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This carefully crafted ebook is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. Money in the Bank (2016) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE. It took place on June 19, 2016 at the T-Mobile Arena in the Las Vegas suburb of Paradise, Nevada. It was the seventh event under the Money in the Bank chronology. This book has been derived from Wikipedia: it contains the entire text of the title Wikipedia article + the entire text of all the 177 related (linked) Wikipedia articles to the title article. This book does not contain illustrations. e-Pedia (an imprint of e-artnow) charges for the convenience service of formatting these e-books for your eReader. We donate a part of our net income after taxes to the Wikimedia Foundation from the sales of all books based on Wikipedia content.

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e-Pedia: Money in the Bank (2016)

Money in the Bank (2016) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE
by Wikipedia contributors
For a detailed list of authors, please use the link to the authors provided at the end of each article. 
Licensed by e-Pedia (an imprint of e-artnow) 2017, pursuant to: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC- BY-SA 3.0 License)
This edition has been last updated 2017-06-13
ISBN 978-80-268-5795-2
Editorial note: this carefully crafted ebook is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. This book has been derived from Wikipedia: it contains the entire text of the title Wikipedia article + the entire text of all the 177 related (linked) Wikipedia articles to the title article. This book does not contain illustrations or illustration descriptions.  e-Pedia (an imprint of e-artnow) charges for the convenience service of formatting these e-books. We donate a part of our net income after taxes to the Wikimedia Foundation from the sales of all e-books based on Wikipedia content. You can access the original Wikipedia articles on the internet free of charge. e-artnow and e-Pedia are neither affiliated with nor endorsed by Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation.
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Main table of contents:

Money in the Bank (2016)

Introduction

Production

Event

Reception

Aftermath

Results

See also

References

External links

Linked articles

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, P, R, S, T, W, X, Z
View in order of appearance
View in alphabetical order
Main TOC 

Contents

1Production2Event3Reception4Aftermath5Results6See also7References8External links

Money in the Bank (2016)

Money in the Bank (2016) was a professional wrestlingpay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE. It took place on June 19, 2016 at the T-Mobile Arena in the Las Vegas suburb of Paradise, Nevada.[1] It was the seventh event under the Money in the Bank chronology.

Eleven matches were contested at the event, with two matches contested on the pre-show. The main event saw Seth Rollins defeat Roman Reigns to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, only to lose it minutes later to Dean Ambrose, who cashed in the Money in the Bank contract he won earlier in the event to defeat Rollins for the title. Also on the card, AJ Styles defeated John Cena. Two days after Money in the Bank, former champion Reigns was suspended for violating WWE's Wellness Program.

TOP
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 Production

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 Background

WWE's Money in the Bank pay-per-view event centers around a match of the same name, in which multiple wrestlers use ladders to retrieve a briefcase hanging above the ring. The winner is guaranteed a match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at a time of their choosing within the next year.[2]

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 Storylines

See also: Professional wrestling

The professional wrestling matches at Money in the Bank featured professional wrestlers performing as characters in scripted events pre-determined by the hosting promotion, WWE. Storylines between the characters played out on WWE's primary television programs, Raw and SmackDown.[3][4]

On November 4, 2015, Seth Rollins was forced to vacate the WWE World Heavyweight Championship due to injury.[5] Rollins returned on May 22, 2016 at Extreme Rules, attacking champion Roman Reigns after his successful title defense against AJ Styles.[6] Rollins was granted a title match against Reigns at Money in the Bank the next night on Raw by Shane McMahon.[7] Meanwhile, critics wondered if WWE was "leaving money on the table" by not slotting Rollins as a face and Reigns as a heel,[8][9] as this was the opposite of what fans wanted (fans were cheering Rollins and booing Reigns).[10]

On the May 30 episode of Raw, John Cena returned after recovering from a shoulder injury that left him out of action for five months. AJ Styles then came out to welcome him back until Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Styles' former teammates in The Club (which had broken up the previous week on Raw) appeared looking for a fight. Cena and Styles prepared to brawl with them, until Styles attacked Cena alongside Gallows and Anderson, turning heel and reforming The Club in the process.[11] On June 3, a match between Cena and Styles was scheduled for Money in the Bank which WWE labeled as a "WrestleMania Dream Match".[12] On the June 13 episode of Raw, Cena presented Styles with two contracts: one allowing Gallows and Anderson to be in his corner, the other banning them so they could fight uninterrupted, and Styles chose the latter.[13]

The winner of the Money in the Bank ladder match will win a contract for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at any time within the next year. On the May 23 episode of Raw, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose, and Kevin Owens all qualified for the match by defeating Sheamus, The Miz, Apollo Crews, Dolph Ziggler, and AJ Styles, respectively.[7] On the May 26 episode of SmackDown, Alberto Del Rio defeated Zack Ryder to qualify for the match.[14]

At Payback, the final match in a tournament to determine the #1 contender for the WWE Tag Team Championship, pitting The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch) against Enzo and Cass, ended in a no contest after Enzo Amore suffered a legit concussion.[15][16] Subsequently, the Vaudevillains challenged WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day at Extreme Rules in a losing effort.[6][17] On the May 30 episode of Raw, during a rematch between The Vaudevillains and The New Day, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson attacked The New Day.[11] The following week on Raw, The Vaudevillains defeated Enzo & Cass by disqualification. Later in the night, Gallows and Anderson defeated The New Day. Taking an idea by Teddy Long, Stephanie McMahon scheduled the four teams in a match at Money in the Bank in a Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE Tag Team Championship.[18]

On the May 26 episode of SmackDown, after WWE United States ChampionRusev defeated Kalisto to retain the title, Titus O'Neil came out to help Kalisto when Rusev refused to break his Accolade submission hold.[14] On the May 30 episode of Raw, after defeating Zack Ryder, Rusev started to insult the crowd and declared himself a "true American hero", leading to O'Neil coming out and punching Rusev.[11] On June 8, a match between O'Neil and Rusev for the United States Championship was scheduled for Money in the Bank.[19] On the June 13 episode of Raw, Titus O'Neil walked out for his match when Rusev attacked him on the stage and applied the Accolade, as WWE officials tried to pull Rusev off of O'Neil.[13]

At Extreme Rules, WWE Women's ChampionCharlotte defeated Natalya due to distraction by Dana Brooke dressing as Ric Flair.[6] On the May 23 episode of Raw, Charlotte turned on her father Ric Flair, claiming he was no longer needed and therefore, aligned herself with Dana Brooke as her protege.[7] On the May 26 episode of SmackDown, Natalya defeated Brooke by disqualification.[14] On the May 30 episode of Raw, after Brooke defeated Natalya, Becky Lynch came out to help Natalya.[11] On the June 2 episode of SmackDown, Lynch defeated Charlotte by disqualification.[20] On the June 9 episode of SmackDown, Lynch defeated Brooke.[21] On June 13, a match pitting Charlotte and Brooke against Natalya and Lynch was scheduled for Money in the Bank.

