The year 2015 was a very interesting one for the WWE. It was a year of declining viewership and miscalculated network subscriptions. Excessive chants of “Boring” and “We Want Sasha” could be heard through the television. Blackout seats and computer generated crowd noise became something that was expected instead of a surprise. The brass of the WWE was well aware of the impending downfall and it seems like Vince McMahon decided it was finally time to start turning the ship into a more positive direction.
Vince McMahon looks as though he shifted directions to make sure we bring excitement back to a product that sorely missed it. His appearance a few weeks ago on Monday Night Raw was the beginning of a new day (no pun intended) and the start of a new storyline. Many websites and fans have been wondering who would be the next guy to take over the WWE or if they would reinvent another character that crosses the boss, ala Stone Cold Steve Austin. Whispers were being heard of Dean Ambrose being that guy because of his reckless persona and steady following with the fans. We all know how that ended up; a faded trip into mid-card hell.
The next guy in line looks to be Roman Reigns. Roman was always a guy that was held in high regard, but will forever be remembered as the guy who got booed at the Rumble while having his hand raised by the Rock. It was not the response anyone could have foreseen and something that looks to have spurned Vinnie Mac to change his outlook and make Roman’s character work. As evident by his return to Monday Night Raw again, it appears that he will be trying to turn Roman Reigns into his next Steve Austin.
Back in the 90’s while Steve Austin was feuding with Owen Hart, Vince McMahon wanted the Stone Cold character to defy authority and be a destructive force that wouldn’t take no for an answer. The hope at the time was that adding that wrinkle to the character would make Steve Austin even more over with the audience. Looking back at it now, can anyone say it didn’t work out tremendously?
The character of Vince, the almighty ruler, was built upon hatred and once Vince McMahon got the audience to hate him, he turned and utilized that to help his performers become more popular. This prompted Steve Austin to become a much bigger star and fast forward 20 years ago, Roman Reigns is starting to shine too. Vince McMahon needed to first turn the audience again and use his ability to generate heel heat in order to help Roman Reigns become even more popular. After the last few weeks, this has been accomplished.
Two weeks ago, Vince McMahon stepped onto the ring and allowed himself to take a Superman punch from Roman Reigns. WWE fans reacted extremely favorable to that moment. Now as the referee in the World Title match he took another one on the chin and the crowd reacted feverishly once again. Even his jacked up body couldn’t save him from the attack. Way to sell it again Vince.
The fact that Vince McMahon is willing to do this for Roman Reigns shows that he really wants to help his handpicked main event performer to be prepared to take over the top spot. After years of being an on-screen character and sometimes in ring performer, Vince McMahon decided to step away from the cameras and basically hand the reigns over to his son-in-law Triple H. The understanding was he would only come back to television if it was something that was really needed; something like the ratings drop.
My belief is this storyline sets up a monster match between Triple H and Roman Reigns in the main event for WrestleMania 32. I could definitely see this including several family angles with The Rock and maybe even Shane McMahon as well. Vince is shooting for the stars this year and I am sure nothing will be thrown off the table too quickly.
Whether you agree or disagree with the character shift of Roman Reigns is irrelevant. Vince has handpicked his next prize fighter and he is making certain he cashes in. The audience was lost, the injuries continue to mount and the gold pinned star of the future was still having trouble winning over the crowd. One thing is for sure, Vince McMahon is making sure Roman Reigns takes over WWE. BELIEVE THAT!!!!!!!!!!!
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