have been kept on RAW and Reigns on the blue brand, with Heyman doing double-duty. However, the idea of Roman Reigns never turning heel would be hard to imagine in hindsight.

It has caused such a massive improvement to him on a personal level, so much so that nobody has been close to him. Even then, all of this raises the question – Were Reigns and Heyman together longer than they needed to be?

As we mentioned, Roman Reigns certainly didn’t need Paul Heyman to progress as a character. He likely would have thrived equally on his own as a heel, but Heyman served the purpose of elevating him by association.

Perhaps WWE felt the alliance had overstayed its welcome – and with Brock Lesnar back, took the opportunity to end it.

#2. Roman Reigns firing Paul Heyman opens up the door for his return to Brock Lesnar

It’s interesting that the entire Roman Reigns-Brock Lesnar feud in 2021 has largely been centered around Paul Heyman and where his loyalty stands. Lesnar used Reigns’ insecurity to fuel the fire about where Heyman stands.

The best part about the current version of The Beast Incarnate is the fact that he seems to have an actual character, and also seems to be enjoying his role as the babyface of the feud. Not only this, but it has been a big break away from the monotonous Paul Heyman-Brock Lesnar promos we have seen in WWE for the last eight years.

With that said, the dynamic could still be a bit different if Heyman were to re-align with Lesnar. We imagine that the former won’t be seen for a while on WWE TV, and the attack by Roman Reigns was used to write him off.

But at some point in 2022, whether it’s at the Royal Rumble or after that, we presume that WWE will attempt to have Paul Heyman reunite with Brock Lesnar.

#1. Is there a possible twist with Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns at Day 1?

This is perhaps the reason we like the most about the possibility of why Paul Heyman betrayed Roman Reigns. It could all be a ploy with both parties aware, and one unaware – Brock Lesnar.

Lesnar has consistently called Heyman his advocate and has shown no malice towards the fact that his long-time friend and business partner changed sides while he was gone and continued to do so since he returned.

But perhaps this is WWE thowing us off by making it seem like Roman Reigns is done with Paul Heyma. They did something similar in 2018 when The Beast Incarnate turned on Heyman, but that too, turned out to be a ploy.

We’re not sure why WWE is giving away the rumored WrestleMania 38 main event at the Day 1 pay-per-view, but what we can’t be sure of is whether there’s a big twist in store or not.

Paul Heyman betraying Brock Lesnar and re-affirming his alliance with Roman Reigns ensures that the feud can keep going while keeping Lesnar as a babyface.


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