It’s unimaginable these days to see Roman Reigns getting dominated inside the ring, let alone lose a match. Before he became the Tribal Chief, however, Reigns did suffer a few shocking defeats, with one coming against Shane McMahon, of all people.
The match in question happened at WWE Super Showdown 2019 in Saudi Arabia, and it was when Shane McMahon was on one of his rare TV runs as a heel. The self-anointed “Best in the World” walked into the PLE as one of the most despised men on the roster, as he’d won the WWE World Cup at Crown Jewel the previous year and was drawing a lot of heat consistently every week.
The feud’s storyline revolved around Shane being unhappy with Roman for attacking Vince McMahon as part of the McMahon Family’s rivalry with the Samoan star.
Shane O’Mac was aided by the fact that he had Drew McIntyre in his corner, as the duo had formed a pretty fruitful partnership leading up to the event. Roman Reigns and Shane McMahon had their fourth match on the Super ShowDown card, and Vince McMahon’s son, much to the surprise of many fans, pulled off a massive upset inside the King Abdullah International Stadium.
The bout followed a typical babyface vs. heel routine as Shane McMahon dominated most of the match until Roman Reigns predictably began his comeback. In the end, McIntyre proved to be the difference-maker as he hit Reigns with a Claymore Kick behind the referee’s back.
— WWE (@WWE) June 7, 2019
McMahon wasted no time going for the pinfall and, in just under ten minutes, picked up one of the most unlikely victories of his in-ring WWE career.
As expected, wrestling fans were pretty annoyed by the match’s outcome as Shane McMahon was never known to be a full-time competitor inside the squared circle. For him to go over a former world champion and someone who was destined to be at the top for a long time did rub certain people the wrong way.
Nonetheless, the booking was facilitated to build up towards an even bigger match where Roman Reigns eventually avenged the loss.
Roman Reigns needed the help of a WWE legend to overcome the odds
The loss might have hurt the former Shield member’s momentum, but it was just a way for him to seek some back up for the next event, Extreme Rules.
In what ended up being a dream scenario, Reigns formed an alliance with The Undertaker on the show to take on Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre in a No Holds Barred tag team showdown.
The fascinating part about the entire angle was that Roman had beaten the Deadman at WrestleMania 33, arguably making him a hated figure in WWE.
Thus, witnessing the former rivals team up for the first and last time at a televised show was a memorable moment, and the superstars surely didn’t disappoint from an in-ring standpoint.
Fast forward to 2023, and the whole landscape of WWE looks pretty different from how it was back then. The Undertaker is retired, while Shane McMahon has not been a part of the company setup since the backstage controversies at Royal Rumble 2022.
As the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns is the biggest name in pro wrestling heading into WrestleMania 39, where he will defend the title against Cody Rhodes.
From being booked to taking the loss against Shane McMahon to having a near-invincible aura, Roman Reigns has undoubtedly come a long way.