Monday, July 22, 2024
EditorialRoman Reigns: Our Chosen Hero

Roman Reigns: Our Chosen Hero

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Ladies. Gentlemen. Plants. Decomposers. Extraterrestrials. I’m at an impasse here. A quandary, if you will. A stalemate. Deadlock. Fellow wrestling fanatics, I have tried. This hurts me much more than it has you. Please look in my article archives and read my review of Fast Lane. I have tried so hard. Perhaps too hard. I want to get behind everyone’s favorite Pensacola-born Samoan. More than I do Erick Rowan. However, both Reigns and the booking team are making it just too difficult. They like to make things complicated. People have laughed at me for supporting this man. I even had a salty pretzel thrown at me for telling my fellow Bryan fans who were watching Fast Lane with me that he shouldn’t be in the main event. I was against the idea, firmly I might add, of having Daniel Bryan main event WrestleMania. I thought we should have let him ride off into the sunset with last year’s event and have a new star get his time to shine. There has to be enough shine for all the young studs. While I would pick someone else, the point wasn’t about the quality of the man. It was because we are seeing something new. However, I must say, I may need to retract. Just a little bit.

People, Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns are going to get it on in the presumed main event of WrestleMania 31 with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt up for grabs. I will say this much. Aside from that brief one on confrontation, where you can argue Reigns was reading off a teleprompter, and aside from Heyman’s consistent, precise and masterful mic work, the build has been very lacking. Next week they will be in the same ring together for the first time, and WrestleMania is the week after. People, let me ask you a question. Allow me to play the role of devil’s advocate. You aren’t particularly astute in the history of WWE, but for all intents and purposes, let’s say, for the most part that you have watched WWE consistently since the night after WrestleMania 28. Then you’d know everyone Brock has beaten since. He has defeated Triple H twice, John Cena, Seth Rollins, Big Show, CM Punk and perhaps his most signature win, the streak-ending defeat of The Undertaker at last year’s WrestleMania. That is a hell of a lot of star power in three years (aside from Big Show). Then you have Roman Reigns. Has WWE convinced you that he has the slightest chance of trumping Lesnar at WrestleMania? Forget about the fact that there is a pre-determined outcome. Pretend that WWE is un-scripted wrestling. Yes, I know it’s hard, but try. What has Roman done? Okay, so he defeats Daniel Bryan at Fast Lane. Daniel Bryan is half Roman’s size and height. Were we supposed to think that Roman defied the odds by beating Bryan? Let’s see here, who else do we have? There’s Big Show, who isn’t in his prime any more and his relevance is dwindling down to near zero, provided that he hasn’t already reached sheer obscurity already. You have Luke Harper, a commendable in-ring performer for a man of his size, but hasn’t posed a serious threat to anyone as of yet. And of course, you have Roman spearing Mark Henry through a barricade. 

Allow me to reiterate these facts. Lesnar defeated Triple H twice. He dominated the face of the company for the past decade at last year’s Summerslam and conquered the streak (and sending The Undertaker with a near concussion after) since coming back. Since WWE is adamant in bringing about Lesnar’s past, he has also defeated Kurt Angle, Hulk Hogan and The Rock as well. Let’s just add in the fact that Lesnar beat Undertaker inside Hell In A Cell for good measure. There is a short list of people who can claim that they have beaten all of those men. But then here comes along Reigns, who was the “Superstar of the Year” in 2015, despite missing a good third of the year out with a hernia and spending most of the rest of the year as the enforcer of The Shield. No titles. Just the RR record, which in itself felt like a contrivance. Based on what I have seen, Lesnar would do what Paul Heyman has telling us Lesnar will do to Roman at WrestleMania, and that’s beat him within an inch of his life. Roman Reigns has yet to prove to Lesnar that he is a threat, and I don’t think he has convinced anyone as well. However, hear is where I am at a crossroads here. I still want to have hope in the guy. Yet now he’s coming out with a new catchphrase entitled: “I can. I will.” That’s what makes things so difficult. He needs to show us. And he has not.

