WWE

Brock Lesnar floors Roman Reigns and our top WWE matches of 2021

Welcome to Mirror Sport's final WWE column of 2021 – and what a year it’s been!

New superstars have made their mark, legends have made triumphant returns and we welcomed back full crowds after over a year away.

We have seen phenomenal encounters in the ring and also some huge shocks that nobody saw coming.

As 2021 draws to a close, we take a look at the biggest headlines from this past week and review three of the year’s best matches.

Brock Lesnar lays out Roman Reigns… who fired Paul Heyman!

As WWE fans have grown accustomed to over the last year or so, Roman Reigns does things in his own time and he arrived at Friday Night SmackDown with the show well into its second hour.

He headed to the ring as always with his special counsel Paul Heyman, accompanied by his cousins and SmackDown tag champs, The Usos.

Sporting his usual smug grin, Heyman’s happiness soon turned to despair when Reigns asked if he had been in contact with Brock Lesnar since before his return at SummerSlam in August and why he was protecting The Beast Incarnate.

Shaking in his boots, Heyman looked his client in the eye and said: “I’m not protecting Brock Lesnar from you, I’m protecting you from Brock Lesnar.”

A furious Reigns hugged Heyman and said: “You’re fired,” before delivering a devastating superman punch for his troubles.

Before he could continue the assault, out came Lesnar and proceeded to lay waste to Usos and Reigns, with the latter receiving two F5s.

This rivalry continues to heat up ahead of their encounter at the Day 1 pay-per-view on New Year’s Day. Who will walk away with the Universal title?

AJ Styles makes rare NXT appearance

After being taken out by his tag team partner Omos, which has seemingly ended their partnership, AJ Styles made a surprise appearance on NXT last night.

He confronted Grayson Waller, who had been talking trash about him on Twitter.

AJ Styles accused Waller of copying his style and cited his 20-year career to put the young star in his place.

The two nearly started a brawl before Waller walked away and said he'll get to AJ after Omos is finished with him, with the pair scheduled to have a match on Raw next week.

It is unknown when Waller and Styles will compete against one another, but fans should gear themselves up for their encounter in the near future.

Three of the best WWE matches in 2021

Bianca Belair vs Sasha Banks – WrestleMania 37

Arguably the best match of WrestleMania’s two-night extravaganza came in the main event on night one, when Bianca Belair squared off against Sasha Banks for the SmackDown women’s title.

The pair made history as their match marked the first time two black women were competing in a title match at WrestleMania, as well as being in the final match of the night.

The ‘EST’ won the right to face ‘The Boss’ by winning the Royal Rumble and became the first black woman to achieve that feat.

After a compelling buildup, the grapplers stole the show and produced a match worthy of the main event slot.

Belair held her nerve to pick up the win and became the new champion, and celebrated with her elated family members at ringside.

This match solidified the 32-year-old as one of the premier talents in all of wrestling, while Banks once again showed why she is one of the greatest women to ever lace up a pair of boots.

Edge vs Seth Rollins – Crown Jewel

The Crown Jewel event signalled the end of the titanic feud between Seth Rollins and Edge, which was arguably the best of the year.

After ‘The Visionary’ cost the ‘Rated ‘R’ Superstar’ the Universal title at Money in the Bank, Edge was hellbent on taking the brash and cocky Rollins down a peg or two.

At SummerSlam the pair contested the first of their epic trilogy, which the WWE Hall of Famer won after forcing his opponent to tap out.

The pair contested another bout on SmackDown at Madison Square Garden and Rollins would get his revenge, and Crown Jewel hosted their rubber match which took place inside the brutal structure known as Hell in a Cell.

The stars beat each other to their physical limits.

It would be the veteran Edge, who was taunted for weeks and had to contend with Rollins invading his home, that prevailed inside the menacing structure and put an end to the rivalry once and for all.

Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair – Survivor Series

The final big 4 pay-per-view of the year commenced in the best possible way, as Raw women’s champion Becky Lynch squared off with SmackDown women’s champion Charlotte Flair .

There is no love lost between the pair and it showed as we witnessed one of the most hard-hitting and fast-paced encounters in recent memory.

The animosity between the two iconic grapplers reached boiling point, as the pair issued savage remarks to one another both inside and outside of the ring before their match.

Big Time Becks rolled up Charlotte and managed to use the ropes for leverage without the referee noticing, and picked up a huge win.

The storytelling was impeccable throughout this match and the pair added another chapter to their historic rivalry.

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