While I’m a big Roman Reigns fan, I’m dedicated to telling the truth, no matter who it offends.
Roman Reigns has a great wrestling look (by Vince Mcmahon’s standards) who comes from a great wrestling family that includes The Usos, The Wild Samoans, Rikishi, Umaga, and arguably one of the greatest WWE superstars in history, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The truth of the matter is that no one knows how good Roman Reigns is or how good he could be, INCLUDING ROMAN REIGNS. That’s because the WWE is making the tragic mistake of carefully crafting a Superhero, instead of letting Roman Reigns develop into who he should be: His own man.
Let’s take this step-by-step shall we? When The Shield broke up, Seth Rollins became a “sellout”, who “bought in” and became a part of the Authority. Mr. Money in the Bank has catapulted himself into the main event picture by becoming one of the most hated heels in recent years.
Dean Ambrose moved on and became “The Lunatic Fringe”, a screwed up antihero who is capable of sadistic action and humorous interactions with ease, all to the delight of the WWE Universe.
Both Rollins and Ambrose have different ring gear and entrance music. What does Roman Reigns have that’s different from his time with The Shield? I’ll save you the trouble: Nothing has changed and that is the PROBLEM! Reigns has the same ring gear, the same entrance music and it’s obvious he’s simply been converted by creative into a piss poor, one man version of The Shield. Reigns even comes into the arena through the crowd, just like The Shield. #FAIL
At this point, I imagine that someone is going to start with a rebuttal that mentions “One vs. All”. What the heck does that even mean? It’s not anything Roman says (consistently), nor is it indicative of his journey. The only way it would make sense is if he was a heel, which he’s not. He’s being booed by the WWE universe because he’s tragically inauthentic. Saying “I Can”, “I Will” and “Believe That” don’t make Roman sound like a Samoan Badass. They make him sound like a Samoan version of the Little Engine that Could. #FAIL
If Roman Reigns wins at Wrestlemania, it will do untold damage to the WWE. This isn’t me being the voice of the IWC, this is the truth, plain and simple.
IF (and I capitalized IF on purpose) Roman wins, sure there will be some butthurt members of the WWE Universe, but that’s the tip of a Titanic-sized iceberg the WWE would face.
Vince McMahon hit the nail on the head with ONE THING during his Podcast with Steve Austin: Brock Lesnar is a special attraction. Seeing him every week would make him seem, less special and seemingly less menacing. As a consequence, the WWE Championship has become something to shoot for; elusive, desirable and a Special Attraction.
Putting the strap on Reigns will mean you have a WWE World Heavyweight Champion who needs massive help with his promos and charisma. #FAIL. If the strap is seen every week on Raw and Smackdown, then the work of all of the mid card guys and main eventers to raise the prestige of the US Title and the IC Championship to levels not seen since the Attitude Era and the Golden Age of WCW.
The only way a Roman Reigns win at WM31 makes sense is if Heyman screws Lesnar and Reigns turns heel. We know that could never happen. WWE has spent way too much time and money (including that considerable Part-time contract renewal) building Brock Lesnar into the Beast Incarnate to throw it away on a Wrestlemania storybook ending ala Daniel Bryan in WM30. You don’t give up the fact that Lesnar DESTROYED The Undertaker with 3 F5’s. You can’t negate the fact that Lesnar gave every WWE fan over the age of 25 the pleasure of watching SuperCena being supplied 16 times at Summerslam by giving him a loss to someone whose signature moves are an acrobatic punch and an average-at-best spear. (I’m sorry, it doesn’t look as good or as painful as when Edge did it. Roman’s spear looks more like a running hug).
Roman Reigns can get better. Roman Reigns WILL get better, but the WWE creative team has got to let this man loose. I know he’s not a good talker, but neither is NXT’s Baron Corbin. The difference is, one screams “bad ass dude who is not to be fooled with”. The other is Roman Reigns, an overhyped and over packaged wrestler who has yet to find his own character, let alone his place in the WWE Universe.
There is a silver lining in the WWE’s archaic and grossly unoriginal booking and character development of Roman Reigns. The last time they shoved a Samoan down our throats like this, the WWE Universe booed him so horribly that he took his career into his own hands and became the Brahma Bull, The People’s Champ, The Great One and The Most Electrifying Man in all of Entertainment: The Rock, AKA Rocky Maivia.
Rocky Maivia sucked. He looked great (aside from that god awful pineapple haircut and that ridiculous outfit) and was a sensational athlete, but they hyped him up and he was so syrupy sweet that the WWE Universe got a collective mouthful of cavities. After months of continuous ridicule from the fans, Rocky went to Vince to ask him to allow him some latitude with his character. It was through his creativity (and desperation) that The Rock was born, creating one of the most prolific forces of the Attitude Era.
Of course there are stark differences between then and now. Vince was in a war with WCW. Now he has no competition, which has made him just a little too lax in the creative department. Think I’m exaggerating? Ask yourself the last time you’ve looked forward to a Big Show or Kane match in the last year. I’ll wait.
Roman needs someone to work with him on his promos and his character development. Creative needs to do better than “I Can” and “I Will”. Roman needs to not be so stiff and maybe take up DDP Yoga to loosen up. Roman has a spark of greatness but he needs to be given every opportunity to take the bull by the horns. Roman needs to focus more on enhancing and contributing to his family’s legacy or he will be buried by it. Wrestlemania 31 will be interesting to say the least, and if WWE doesn’t #GiveRomanTheReigns their new Blue Chip Superhero will crash and burn.
Dave Anderson is an Award-Winning Journalist and Pro Wrestling Historian. He’s also the host of upcoming Wrestling News Podcast, Debuting this Spring. Follow him on twitter @LikeAHater or [email protected]