Let us forget about the feud, since WWE wants to call it that, and just focus on Reigns for a minute. I was watching the six man tag team match between The Shield and John Cena, Sheamus and Ryback at Elimination Chamber in 2013. Sheamus was sent outside of the ring and Roman Reigns clotheslined him. After that he yelled “YOU AIN’T GOIN NOWHERE FOOL”!. I missed that Reigns. He was not only ideal, but perfect as the muscle and enforcer of The Shield. He sort of reminds me of a modern day Big Boss Man (R.I.P). He wasn’t technically sound. Just a few chin locks and a bunch of power moves. Yet that was the point. He wasn’t brought in to be the Shawn Michaels of the group. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins took care of most of the in-ring work. They would just wait to give Roman the hot tag so he can clean house. He’s not meant for prolonged one on one action. He has only two, count them, TWO, singles matches on PPV. It really is baffling how much WWE is riding on this. I need to let you guys know something. The Rock was in the ring endorsing Roman after he won the Royal Rumble, and he got booed out of the arena. The perplexed look on The Rock’s face told the entire story. When a man with the legend such as The Rock is booed, you have gone wrong. See, that’s where Roman is wrong. Now, we need to address the monkeys that are the booking team.

I hate why WWE mucks up their young talent. Roman has unlimited potential, if you ask me. You just need to season him up a little more, get him in singles matches with more credible superstars, have him work on expanding his move set a bit more, and he can get some potentially great singles matches. Yet, WWE’s stubbornness comes when they insist on forcing who THEY want and forces US to cheer for whomever they choose. It wasn’t like WWE just picked a name out of the hat, either. This was building for a long time. When news broke that WWE was planning this main event, people got into an uproar. And rightfully so. They weren’t mad at Reigns. He isn’t the one controlling his character or the direction that he is going in. That’s on the booking team. Yet, they want Reigns to be in the main event no matter how anemic his in-ring work is or how much little experience he may have. I can’t dispute that he has the LOOK of a great superstar, yet everything else leaves a lot to be desired. Now I’m thinking the fans who wanted Daniel Bryan in the main event once again may not be so selfish. I mean sure, it’s repetitive, but at the same time, we’ve seen Daniel Bryan overcome insurmountable odds and his ring prowess precedes his character. Despite his rather unorthodox look, it would be easier to look at him and say that perhaps he can pull off a miracle at WrestleMania, despite the overwhelming disadvantage that he has. Reigns can get to the level in which no one will complain about him. He means well, and he certainly has a look of a big-time superstar, and this especially pains me since he’s a young talent. But he hasn’t reached their yet, and WWE is jumping the gun far too quickly on this one. You can’t pick the heroes the audience wants to cheer for. The audience decides who they like and don’t. That is why Roman Reigns got booed at WrestleMania. That is why a good portion of fans boo John Cena. They are shoved down our gullets and make them insufferable good guys on national television. I think the injury derailed Roman’s momentum and if he wasn’t injured from Night of Champions till TLC, I think their progress wouldn’t be hindered and perhaps he would be more believable. But can you honestly say the Roman Empire will go to WrestleMania and conquer? And if (when) he does, are you ready for him to dominate? Can you believe that? I sure can’t. Because you know what else? Paul Heyman has sold Roman more than Roman is selling himself.

Put this into perspective. The historic streak is now over. John Cena was made to be a jobber for the first time in his career as the face of the company. Utterly conquered. Triple H loses twice on PPV to the same guy. Add all that in and his past accolades and you’re trying to tell me that what you have to show all of that is a loss to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania? Are you kidding me? Where’s the joke? Where’s the hidden camera? I’m not particularly mad as I am frustrated. Now, I still have a glimmer of faith that the match can still somewhat resemble something of a match where it won’t bore me out. However, I have had premonitions that we may see a repeat of Goldberg/Lesnar at WrestleMania 20, especially with the future of Brock Lesnar’s employment still up in the air. At this point, the only thing that would save the main event of WrestleMania is a successful Money In The Bank Cash In at the end of the match, and even with that, I cannot be sure the cash-in will be successful. Next week, perhaps my mind will be changed again and Roman will face a big test when he faces his WrestleMania opponent in the ring. To some of you, this article simply reiterates what you have been thinking all along, and to others, you may not feel that I am giving Roman a fair shake. But with Reigns’ deficiencies in the ring and WWE’s horrid booking, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that if you were to ask me who you hope wins at WrestleMania, my money is NOT on Roman Reigns. Believe that. 

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