I previously praised Raw’s Creative team for developing some nicely seasoned, coherent, and heated angles for the Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view. However, after perfunctory booking over the past two days, Raw’s Creative team seems to be back to making hazy, extemporaneous decisions.
On next week’s Monday Night Raw, Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe will battle one another to determine the number 1 contender at Summerslam. That means two people who lost their matches at the PPV now have the opportunity to wrestle at the second biggest PPV of the year for Raw’s biggest championship. Huh?
What is worse is that babyfaces are supposed to be sympathetic and admirable characters that the majority of fans can empathize and relate to. Neither Roman Reigns nor Samoa Joe possessed any of those characteristics last night.
We all know, or should know by now, that Roman Reigns is not turning heel any time soon; ergo, this is WWE trying to make Reigns a shades of gray, too cool for school, badass character. I do not know if it is the dialogue or the way he carries himself, but every time WWE wants him to portray this character, it fails because he comes across way too smug and self-righteous.
Ever since he defeated the Undertaker and the “torch was passed”, Roman Reigns has lost a number of matches. It is absurd that WWE gave him another shining moment and then thought they could delay his biggest moment, taking the title away from Brock Lesnar until WrestleMania 33. At least they knew enough to move it up to SummerSlam, but still, Roman Reigns jobbing left and right was not the solution to the problem and now he is just getting an undeserving number 1 contendership while Braun Strowman is shunned again.
Roman Reigns is not hated due to his abilities (or lack thereof). He is hated because WWE has managed to botch each and everything about him up. This is the same wrestler who the crowd was going crazy for at the Royal Rumble three years ago. Also, this same wrestler was the most over member of the Shield. Between stop-and-go pushes and misunderstanding that his silent and mysterious character in the Shield is what got him over in the first place is why Reigns is polarizing at best.
The joke around the the internet is make Roman strong, but in reality, WWE has done anything but that. Due to the nature of their 50/50 booking, Reigns has looked less strong than he should have in so many situations. When the entire philosophy around a company is to keep everyone credible, nobody ends up being very credible; and like so many other wrestlers, Reigns has fallen victim to this. Reigns vs. Lesnar at Summerslam should have been two wrestlers who have ascended all the way to the top in the utmost dominant fashion, yet because of WWE’s “make everyone look credible” mentality, the match will showcase a flawed challenger. It is as if the company has forgotten all the basic principles on how to make someone a top-tier level star.
Meanwhile, fans were really getting behind Samoa Joe due to his carefree, undaunted attitude about facing Brock Lesnar. However, all the good work WWE put into the Samoa Joe character was vitiated last night on Raw. Instead of saying, “I took you to the limit”, “I almost had you”, “I put fear into you that no one else has”, Samoa Joe said to Brock Lesnar, “you never beat me”.
How am I or anyone else supposed to get behind someone who is living in a complete fantasy world? A babyface wrapped so much in their ego that they cannot see reality is not an admirable characteristic at all. Then, to make matters worse, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman, the heels, became the voice of reason by telling Joe that Lesnar won fair and square and that Joe is done. Samoa Joe took Paul Heyman saying Reigns is more deserving than he is as Heyman being afraid of Lesnar facing him again. Could this segment have be anymore muddled or ill defined?
The babyfaces were acting like heels, and the heels were acting like babyfaces.
Laughably, the Miz pointed out in a segment that no babyfaces that said they would win at Great Balls of Fire did. Bret Hart always used to emphasize that babyfaces should never make promises they cannot deliver on, because it makes the babyface’s word untrustworthy and ergo less likable.
WWE’s babyfaces constantly underdeliver on their promises, and worse of all, they are dumb. They are so friggin dumb. It is to the point where I am convinced none of them have ever watched a pro-wrestling show before because they fall for the most simple tricks all the time, yet WWE wonders why a lot of their fans like the heels a lot more than the babyfaces.
Although I doubt it, perhaps WWE is taking a different direction at SummerSlam. Maybe they will add Braun Strowman to the match after all. However, it does not excuse the fact that WWE’s babyfaces are mostly all poorly booked, the fact that they carry themselves in the worst of ways, the fact that they do not deliver on their promises, the fact that the company never allows them to get too much momentum, and the fact that they are so dumb. When you add all those together, you have what WWE has right now: a dire babyface crisis with a very flawed babyface by the name of Roman Reigns leading the pack.