Dethrone Roman Reigns: We Ask AI Who Will Take The WWE Universal Title Off The Tribal Chief

By michael
Jan 22, 2024

It’s that time again. We’re asking our Wrestling Wordsmith on ChatGPT who should dethrone Roman Reigns. One will know from our previous articles that ChatGPT has been a bit hit or miss. This is not shocking, of course, as artificial intelligence is rarely ever perfect in areas such as this. Yet we have an important question that we’d like for AI to help us resolve, as we all have our guesses but nothing concrete.

Who will dethrone Roman Reigns? It’s one of the biggest questions lingering in WWE as we head into WrestleMania 40. Should it be Cody Rhodes? Should it be The Rock? What about someone like Solo Sikoa, Jey Uso, or even Gunther? 

Let’s see what the AI thinks. As always, everything in italics will be the words of the AI while things not italicized will be our words.


Roman Reigns
Since we wanted to find out who would dethrone Roman Reigns, we knew we had to ask Wrestling Wordsmith. The issue for us, and for a lot of AI, is that this system forces you to ask things perfectly. Which means we needed to ask our questions without making things too difficult. This led us to ask:

Roman Reigns has been the WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion for 1200+ days. Who will dethrone Roman Reigns and become the new WWE Universal Champion?

Its response: 

Ah, Chief, we’re talking about the Head of the Table, Roman Reigns, and his mammoth Universal Championship reign! Who’s worthy to dethrone the Tribal Chief? Well, that’s like choosing the next superhero to save the wrestling world!

Here’s how I’d break it down:

Big E:

A powerhouse with charisma to boot. He’s got the strength and agility to match Reigns and a personality that can light up any arena. Plus, his previous WWE Championship run showed he’s more than capable of being the face of the company.

Drew McIntyre:

The Scottish Psychopath has the look, the skill, and the fan backing. He’s been to the top before, and a showdown with Reigns could be a clash of titans worth remembering. McIntyre’s resilience and sword-wielding bravado make him a perfect candidate.

Seth Rollins:

Ah, the Architect. His history with Reigns adds layers to this potential showdown. Rollins has reinvented himself numerous times, proving he’s always a threat for the top spot. His high-flying, hard-hitting style mixed with his cunning mind games could be the key to usurping Reigns.

An NXT Call-up (like Bron Breakker):

What about a wild card, Chief? A rising star from NXT, like Bron Breakker, could shake up the main roster. It’s a long shot, but imagine the buzz and fresh storyline possibilities! Breakker’s got the pedigree and raw power to make an instant impact.

Remember, Chief, in the wrestling world, it’s not just about who can realistically beat Reigns, but who can spin the best story in the ring and on the mic. Any of these options could lead to a memorable and electrifying torch-passing moment!

We should address the biggest issue first. Big E is out with a neck injury and there is no timetable for his return. Fans love Big E, but he’s not even a realistic candidate by any means. 

Drew McIntyre has the pedigree to beat Roman. He came close (like many of Roman’s opponents do) nearly taking the title off Reigns at WWE Clash at The Castle. Drew is on WWE RAW and seems like a remote option. We don’t buy it. 

Seth is an interesting choice to dethrone Roman Reigns. Of all the choices the one that at least makes sense from a storyline standpoint. Roman and Seth have as much history as any two performers in WWE could have. Seth is respected across the board. He’s also beaten Roman before in big matches. He’s carrying another championship for the company and is focused on CM Punk for now. 

An NXT Call-up? With a champion who has run the company for over three years? Not likely. Down the road, we could see Bron or someone like Carmelo Hayes winning a major WWE title on the main roster. For now? Not happening. 


Gunther - Intercontinental Championship
We asked GPT to go back to the drawing board. We informed the AI of Big-E’s neck issue, which helped it to recalibrate its decision. The choices would end up getting a lot worse, sadly. 

The wrestling landscape is ever-changing, and injuries can throw a wrench in the works. Let’s adjust our sights and think about some other contenders who could realistically take the Universal Championship from Roman Reigns:


The Swiss Superman has long been considered one of the most talented wrestlers in the business. He’s got strength, technical prowess, and the respect of the fans. A push to the top for Cesaro could be a feel-good story and a testament to his years of hard work.

Shinsuke Nakamura:

The King of Strong Style has charisma, a unique style, and international appeal. He’s clashed with Reigns before, and their styles mesh well. Nakamura could bring a fresh, dynamic angle to the championship scene.

Keith Lee:

This guy’s a blend of agility and power that’s rare in the wrestling world. Lee has shown he can hang with top-tier talent, and his “Limitless” persona is something fans can really get behind. A David vs. Goliath story with Reigns could be a hit.