At the Extreme Rules pre-show, Baron Corbin defeated Dolph Ziggler in a No Disqualification match after deliberately using a low blow before the End of Days.[6] The next night on Raw, Ziggler challenged Corbin to a "technical wrestling match" for next week on Raw, which Corbin accepted.[7] On that night Raw, Ziggler was disqualified after deliberately hitting Corbin with a low blow as retaliation for what happened at Extreme Rules.[11] On June 17, another match between the two was scheduled for Money in the Bank.[22]

On the May 23 episode of Raw, frustration toward losing his Money in the Bank qualifying match to Sami Zayn earlier in the night, Sheamus attacked Apollo Crews during a backstage interview with Renee Young, telling Crews that he's sick of him promoting the "New Era" and that no one would replace him, leading to Crews losing his Money in the Bank qualifying match to Chris Jericho later in the show.[7] On the June 9 episode of SmackDown, backstage watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows movie, Sheamus bragged to Zack Ryder, Goldust, R-Truth, and Summer Rae about how great he was and how everyone should be waiting on him and how he is an A-list star, leading to Apollo Crews confronting Sheamus and punching him, sending Sheamus into a number of cardboard boxes behind him.[21] On the June 13 episode of Raw, after defeating Zack Ryder, Sheamus continued to viciously attack Ryder leading to Crews coming down to help Ryder.[13] On June 17, a match pitting the two was scheduled for Money in the Bank.[22]

After Goldust replaced R-Truth with Fandango as his tag team partner in their match in the Team Championship #1 contender tournament on the April 14 episode of SmackDown,[23] R-Truth found a new partner in Tyler Breeze.[24] Following singles match victory on Raw by Breeze over Goldust[17] and R-Truth over Fandango,[25] the two teams faced each other on the May 12 episode of SmackDown; Tyler Breeze and R-Truth defeated Golddust and Fandango when Fandango turned on his partner. After the match, Fandango and Breeze continued to attack Goldust, who was then rescued by R-Truth.[26] After Breezango (Breeze and Fandango's new tag team name) defeated Golden Truth (Goldust and R-Truth) on the May 16[27] and the May 26 episode of Raw,[14] a third match between the two teams was scheduled on June 17 for the Money in the Bank pre-show.[22]

On June 17, a match pitting The Lucha Dragons against The Dudley Boyz was scheduled for the Money in the Bank pre-show.[22]

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 Event

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 Pre-show

During the pre-show, Golden Truth (Goldust and R-Truth) faced Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango). Breezango suffered from major cases of sunburn, which their opponents exploited throughout the match. The end came when Goldust executed a Final Cut on Fandango to win the match.[28][29]

Later, The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) wrestled The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley). In the end, Kalisto executed a Salida Del Sol on Bubba Ray,[29] followed by Sin Cara's Swanton Bomb to win the match.[30]

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 Preliminary matches

The actual pay-per-view opened with The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston defending the Tag Team Championship against Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Enzo and Cass, and The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch) in a Fatal 4-Way Tag Team match. The match ended with Big E and Kingston executing the Midnight Hour on Anderson to retain the title.[29][31]

Next, Baron Corbin faced Dolph Ziggler. In the end, Corbin executed the End of Days on Ziggler for the win.[29][32]

After that, Women's ChampionCharlotte and Dana Brooke faced Natalya and Becky Lynch. The end came when Charlotte executed a Natural Selection on Natalya to win the match. After the match, Becky tried to console Natalya, who responded by attacking Becky, thus turning heel.[29][33]

In the fourth match, Apollo Crews fought Sheamus. In the end, Sheamus executed White Noise off the top rope for a near-fall. Crews pinned Sheamus with a Crucifix pin for the win.[29]

In the fifth match, AJ Styles faced John Cena. During the match, both wrestlers managed to execute their respective finishing moves - Cena an Attitude Adjustment and Styles a Styles Clash - but in both cases the opponent kicked out at two. Styles applied the Calf Crusher on Cena and Cena applied the STF on Styles, but neither man submitted. Cena executed a second Attitude Adjustment on Styles, but in the process accidentally knocked down the referee. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows interfered, executed a Magic Killer on Cena and placed Styles on top of him. The referee, who had not witnessed anything, recovered and counted the pinfall victory for Styles.[29]

Next was the Money in the Bank ladder match involving Dean Ambrose, Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro, Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn. The ending saw Ambrose pull Owens into a ladder, knocking Owens onto a ladder bridged between another ladder and the ring corner, and unhooked the briefcase to win the match and the contract for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship title match.[29]

In the seventh match, Rusev defended his United States Championship against Titus O'Neil. Rusev forced O'Neil to submit to the Accolade to retain the title.[29]

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 Main event

In the main event, Roman Reigns defended the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Seth Rollins. Reigns executed two Superman Punches, but both times Rollins kicked out. Reigns collided with the barricade when he attempted to spear Rollins outside the ring, leading to medical personnel checking on Reigns. Rollins attempted a Pedigree on Reigns, who responded with a Spear on Rollins. As the referee had been knocked down too, Rollins was able to kick out at two. In the end, Reigns attempted another Spear but Rollins countered with a Pedigree on Reigns for a near-fall. Rollins executed a second Pedigree to win the match and the championship.

