While he has held the WWE and Universal Championships for nearly three years, it’s easy to forget ever seeing Roman Reigns being pinned in the WWE. The Tribal Chief has been protected more than anybody in wrestling for the past 20 years and is now the undisputed final boss of the WWE.
He debuted at Survivor Series 2012 alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. The Shield went on to become one of the most dominant factions in WWE history and all three men became big stars in the WWE, with Ambrose becoming a main event star outside WWE in NJPW and AEW, wrestling as Jon Moxley.
While they debuted in 2012, it would take nearly a year for Roman Reigns to be pinned in a match for the first time and by a face that is eerily familiar for The Big Dog.
Jey Uso Was The First Wrestler To Pin Roman Reigns
The first time Roman Reigns was pinned in the WWE was during a huge main event on Raw in 2013. In response to the WWE locker room’s huge support for Daniel Bryan on his journey toward Wrestlemania 30, COO Triple H booked a match to show that he still held all the cards over The Shield.
In the main event of the September 23, 2013 episode of Monday Night Raw, the trio of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose competed against 11 of the top superstars in WWE in an insane 11 on 3 handicap match. While Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins held the WWE Tag Team titles and Dean Ambrose was the United States Champion, they had a huge task going against these 11 WWE superstars;
- Daniel Bryan
- Darren Young
- Dolph Ziggler
- Jey Uso
- Jimmy Uso
- Justin Gabriel
- Kofi Kingston
- Rob Van Dam
- Titus O’Neil
- Zack Ryder
The bout came just before Battleground 2013 which saw huge matches for both The Shield and Daniel Bryan. The Shield took on Cody Rhodes and Goldust at the event, with the Rhodes Brothers fighting for their jobs and the job of their father “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.
Despite the huge mountain to climb, The Shield fought valiantly. Ambrose pinned Kofi Kingston whilst spears from Roman Reigns eliminated Titus O’Neil, Justin Gabriel and Zack Ryder in quick succession.
Then Daniel Bryan entered the match and hit a flurry of Yes Kicks onto Reigns. He then hit dropkicks on all three member so of The Shield before tagging in The Usos. Jimmy Uso hit the future Tribal Chief with a huge superkick before an Uso Splash by Jey Uso helped him pin Roman Reigns to eliminate him from the match.
Almost a year after his debut at Survivor Series 2014, Roman Reigns was pinned for the first time in the WWE. He had been protected at all costs over this time and was clearly being built up to be a top star from day one. The Shield had rarely lost any matches at all but when they did it was Rollins or Ambrose taking the pins during these rare defeats.
This was also a huge statement that WWE was ready to back The Usos as future stars. Jey Uso was the first man to pin Roman Reigns. While they did not get a title match after this huge pin fall (due to The Rhodes Brothers becoming champion soon after), they did win the WWE Tag Team Championships early on in 2014, defeating The New Age Outlaws.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.