Walter (Gunther):

If WWE wants to go for shock and awe, Walter, now known as Gunther, is your man. His hard-hitting style and sheer presence make him a formidable opponent for Reigns. It would be a brutal, intense showdown, and that’s just the kind of match that could end a lengthy reign.

Sami Zayn:

Never count out the underdog! Sami has been on fire lately with his character work, and he’s incredibly popular with the fans. His story is one of resilience and determination, and a win over Reigns would be a huge upset, making it a memorable wrestling moment.

Each of these wrestlers brings something unique to the table, and a match against Reigns would definitely be must-see TV. The key is finding the right mix of in-ring chemistry, storytelling, and fan reaction to create a moment that’s worthy of ending such a historic title reign.

The Problem Here:

This was worse. While people like Cesaro and Keith Lee are fierce competitors and would be nice choices to dethrone Roman Reigns, there is an issue. We’re pretty sure that WWE does not want to see an AEW wrestler beat their biggest star. Therefore, we have to assume Cesaro and Lee are out.

Sami Zayn and Gunther are both interesting choices. Zayn has had his opportunity, but there’s no way they can recreate the magic they had in 2023. Sami had his opportunity in his hometown of Montreal, right after turning on The Bloodline the month prior. While we knew he might not win, the crowd and how over Zayn was made us believe he could be the one to dethrone Roman Reigns.

Gunther is the first real possibility that we could easily see as the one to take down the Tribal Chief. Of course, Gunther is a very realistic candidate if WWE’s creative team wants to go that way. However, they do not seem keen on this right now for him.


Edge - SmackDown Farewell
We told GPT that Cesaro and Keith Lee no longer work for WWE and haven’t for quite some time. We asked it to revise the list but it could keep Gunther and Seth Rollins on the list. Truthfully, we felt these two made a lot of sense and a final list without either one would be incredibly dumb. That said, here is what the AI told us. 

With the wrestling landscape ever-shifting, it’s crucial to stay updated. Let’s recalibrate and look at some top-tier contenders who are currently with WWE and could realistically challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. Keeping Gunther and Seth Rollins in the mix, here are a few more names to consider:


As mentioned earlier, his sheer presence and hard-hitting style make him a formidable opponent. A showdown with Reigns would be a clash of titans, offering a compelling and intense battle.

Seth Rollins:

Reigns’ former Shield brother has the history, the skills, and the character work to make their rivalry deeply engaging. Rollins always brings his A-game in big matches, and their history could be used to create a riveting storyline.

Bobby Lashley:

The “All Mighty” is a powerhouse, and his dominant style could be a great contrast to Reigns’ methodical approach. Lashley has the credibility and physicality to pose a legitimate threat to Reigns’ reign.

Finn Bálor:

As a former WWE Universal Champion, Bálor has the experience and fan support. He’s proven himself in high-stakes matches and could bring a high-flying, fast-paced dynamic to a feud with Reigns.


The “Rated R Superstar,” with his experience and legacy, could bring a deeply personal and intense rivalry to Reigns. Edge’s cunning and resilience, combined with his storytelling ability, could create a captivating David vs. Goliath narrative.

Matt Riddle:

Riddle’s unique style and charisma have made him a favorite among fans. His laid-back persona, mixed with his legitimate MMA background, could offer an interesting and unpredictable challenge to Reigns.

Each of these wrestlers brings something unique to the table. Whether it’s the brute strength of Lashley, the high-flying agility of Bálor, the seasoned expertise of Edge, or the unorthodox style of Riddle, there’s a wealth of potential in these matchups to create a storyline worthy of toppling the Tribal Chief’s impressive reign.

AJ Styles:

The Phenomenal One has been a top player in every organization he’s been part of. His in-ring prowess and ability to put on stellar matches with just about anyone makes him a prime candidate to challenge Reigns.

Brock Lesnar:

The Beast Incarnate is always a wildcard. His sheer star power and history with Reigns add layers of intensity to any potential matchup. Lesnar’s raw power and Reigns’ tactical approach could create a classic showdown.

The Results:

Admittedly, this is much better. Lashley makes a lot of sense…maybe Balor too in some ways. The problem with the list overall is that the same issues apply here as they did for Keith Lee & Cesaro. Both Edge & Matt Riddle no longer work for WWE. Edge, now going by the name Adam Copeland (his real name), signed with AEW at the end of 2023. While Riddle recently signed a contract with New Japan Pro-Wrestling. 