After the match, Dean Ambrose's entrance theme began to play, Rollins anticipated that he would appear at the walkway but instead Ambrose appeared behind Rollins and hit him with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Ambrose then cashed in his Money in the Bank contract, executed Dirty Deeds on Rollins and pinned him for the victory and the title.[29]

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 Reception

"Money in the Bank" had three matches praised by multiple reviewers (Cena-Styles, Reigns-Rollins, and the ladder match), although different reviewers found some faults with one or more of these matches. Meanwhile the rest of the undercard was not as well received.

James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch reviewed most of the event's matches, giving the Reigns-Rollins world title match 3.5 (out of 5) stars due to a "very strong second half after a sluggish first half with Reigns playing a heel throughout". Caldwell attributed Ambrose's title win to WWE needing "to do something after the 2.03 TV rating on Monday" for Raw, leading to "WWE switching the belt the one clear, 100 percent, Daniel Bryan-like babyface they have at the top of the card". Two of the event's matches were jointly best rated at 3.75 stars: Cena-Styles, "three-fourths of the way to an epic match that was hyped going into the PPV" but "Cena looked rusty"; as well as the ladder match, "very good" but with a predictable ending "since everyone got their shine while Ambrose was mainly in the background during the match". The rest of the matches on the pay-per-view broadcast were rated between 2.0 and 2.5 stars: the tag title match was "a bit of a mess"; "Ziggler made [Corbin] look good"; Lynch and Natalya should have gotten a "credibility-boosting victory since they always lose to Charlotte"; Crews's win was "unconvincing", and Rusev was repeating his 2014 storyline with the U.S. title.[29]

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer deemed the first pre-show match a "nothing match" and the second pre-show match "normal". He opined that the tag title match drew the crowd into it but that the "execution was rough". Meltzer was negative on Corbin-Ziggler, which he called "too long", as the "feud has done Ziggler no favors" while "Corbin just doesn't show much of anything". The finish of Crews-Sheamus made him think "it's just the beginning between these two." The next two matches Meltzer deemed "excellent": Cena-Styles was about Styles being "the better wrestler than Cena, beating him at every turn but he couldn't finish him", while in the ladder match everyone (especially Cesaro) "took big ladder bumps but there was nothing really insane like used to be in such matches. Meltzer wrote the U.S. title match "was in the death spot" and "really had no chance with the crowd" despite Rusev and O'Neil having "worked hard in a physical match." The Reigns-Rollins match he called "flat at times because it went so long" and that Rollins was "not that over as a face" while "people just weren't into Reigns at all".[34]

Jason Namako of Wrestleview felt that Money in the Bank was "a damn good show" with a "phenomenal ending": it featured "the resurrection of Dean Ambrose as a player in this company and it was an amazing success". That followed the Reigns-Rollins world title match, which was Namako's match of the night. Ambrose was Namako's Most Valuable Player of the night, with his "insane" ladder match featuring "tremendous effort" by all six men involved. Another notable match was the tag title match, a "super-fun opener with a real hot, frenetic pace to it". Meanwhile, Corbin-Ziggler was "solid", Crews-Sheamus was "decent", and O'Neil and Rusev "did the best they could" in the "epitome of a cool-down match". However, Namako felt the show also had negatives: the "masterful performance" by Cena and Styles was "tarnished by timid booking" with an "unneeded cheap finish" which did not "help Styles in the slightest"; while the women's match was "run-of-the-mill" and "it unfortunately looks like we are right back where we started one year ago before the 'Divas Revolution' began".[35]

Aaron Oster, writing for The Baltimore Sun, wrote that Ambrose's win of the ladder match was predictable, yet "the main event was anything but predictable". Oster attributed the television overrun of the show to two reasons: firstly viewers who were watching the Game 7 of the NBA Finals could watch the main event, and secondly "it kept fans guessing exactly when it would end". "Hypothetically, if things go as the WWE wants with Brock Lesnar returning to UFC", Oster speculated, "many more eyes than usual will be turning toward the company for the entire summer, and especially at Summerslam. To have Dean Ambrose be the champion when that is happening is a huge statement from the company that shows how much confidence that they have in him." For the other events, Oster felt it was "weird" to portray Crews as an "underdog" but that was still "better than having absolutely no direction with him." Meanwhile, "Rusev as a jerk heel, and not simply an anti-American heel, is really a fantastic thing." Oster also remarked that Golden Truth had fan support but doubted that WWE would "actually go anywhere with it."[36]

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 Aftermath

The day after Money in the Bank, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins wrestled on Raw for a future shot at Dean Ambrose's world title, which was shortened back to being called the WWE Championship. That match ended in a double count-out, so Ambrose agreed to face both men, and Shane McMahon arranged a triple threat world title match at Battleground.[37] On June 21, two days after Money in the Bank, Roman Reigns was suspended for 30 days for violating WWE's Wellness Program,[38] which uses drug testing to detect substance abuse.[39]Pro Wrestling Torch and TheWrap reported that WWE knew of Reigns's violation before Money in the Bank, leading to Reigns being scripted to lose his world title at the event.[40][41]

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 Results

No.ResultsStipulationsTimes[29]1PThe Golden Truth (Goldust and R-Truth) defeated Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango)Tag team match[28]5:062PThe Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara and Kalisto) defeated The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley)Tag team match[30]8:483The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (c) (with Xavier Woods) defeated Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Enzo Amore and Big Cass, and The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch)Fatal 4-Way tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship[31]11:434Baron Corbin defeated Dolph ZigglerSingles match[32]12:255Charlotte and Dana Brooke defeated Natalya and Becky LynchTag team match[33]7:006Apollo Crews defeated SheamusSingles match[42]8:367AJ Styles defeated John CenaSingles match[43]24:108Dean Ambrose defeated Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro, Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, and Sami ZaynMoney in the Bank ladder match for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match contract[44]21:389Rusev (c) (with Lana) defeated Titus O'Neil by submissionSingles match for the WWE United States Championship[45]8:3010Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns (c)Singles match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship[46]26:0011Dean Ambrose defeated Seth Rollins (c)Singles match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship[46]This was Ambrose's Money in the Bank cash-in match0:09
(c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the matchP – indicates the match took place on the pre-show
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 See also

