Since officially returning to WWE in December of 2022, Bronson Reed has been slowly building up momentum toward becoming an upper-mid card player.
Reunited with Paul “Triple H” Levesque, the man who booked him to win the North American Championship in 2021, Reed has won (almost) every match he's wrestled on RAW, had an impressive showing at The Elimination Chamber that saw him match wits and strength with some of the top performers both brands have to offer, and even got to work a short, yet sweet program with Bobby Lashley that culminated in a match at Backlash; a match that neither performer won.
But did you know that that final feud, arguably the most important of Reed's main roster run, almost didn't happen?
Discussing all things wrestling on Out of Character with Ryan Satin, Reed noted that despite the match's weight, it was actually thrown together at the last second, while he was sick with the flu, no less, as WWE was experiencing travel issues and they had to throw together a card for RAW more or less on the fly.
“I mean, I’ve always said you put me in the ring with the best in the world and I can show you that I’m also the best in the world,” Reed said. “But that night was a crazy night to say the least, you known, there was some travel problems that certain Superstars couldn’t get to the venue in time from across the other side of the country, so I wasn’t scheduled to actually be in that match, it sort of got thrown together. At the same time, I was recovering from the flu and I was like ‘I don’t even know if I can get out there and do this. And then I go out there and have, like, a crazy reception and people are loving it. And I always go back to people love the big men slapping meat.”
So how was Reed able to put together a banger against Lashley that was well-received enough to garner a larger program that ran well into the spring? Well, because the man known on the indies as Jonah took the lessons he learned to heart and decided to stay ready so he doesn't have to get ready.
“That’s something that I know for me, I’m not sure about other pro wrestlers was drilled into me when I first started in this business was to always be ready, always have your gear with you per se, you know, get ready to lace your boots,” Reed said. “And every night can be an audition as well, so you don’t know who’s watching, you don’t know if there’s people that have never seen you before, so I always try to go out there and have something memorable. You know, I’ll try to put on the best matches ever, whether they’re a five-star classic or not, that’s up to people’s perception but I make sure that they will remember it.”
Had Reed not fallen victim to travel issues, who knows where his career would be right now on RAW? Fortunately, he was available for that match with Lashley, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Bronson Reed believes he can hold his own with the best in WWE.
Later in his conversation with Satin, the show's host suggested that he would like to see Bronson Reed wrestle other top-tier stars like Lashley into the future in order to further legitimize himself in the eyes of the WWE Universe. Reed agreed, suggesting that in wrestling, you have to want to be the best.
“Yeah, I mean, I believe in myself in that respect and I think you’re crazy if you’re not in this business to try and be at the top,” Reed said. “You should be gunning to be in the main event, you should be trying to become, you know, WWE Champion or now the World Heavyweight Championship that we are going to have coming into place so yeah, there’s a lot of guys that I haven’t stepped foot in the ring with that I’d like to, guys like we saw in the Elimination Chamber we got a tiny little glimpse of me with Seth Rollins but I’d love to see that as a singles match. Or guys like Cody Rhodes as well, I’d love to step in the ring with those guys.”
Who will Reed wrestle next? Will he earn a shot at the eventual WWE World Heavyweight Champion? Or does Levesque have something else in mind, maybe a program with Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship? Either way, after just six months on the main roster, it's clear Reed's stock is pointed up, which isn't something all returning WWE stars can say with a straight face.