Riddle also already had his shot at the title and failed. With the restriction on his last attempt stating that he could not challenge for the title again as long as Reigns still holds it. Therefore, Riddle is the worst choice of them all even if he was still with WWE. While Matt would have been an interesting choice to dethrone Roman Reigns, it never made sense given his issues behind the scenes.

On paper, AJ Styles is already set to take on Reigns at The Royal Rumble PLE. Lesnar, however, cannot for similar reasons to Riddle. He’s barred from facing Reigns for the Universal Championship. 


Austin Theory
Of course, the AI still hasn’t mentioned Cody Rhodes, Solo Sikoa, Jey Uso, or Jimmy Uso. All four competitors are closest to Reigns and/or have been major opponents in recent memory. Other names that have yet to be referenced are people like The Rock or CM Punk. We can probably see why both were out. The Rock has mostly been retired since his last match with John Cena back in WrestleMania 29.

Technically, his last match was at WrestleMania 32 but it was a very short, impromptu type of thing. Therefore, we count Cena as his last real fight…which was roughly a decade ago. Meanwhile, CM Punk had been gone from WWE for roughly a decade himself and had been working with AEW at the start of 2023. Meaning, the AI system could not have prepped as well for their returns in late 2023.

Now what, ChatGBT? 

GPT says: 

Austin Theory:

As a rising star, Theory has the athleticism and the cocky persona that could play well against Reigns. He’s been groomed for the top, and a feud with Reigns could be his ticket to the main event scene.


He’s a veteran with a brawler style that matches well against Reigns. Sheamus has the experience, credibility, and fan following to make their clash a marquee matchup.

Worse, ChatGBT. Theory & Sheamus are nice choices to dethrone Roman Reigns but neither are real challenges for him at this point. Mostly due to how they have been booked. The Theory of old with the Money in the Bank briefcase could have been a nice threat in the background to worry about. However, this version of him? Not so much sadly.


Cody Rhodes vs Roman Reigns - WM 39
In the interest of time, we’re going to ask straight up which challengers can dethrone Roman Reigns. Let’s see what they tell us. We asked AI to give us a 1-10 chance for those competitors to beat Roman Reigns and end his historic run. Let’s see what is essentially, the ChatGBT betting odds:

Cody Rhodes: 8/10

Cody’s return to WWE has been nothing short of spectacular. He’s got the momentum, fan support, and the in-ring skills. Plus, his story of coming back to achieve what his legendary father couldn’t is a compelling narrative that WWE might want to capitalize on.

CM Punk: 3/10

While Punk’s return to wrestling was a big deal, his current status with AEW and potential contractual obligations make this a long shot. However, in the wrestling world, never say never. If he ever returns to WWE, the storyline potential is massive.

Jey Uso: 2/10

Jey’s been a loyal lieutenant in The Bloodline, but a turn against Reigns seems unlikely given their current storyline. However, internal feuds within wrestling families have always been a hit, so this could be a dark-horse scenario.

Solo Sikoa: 1/10

As a newer face in the WWE universe, Solo’s chances seem slim at this point. He’s building his presence, but it’s probably too early for him to be in the title picture, especially against a dominant champion like Reigns.

Jimmy Uso: 2/10

Much like Jey, Jimmy’s deeply entwined in The Bloodline storyline. While an upset within the family could be a dramatic twist, it doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now, given their successful run as a faction.

The Rock: 7/10

If The Rock returns for one more match, the star power alone would be off the charts. A family feud with high stakes, especially at a big event like WrestleMania, could be a realistic scenario for Reigns to drop the title, passing the torch in a blockbuster match.

Interesting Result:

That’s pretty good. We wouldn’t have Solo last on the list with a 1/10 chance. He has a much more straightforward path to doing so than his brothers, Jimmy and Jey, do. 

Putting the Rock at 7/10 is a good decision on paper. The reality is harder to grasp. Roman Reigns is not losing to The Rock in a match for the Universal Title. It doesn’t make sense to have Rock end his run, then turn around and give it to someone else. 

Putting CM Punk at 3/10 is lower than we’d expect. Though we don’t think that he’s got a clear path to Roman, the chances are much better for Punk than they are for Jimmy or Jey. We’d put this at 5/10. 

Giving Cody an 8/10 seems like the most logical choice. It makes us wonder why GPT gives him such a high chance to win but then doesn’t recommend him as a nominee, so we hear conspiracy?!? 

GPT knows very little about how these wrestlers appear to the audience. Picking a winner against Roman Reigns has been a fool’s errand for the better half of three years.

GPT was the biggest fool today. However, we know the feeling as fans. They righted the ship in the end though.

Better luck next time, Wrestling Wordsmith.

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