List of WWE Network eventsList of WWE pay-per-view events
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 References

^"Don’t miss Money in the Bank 2016 tickets, on sale this Friday". WWE. Retrieved April 7, 2016.^Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE: History of WrestleMania. p. 59.^Grabianowski, Ed. "How Pro Wrestling Works". HowStuffWorks, Inc. Discovery Communications. Archived from the original on 18 November 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2012.^"Live & Televised Entertainment". WWE. Archived from the original on 18 November 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2012.^"Seth Rollins suffers knee injury, new WWE World Heavyweight Champion to be crowned at Survivor Series". WWE. November 5, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2015.^ abcdCaldwell, James (May 22, 2016). "5/22 WWE Extreme Rules PPV Results – CALDWELL’S Complete Live Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved May 22, 2016.^ abcdeCaldwell, James. "5/23 WWE Raw TV Results – CALDWELL’S Complete Live Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved May 23, 2016.^Powell, Jason. "Powell’s WWE Extreme Rules Hit List". prowrestling.net. Retrieved 7 June 2016.^Oster, Aaron. "Seth Rollins returns at Extreme Rules". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 7 June 2016.^Hamlin, Jeff. "WWE Raw Live Results: Seth Rollins Returns; Extreme Rules Fallout". f4wonline.com. Retrieved 7 June 2016.^ abcdeCaldwell, James. "5/30 WWE Raw Results – CALDWELL’S Complete Live TV Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved June 3, 2016.^Caldwell, James. "It’s official – Franchise vs. Franchise at Money in the Bank PPV". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved June 3, 2016.^ abcTedesco, Mike (13 June 2016). "WWE Raw Results – 6/13/16 (Live results in New Orleans, go-home for MITB, Ambrose Asylum with Shield reunion)". Wrestleview. Retrieved 17 June 2016.^ abcdParks, Greg. "5/26 WWE Smackdown Results – Parks’s Complete Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved May 27, 2016.^Caldwell, James. "5/1 WWE Payback Results – CALDWELL’S Complete Live Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved May 1, 2016.^"Enzo Amore suffers concussion at WWE Payback". WWE. Retrieved May 3, 2016.^ abCaldwell, James. "5/2 WWE Raw Results – CALDWELL’S Complete Live TV Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved May 3, 2016.^Caldwell, James. "6/6 WWE Raw Results – CALDWELL’S Complete Live TV Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved June 7, 2016.^Caldwell, James. "MITB update – U.S. Title match official for Money in the Bank PPV". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved June 8, 2016.^Parks, Greg. "6/2 WWE Smackdown – Parks’s Complete, Real-Time Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved June 13, 2016.^ abParks, Greg. "6/9 WWE Smackdown – Parks’s Complete, Real-Time Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved June 13, 2016.^ abcdCaldwell, James. "WWE changes MITB PPV line-up – two new pre-show matches". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved June 17, 2016.^Parks, Greg. "4/14 WWE Smackdown – Parks’s Complete, Real-Time Report". PWTorch.com. Retrieved 16 April 2016.^Parks, Greg (April 28, 2016). "4/28 WWE Smackdown Results – Parks’s Complete Report". PWTorch.com. Retrieved June 18, 2016.^Caldwell, James. "5/9 WWE Raw Results – CALDWELL’S Complete Live TV Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved May 10, 2016.^Parks, Greg. "5/12 WWE Smackdown – Parks’s Complete, Real-Time Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved May 17, 2016.^Tedesco, Mike. "WWE RAW Results – 5/16/16 (Live from Greensboro, The Usos vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Extreme Rules)". wrestleview.com. Retrieved May 17, 2016.^ abBenigno, Anthony. "The Golden Truth def. Breezango (Kickoff Match)". WWE. Retrieved June 19, 2016.^ abcdefghijklCaldwell, James. "6/19 WWE MITB PPV Results – CALDWELL’S Complete Live Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved June 19, 2016.^ abPassero, Mitch. "Lucha Dragons def. The Dudley Boyz (Kickoff Match)". WWE. Retrieved June 19, 2016.^ abWortman, James. "WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day def. Enzo Amore & Big Cass, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson and The Vaudevillains". WWE. Retrieved June 19, 2016.^ abClapp, John. "Baron Corbin def. Dolph Ziggler". WWE. Retrieved June 19, 2016.^ abLaboon, Jeff. "Charlotte & Dana Brooke def. Natalya & Becky Lynch". WWE. Retrieved June 19, 2016.^Meltzer, Dave. "WWE Money in the Bank live results: Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins; AJ Styles vs. John Cena". Wrestling Observer. Retrieved 20 June 2016.^Namako, Jason. "WWE Money in the Bank results – 6/19/16". wrestleview.com. Retrieved 20 June 2016.^Oster, Aaron (20 June 2016). "Dean Ambrose leaves Vegas as champ at Money in the Bank". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 21 June 2016.^Caldwell, James. "6/20 WWE Raw Results – CALDWELL’S Complete Live TV Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved June 20, 2016.^"Roman Reigns suspended". WWE. June 21, 2016. Retrieved June 21, 2016.^"Talent Wellness Program Summary". WWE. Retrieved 22 June 2016.^Caldwell, James. "Roman Reigns suspended for Wellness Violation". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 22 June 2016.^Maglio, Tony. "Roman Reigns Violated WWE Health Policy, So Why Did He Fight Anyway?". TheWrap. Retrieved 6 July 2016.^Taylor, Scott. "Apollo Crews def. Sheamus". WWE. Retrieved June 19, 2016.^Murphy, Ryan. "AJ Styles def. John Cena". WWE. Retrieved June 19, 2016.^Powers, Kevin. "Dean Ambrose won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match". WWE. Retrieved June 19, 2016.^Burdick, Michael. "United States Champion Rusev def. Titus O'Neil". WWE. Retrieved June 19, 2016.^ abBenigno, Anthony. "Seth Rollins def. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns; Dean Ambrose cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion". WWE. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
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 External links

Money in the Bank Official Website
Categories: 2016 in professional wrestlingWWE Money in the BankProfessional wrestling in Nevada2016 in Nevada2016 WWE Network eventsT-Mobile Arena

This page was last edited on 13 June 2017, at 17:50.

