WWE chiefs have a working plan that will see Brock Lesnar drop the WWE title at Wrestlemania 31 to Roman Reigns, the man voted Superstar of the Year at the 2014 Slammy Awards.
Lesnar has been WWE champion since crushing John Cena at Summerlslam in one of the most one-sided main-event beatdowns of modern times, but with the Beast's long-term future under huge doubt it looks like Reigns will lead the company into the second half of 2015 and beyond.
That is according to the Wrestling Observer, who believe that WWE had Reigns in mind as the next champion more than six months ago and have been slowly building him towards that top spot ever since The Shield was broken up.
Reigns returns ahead of the Royal Rumble
Reigns finally returned to competitive action at Smackdown this week, after nearly two months out following emergency surgery to repair a herniated disc.
Creative chiefs at Titan Towers likely feared that a spell on the sidelines would slow the momentum Reigns has built around the breakout star of 2014, but the voting for this year's Slammy Awards prove that the former defensive tackle at Georgia Tech has got over in a big way.
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Expect a big push in the early part of 2015
The 29-year-old looked back in rude health in a big win over Fandango in the 800th episode of Smackdown this week, so once a brewing feud with the Big Show is out of the way expect his sights to set firmly on winning the Royal Rumble match.
Victory for Reigns in the 30-man battle royal would provide a logical path towards a showdown with Lesnar at Wrestlemania next year, particularly as WWE have effectively run out of stars that can carry a title match against Lesnar.
Cena has been beaten by Lesnar at two massive pay-per-views already this year, while Daniel Bryan still needs time to work his way back and Dean Ambrose is embroiled in a bitter rivalry with Bray Wyatt that still has some legs.
WWE chiefs can rest assured that Reigns now has the fanbase to justify a place in the biggest match of the year, so expect them to give these plans the green light unless Lesnar surprisingly signs a new deal very quickly.
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