Baron Corbin may hold the title of king, but there are those who know that he’s merely pretending to greatness. Seldom does he fight his own battles, making use of anyone who believes his rhetoric and is willing to stand at his side. Roman Reigns finally had those odds evened with the return of The Usos, much to Corbin’s dismay. Nevertheless, the rivalry between them has grown increasingly personal, no matter how many others are involved. Friday night saw both sides in a tag team match—one that The Usos won—but by that time, Roman and Corbin were nowhere to be found, their fight having spilled out of the arena and into the backstage area.
That fight paled in comparison to their Falls Count Anywhere match on Sunday. Roman didn’t even wait for the bell, going at Corbin on his palanquin and wisely taking out some of his security on the way. A prescient move on his part, as Corbin kept leaving the ring—and soon it was evident why: Roode and Ziggler were out on the floor. Just as Roman got the upper hand they attacked, beating him down and attempting to handcuff him to a railing. Luckily, The Usos had been anticipating this, and stepped in to save their cousin. Still, things looked dire as the pair approached the foreign announce row, and the crowd began to chant: WE WANT TABLES! WE WANT TABLES! At that point, no one expected Roman to be the one to answer the call, let alone twice, via two powerful Samoan drops. As the match moved onto the top of the dugout and Corbin lashed out again and again with a chair, commentary began to express their doubts that Roman could win, let alone enter the Rumble later that night. He proved them all wrong.
In the end, despite all of Corbin’s bluster, he and Roman didn’t face each other again. Corbin was taken out by Drew McIntyre before Roman ever entered. The standout moments of Roman’s time in the ring did not include the king: declining to buy into little brother’s lies, eliminating Hall-of-Famer Edge, making it to the final two. Falling to McIntyre is no blemish on Roman’s record; he’d already proven himself earlier in the night. This is just the beginning of the long road ahead; there are 70 days until WrestleMania, and Roman doesn’t need the step up from the Rumble to secure himself a spot. It’s becoming ever more clear that while Corbin’s Kingdom continues to fall, Roman’s Empire is on the rise.