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Contents

1Football career2Professional wrestling career3Other media4Filmography5Persona and reception6Personal life7In wrestling8Championships and accomplishments9References10External links

Roman Reigns

Leati Joseph "Joe" Anoaʻi (born May 25, 1985)[4] is an American professional wrestler, former professional Canadian football player and a member of the Anoaʻi family.[3] He is signed to WWE, where he performs on the Rawbrand under the ring nameRoman Reigns.[2]

After playing collegiate football for Georgia Tech, Anoaʻi started his professional football career with brief off-season stints with the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL) in 2007. He then played a full season for the Canadian Football League's (CFL) Edmonton Eskimos in 2008 before his release and retirement from football.

Anoaʻi then pursued a career in professional wrestling and was signed by WWE in 2010, reporting to their developmental territoryFlorida Championship Wrestling (FCW). As Roman Reigns, he made his main roster debut in November 2012 alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins as The Shield. The trio teamed together until June 2014, after which Reigns entered singles competition. Reigns is a three-timeWWE World Heavyweight Champion, a one-timeUnited States Champion, a one-timeWWE Tag Team Champion (with Rollins), the 2015 Royal Rumble winner and the 2014 Superstar of the Year. He also tied the WWE record for most eliminations in a Survivor Series elimination match with four in the 2013 event and set the record for most eliminations in a Royal Rumble match with 12 in the 2014 event.

Since 2014, WWE has attempted to establish Reigns as their next "face of the company".[5] Reigns has headlined multiple major WWE pay-per-view events, including the last three WrestleManias ( 31, 32 and 33) – scoring wins over Triple H and The Undertaker. However, Reigns' ascendancy as a world title-chasing/holding heroicunderdog has been marked by critics' disapproval and overwhelmingly negative crowd reactions. He was consequently named 2016's "Most Hated Wrestler of the Year" by Pro Wrestling Illustrated, becoming the first babyface wrestler to have been recognized as such,[6] as well as the "Most Overrated" by Wrestling Observer Newsletter.[7]

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 Football career

Anoaʻi played football for three years at Pensacola Catholic High School and one year at Escambia High School. In his senior year, he was named Defensive Player of the Year by the Pensacola News Journal.[4] He then attended Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was a member of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team along with Calvin Johnson, who later became a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL).[4] Anoa'i was a three-year starter beginning in his sophomore year and was also one of the team captains as a senior.[4] Anoa'i was named to the first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) after recording twenty-nine tackles for loss and twelve sacks in 2006.[10]

After going undrafted in the 2007 NFL draft, Anoa'i was signed by the Minnesota Vikings in May 2007, but was released later that month.[8][11] The Jacksonville Jaguars signed him in August 2007, only to release Anoa'i less than a week later before the start of the 2007 NFL season.[8]

In 2008, Anoaʻi was signed by the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL).[9] Wearing the number 99, Anoaʻi played for one season with the Eskimos, featuring in five games, of which he started three.[9][12] Anoaʻi's most notable game came against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in September, where he tied for the team lead with five tackles and had a forced fumble.[13] Anoa'i was released by the Eskimos on November 10, and proceeded to retire from professional football.[9]

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 Professional wrestling career

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 World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE

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 Developmental territories (2010–2012)

Anoa'i made his first venture into wrestling in July 2010, when he signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and was later assigned to their developmental territoryFlorida Championship Wrestling (FCW).[1] He debuted on September 9, 2010, using the ring name Roman Leakee (often shortened to Leakee), in a loss to Richie Steamboat in a singles match.[14] Further losses to Idol Stevens and Wes Brisco ensued,[14] before he gained his first win on September 21 over Fahd Rakman.[14] He continued competing in FCW throughout the remainder of the year, wrestling mainly in tag team matches.[14] On the January 16, 2011 episode of FCW television, Leakee was a competitor in a 30-man Grand Royal, but was eliminated.[15] Later in 2011, Leakee formed a tag team with Donny Marlow and the pair unsuccessfully challenged Calvin Raines and Big E Langston for the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship on July 8.[16]

In 2012, Leakee pinnedFCW Florida Heavyweight ChampionLeo Kruger during a tag team match on the January 8 episode of FCW television.[17] On the February 5 episode of FCW television, he defeated Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in a triple threat match to become the number one contender to the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship.[18] He failed to win the championship when he lost to then champion Kruger the following week.[19] Leakee later won the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship with Mike Dalton[20][21] and would drop the titles to CJ Parker and Jason Jordan shortly after.[22]

After WWE rebranded FCW to NXT in August 2012,[23] Anoaʻi, with the new ring name of Roman Reigns and a villain character, made his debut on the October 31 episode of NXT by defeating CJ Parker.[24] After defeating Chase Donovan two weeks later,[25] Reigns wrestled his last match on the December 5 episode of NXT by defeating Gavin Reids.[26]

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 The Shield (2012–2014)

Main article: The Shield

Reigns made his main roster television debut as on November 18 at Survivor Series alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, assaulting Ryback during the triple threat main event for the WWE Championship, allowing CM Punk to retain the title.[27] The trio declared themselves The Shield and vowed to rally against "injustice", while also denying working for Punk, even though they would routinely emerge from the crowd to attack Punk's adversaries, including Ryback and WWE Tag Team ChampionsTeam Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane).[28][29][30][31] This led to a six-man tag teamTables, Ladders, and Chairs match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 16, in which Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins defeated Team Hell No and Ryback in their debut match.[32] The Shield continued to aid Punk in January 2013, attacking both Ryback and The Rock.[33][34] On the January 28 episode of Raw, it was revealed that Punk and his managerPaul Heyman had been paying The Shield and Brad Maddox to work for them.[35]

The Shield then indistinctly ended their association with Punk while beginning a feud with John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus that directed to a six-man tag match on February 17 at Elimination Chamber, which The Shield won.[36][37][38] The Shield had their first Raw match the following night, where they gained success against Ryback, Sheamus and Chris Jericho.[39] Sheamus then formed an alliance with Randy Orton and Big Show to face the trio on April 7 at WrestleMania 29, where The Shield emerged victorious in their first WrestleMania match.[40][41] The following night on Raw, The Shield attempted to attack The Undertaker, but they were stopped by Team Hell No.[42] This set up a six-man tag team match on the April 22 episode of Raw, which The Shield won.[43] On the May 13 episode of Raw, The Shield's undefeated streak in televised six-man tag team matches ended in a disqualification loss in an elimination tag team match against Cena, Kane and Bryan.[44]

On May 19 at Extreme Rules, Reigns and Rollins defeated Team Hell No in a tornado tag team match to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.[45] They made their first televised title defense on the May 27 episode of Raw, defeating Team Hell No in a rematch.[46] On the June 14 episode of SmackDown, The Shield's unpinned/ unsubmitted streak in televised six-man tag team matches came to an end at the hands of Team Hell No and Randy Orton, when Bryan submitted Rollins.[47][48] Reigns and Rollins defeated Bryan and Orton at Payback to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.[49] Further successful title defenses followed against The Usos on July 14 during the Money in the Bank pre-show and The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil) on September 15 at Night of Champions.[50][51] On the September 23 episode of Raw, Reigns was pinned for the first time while on the main roster courtesy of The Usos when The Shield participated in and lost an eleven-on-three handicapelimination match.[52]

In August, The Shield began working for chief operating officerTriple H and The Authority.[53][54] On the October 14 episode of Raw, Reigns and Rollins lost the WWE Tag Team Championship to Cody RhodesandGoldust in a no disqualification match, following interference from Big Show.[55] At Hell in a Cell on October 27, Reigns and Rollins failed to regain the tag team title in a triple threat tag team match.[56] The first seeds of dissension were sown in The Shield (especially between Ambrose and Reigns) with Ambrose's boasting of being the only member left with a championship.[57] At Survivor Series on November 24, Reigns was the sole survivor for his team in the traditional five-on-five elimination tag team match after eliminating four opponents.[58] After losing to Punk in a handicap match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 15,[59] Reigns defeated Punk in a singles match following a distraction from Ambrose on the January 6, 2014 special episode of Raw Old School, making him the only member of The Shield to have beaten Punk.[60] On January 26, 2014, Reigns entered the Royal Rumblematch at number 15 and set the record for most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble with 12, as he eliminated both his Shield teammates, and was the runner-up in the match after being eliminated by Batista.[61][62] The next night on Raw, The Shield competed in a six-man tag team match against Daniel Bryan, Sheamus and John Cena, with all three members of the winning team qualifying for the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which The Shield lost via disqualification after The Wyatt Family interfered and attacked Cena, Bryan and Sheamus.[63] The Shield wanted revenge and a six-man tag team match for The Shield against The Wyatt Family on February 24 at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view was arranged, in which The Shield lost.[64] Despite more dispute,[65] The Shield recounciled in March.[66]

In March, The Shield came out to seemingly attack Jerry Lawler, only to attack Kane instead, turning all three men into fan favorites in the process.[67] Over the next few weeks, The Shield continued exchanging assaults with Kane, who was joined by The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg), leading to a match between the two teams on April 6 at WrestleMania XXX, which The Shield won.[68] The feud with Kane also prompted The Shield to sever ties with Triple H, who reformed Evolution to counter them.[69] In May, The Shield defeated Evolution at both Extreme Rules and Payback.[70][71] After Batista "quit" WWE the following night on Raw, Triple H initiated his "plan B" which involved Rollins turning on The Shield and aligning himself with Triple H and The Authority.[72]

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 Controversial rise to main event status (2014–2015)

After the dissolution of The Shield in June 2014, Reigns (now a singles wrestler) was quickly inserted into world title contention that month and he headlined the next two pay-per-view events.[73] The first when, two weeks after Rollins' betrayal, Reigns won a battle royal on the June 16 episode of Raw to gain a spot in the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship ladder match on June 17 at Money in the Bank,[74] but failed to win the title during the main event match.[75] The second was July 20's Battleground, where Reigns again unsuccessfully challenged for the world title, this time in a fatal four-way main event match (also involving Kane, Randy Orton and defending champion John Cena).[76] The following night on Raw, Reigns started a feud with Randy Orton, which led to a match between the two on August 17 at SummerSlam, where Reigns defeated Orton.[77] Meanwhile, Reigns' former teammates Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins had been feuding over Rollins' betrayal, with Rollins beating Ambrose in five matches and ultimately injuring Ambrose in the storyline.[75][76][77][78][79] This led to a feud between Rollins and Reigns, where a singles match was set up for Night of Champions on September 21, even though six days before the pay-per-view event he cleanly defeated Rollins in a singles match on Raw.[80] Then Reigns developed a legitimateincarcerated hernia which required surgery a day or two prior to Night of Champions and, as a result, Rollins was declared the winner via forfeit, while Reigns was ruled out of action indefinitely.[81][82]

Reigns returned to WWE television on the December 8 episode of Raw, accepting the 2014 "Superstar of the Year" Slammy Award.[84] On December 14 at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, when Big Show interfered in John Cena's match against Seth Rollins, Reigns attacked both Big Show and Rollins, helping Cena win.[85] This started a feud between Reigns and Big Show,[86] in which Reigns defeated him multiple times by countout[87] and disqualification.[88] On January 25, 2015, Reigns, entering at number 19, won the 2015 Royal Rumble match by eliminating the other entrants in the final four: Big Show, Kane and lastly Rusev.[89] The following night on Raw, Reigns acknowledged being part of the Anoaʻi family for the first time on WWE television.[90] Former WWE writer Kevin Eck said that WWE executives Vince McMahon and Triple H initially (when Reigns was still part of The Shield) refused to acknowledge Reigns' Samoan heritage as they thought it would damage Reigns' mystique.[91] On the February 2 episode of Raw, Reigns suffered his first pinfall loss in a singles match on the main roster when Big Show defeated him after interference from Rollins.[92][93] Reigns was then forced to defend his WrestleMania title shot against Daniel Bryan in the main event of Fastlane on February 22 and succeeded in doing so after beating Bryan via pinfall.[94][95] Post-Fastlane, Bryan and Paul Heyman endorsed Reigns with "two shockingly transparent promos... attempting to illustrate Reigns' greatness".[96] On March 29 at WrestleMania 31, Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract while Reigns' main event match with Brock Lesnar was in progress, turning it into a triple threat, which Reigns lost when he was pinned by Rollins.[97]

In April, Reigns re-ignited his feud with Big Show, which culminated on April 26 in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules, where Reigns defeated Show.[98] On May 17 at Payback, Reigns once again failed to win the world title from Rollins in a fatal four-way main event that also involved Orton and Ambrose.[99] On June 14 at Money in the Bank, Reigns competed in the Money in the Bank ladder match, which he failed to win after Bray Wyatt interfered and attacked him.[100] On July 17 at Battleground, Wyatt defeated Reigns after former Wyatt Family member Luke Harper attacked Reigns.[101][102] On the August 6 episode of SmackDown, Wyatt accepted Reigns' challenge to a tag team match at SummerSlam, with Reigns and Ambrose facing Wyatt and Harper.[103] Reigns pinned Wyatt at the event on August 23[104] and the following night on Raw in a rematch, which ended via disqualification after Reigns and Ambrose were attacked by Wyatt's new ally, the debuting Braun Strowman.[105] On September 20 at Night of Champions, Reigns and Ambrose teamed with Chris Jericho, but were defeated by Wyatt, Harper and Strowman.[106] The feud between Reigns and Wyatt ended after their Hell in a Cell match at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event on October 25, in which Reigns was victorious.[107][108]

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 WWE World Heavyweight Champion (2015–2016)

On the October 26 episode of Raw, Reigns won a fatal four-way match (also involving Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens) to become the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[109][110] However, then champion Seth Rollins legitimately injured his knee on November 4 and vacated the title the following day, which led to a tournament to crown a new champion.[111] Following this, Triple H attempted to persuade Reigns into joining The Authority by offering him a bye into the tournament finals which Reigns declined.[112] He then defeated Big Show in the first round,[112]Cesaro in the quarterfinals,[113] Alberto Del Rio in the semifinals[114] and Dean Ambrose in the finals at Survivor Series on November 22 to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first time.[115] Triple H attempted to offer congratulations, but Reigns hit him with a spear and Sheamus then cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and pinned Reigns, thus ending Reigns' reign at only 5 minutes.[116][117] Reigns then failed to regain the title from Sheamus in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs following interference on Sheamus's behalf by fellow League of Nations members Alberto Del Rio and Rusev, but subsequently Reigns would attack the trio and also Triple H, who came out to stop him.[118] The next night on the December 14 episode of Raw, Mr. McMahon granted Reigns a title rematch against Sheamus, with Reigns' career on the line, and after overcoming McMahon, Del Rio and Rusev's interferences, Reigns defeated Sheamus and regained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[119] On the January 4, 2016 episode of Raw, Reigns successfully defended his title against Sheamus, despite McMahon acting as the special guest referee.[120] Reigns was then slated to defend his title in the Royal Rumble match on January 24, where Reigns scored a total of five eliminations after entering first, heading backstage for much of the match after an attack by The League of Nations and was eliminated upon his return by eventual winner Triple H, thus losing the world title and lasting nearly an hour (the longest out of everyone in the match).[121] At Fastlane on February 22, Reigns pinned Dean Ambrose in a triple threat match also involving Brock Lesnar to receive a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Triple H at WrestleMania 32 on April 3,[122] where he defeated Triple H in the main event to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion for a third time.[123] Earlier in March 2016, Reigns changed his ring entrance to the entrance ramp (a default like other wrestlers) instead of coming out through the crowd.[124] For this third world title reign, Reigns had two successful televised title defenses in May against AJ Styles, first at Payback[125] and then Extreme Rules.[126] Right after the Extreme Rules match against Styles on May 22, Reigns was attacked by a returning Seth Rollins.[127] Near the end of his reign, the 2.03 TV rating for the June 13 episode of Raw which he appeared in was the lowest since March 3, 1997.[128][129] At Money in the Bank on June 19, Reigns was defeated cleanly by Rollins marking his first clean loss on the main roster, ending his title reign at 77 days.[130] On June 21, Anoaʻi was suspended for 30 days for his first violation of WWE's Wellness Program and, in response, he apologized on Twitter.[131] WWE's Wellness Program uses drug testing to detect substance abuse.[132]Pro Wrestling Torch and TheWrap reported that WWE knew of Anoaʻi's violation before Money in the Bank, leading to Reigns being scripted to lose his world title at the event.[133][134]

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 United States Champion and various feuds (2016–present)

On July 19 at the 2016 WWE draft, Reigns was drafted to the Raw brand.[135] Despite Reigns' suspension, WWE continued to advertise Reigns as part of the Battleground main event,[136] and went on to acknowledge Reigns' suspension on television.[137] On July 24 at Battleground, Reigns made his televised return, facing Rollins and Dean Ambrose (whom Rollins dropped the title to at Money in the Bank after Ambrose cashed-in his Money in the Bank contract) for the now-renamed WWE Championship,[138][139] but Ambrose successfully retained the championship when he pinned Reigns in a clean finish.[140] The following night on Raw, Reigns also failed to contend for the newly announced WWE Universal Championship against Rollins at SummerSlam, as he lost to the debuting Finn Bálor after earlier winning a fatal four-way match that involved Chris Jericho, Sami Zayn and Sheamus.[141] On the August 1 episode Raw, Reigns confronted Rusev,[142] then on the August 8 episode of Raw, after interrupting Rusev and Lana's wedding celebration, Reigns challenged him for the United States Championship, at which Rusev initially declined, but Raw General ManagerMick Foley scheduled Rusev to defend the United States Championship against Reigns at SummerSlam.[143] At the event on August 21, Reigns and Rusev brawled before the match began, leading to the match being declared a no contest.[144] After Rusev cost Reigns the opportunity of becoming the number one contender for the WWE Universal Championship,[145] Reigns would defeat Rusev at Clash of Champions on September 25 to win the United States Championship,[146] and after weeks of brawling he successfully retained the title against Rusev in a Hell in a Cell match at the titular event on October 30 to end their feud.[147] Reigns was later announced as a member for Team Raw in the traditional Survivor Series elimination tag team match on November 20 alongside Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, former Shield brother Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman which Team Raw lost after Reigns was the last man to be eliminated by Bray Wyatt.[148] On the November 28 episode of Raw, Reigns challenged WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens to a non-title match which Reigns won and per the pre-match stipulation,[149] Reigns faced Owens for the WWE Universal Championship at Roadblock: End of the Line on December 18, but lost via disqualification when Chris Jericho attacked Owens to prevent Reigns from winning the title.[150] On the January 9, 2017 episode of Raw, Reigns lost the United States Championship to Jericho in a handicap match also involving Owens.[151] This led to a no disqualification rematch with Owens at the Royal Rumble on January 29 that saw Jericho being suspended above the ring in a shark cage,[152] where Reigns lost after Braun Strowman interfered.[153] Later on the event, Reigns entered at number 30 in the Royal Rumble match, eliminating Bray Wyatt, Chris Jericho and The Undertaker before being last eliminated by Randy Orton.[154] At Fastlane on March 5, Reigns defeated Strowman, becoming the first person to pin Strowman since joining the main roster.[155][156]

The following night on Raw, Reigns was called out to the ring by Strowman, but instead was answered by The Undertaker, who attacked Reigns (who came out to confront Undertaker after Strowman left the ring) with a chokeslam.[157] This led to a No Holds Barred match between Reigns and Undertaker at WrestleMania 33 on April 2,[158] which Reigns won in his third consecutive WrestleMania main event and Undertaker's final match.[159] This win also made Reigns only one of two wrestlers to defeat Undertaker at WrestleMania, the other being Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXX.[160] The next night on Raw, Reigns opened the show to ten minutes of severe boos and chants from the crowd, attempting to stop him from speaking, before simply stating "This is my yard now" and leaving the ring.[161][162] Reigns then resumed his feud with Strowman, who attacked him in front of Michael Cole and, after medical personnel put him inside an ambulance, Strowman pushed it over.[163] An "injured" Reigns returned to face Strowman at Payback on April 30,[164] but was defeated and afterwards further assaulted with steel steps by Strowman.[165][166][167]

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 Other media

Reigns made his video game debut in WWE 2K14[168] and has since appeared as a playable character in WWE 2K15,[169]WWE 2K16[170] and WWE 2K17.[171]

Reigns has frequently appeared on Xavier Woods' YouTube channel UpUpDownDown as "The Merchandise".[citation needed]

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 Filmography

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 Film

YearTitleRoleNotes2016CountdownHimselfUncredited cameo
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 Television

YearTitleRoleNotes2013Total DivasHimself1 episode2015ConanHimself2016Good Morning AmericaHimselfJanuary 7
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 Web

YearTitleRoleNotes2015WWE 24HimselfDocumentary about Reigns, his family and his experience at WrestleMania 312016UnfilteredHimselfInterview show with Renee Young2016WWE 24HimselfDocumentary about the experiences of various performers at WrestleMania 312016–presentUpUpDownDownHimself/The MerchandiseRegular appearances
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 Persona and reception

Main article: Persona and reception of Roman Reigns

Reigns debuted on the company's main roster in November 2012 (having performed in its developmental system from 2010) as part of stable The Shield and during this time his character was well received by critics.[172][173][174] During 2014 Royal Rumble match, the live crowd cheered for Reigns over eventual winner Batista, despite Reigns being a villain character.[175][176]

Following The Shield's break-up in 2014, Reigns (unlike the other former Shield members) retained much of The Shield's aesthetic and his popularity amongst fans and critics declined.[177][178][179][180] Various critics raised concerns that Reigns, despite being "not fully ready", was "being pushedtoo hard, too soon" while WWE tried to make him their next "flagship star", "no matter how fans reacted" negatively.[181][182][183][184] In a reversal from the previous year's Royal Rumble, Reigns was booed heavily after his victory despite portraying a heroic character at the 2015 Royal Rumble.[185][186] After chasing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship unsuccessfully throughout 2015, critics described WWE presenting Reigns' character as a "hard-luck underdog" chasing the world title,[187] with WWE having "spent an overwhelming amount of time" on Reigns, "bending over backwards to create new obstacles for him to overcome", "at the expense of almost everyone else on the roster".[188]

With WWE unrelenting in their multi-year effort trying to establish Reigns as a mega-star,[189] Reigns was booed at various WWE events, most notably at major pay-per-view events (where he wrestled in the main event in) such as 2015's WrestleMania 31,[190] 2016's Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 32,[191][192] as well as the 2017's Royal Rumble.[193] As a result, critics observed WWE's repeated attempts to edit out and conceal hostile fan responses in 2015–2017,[194][195][196][197][198] while Reigns was named as 2016's "Most Hated Wrestler of the Year" by Pro Wrestling Illustrated, becoming the first babyface wrestler to have been recognized as such.[6] In 2016, WWE Hall of FamersStone Cold Steve Austin, Rikishi and Hulk Hogan have encouraged WWE to turn the Reigns character into a villain[199][200][201] and after his suspension Yahoo! TV also urged WWE to "quit pretending he's some kind of lovable underdog" with a villainous turn.[202]

In February 2017, Dave Meltzer wrote that WWE's push of Reigns "will never end. Isn't that obvious by now".[203] A month later, Meltzer reported that WWE's long term plans ("which obviously could change") for 2018's WrestleMania 34 was to "once again build for a year and have the big coronation" for Reigns, who would be a babyface (the heroic character) "between now and then" and beat Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal title "to fully replace John Cena as the lead babyface of the company".[204] In a 2017 ESPN