At the moment the big thing in the WWE Universe, or more specifically on the internet, is pretty much centered around directing their hatred to one man… Roman Reigns.
Yes, the Roman Reigns who was in the final two of the 2014 Royal Rumble and was the overwhelming fan favourite heel against the hugely hated face Batista. Now looking back it was probably that the fans would have cheered for pretty much ANYBODY else over Batista at the moment, but Roman was still becoming a huge favourite among his fellow Shield partners. However fast-forward to the Royal Rumble 2015 and it’s deja vu… but this time the fans WEREN’T cheering for Roman.
After the elimination of Daniel Bryan and the entrance of Roman, the fans just booed the majority of the match. The predictabillity of the outcome was enough to get the fans rattled… well that and the fact that Daniel Bryan didn’t win.
It really does annoy me that a year later, the fans had completely turned their backs on Roman and it wasn’t even Roman’s fault… it was the WWE.
Now I think we can all agree that the 2015 Royal Rumble was SHIT. It was an awful booked show (other than the triple threat for the title) and the Rumble was just shitly booked for like the second-half of the match. I wasn’t too bothered about Roman Reigns winning the entire thing nor do I care if the entire thing was predictable as soon as Daniel Bryan was eliminated. Things can be predictable but still be entertaining if done right. Those last three words are crucial…. IF DONE RIGHT.
Now at the time, I went on a huge Twitter tirade about the entire Rumble and I’m not going to go to much into it here, because I think I’ve covered it a bit TOO much now we’ve actually passed Wrestlemania! But the point is, there’s not much WWE had to do in order to get Roman over as one of the top babyface guys in WWE. He’s a badass, samoan monster that doesn’t talk, because his actions speak for him. He’s built like an action figure and he’s somebody that realistically… could be the FACE of WWE. However, even despite being in the main event of Wrestlemania, Roman Reigns ISN’T the face of the company. Roman Reigns ISN’T the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. And Roman Reigns ISN’T one of WWE’s hottest properties anymore.
Before I continue, do check out the video below of Bryan Alvarez who talks a great deal about Roman and why WWE were struggling with him at the start of the year…
This video pretty much confirmed the ideas that were in my head at the time about the booking of Roman Reigns. Because I like Roman Reigns. I’ve talked about him before on the blog. I liked him in the Shield, I loved how they booked him BEFORE he got injured. He had a great feud with Randy Orton which led to their awesome match at Summerslam. But their direction with Roman changed drastically when he returned… well WHY?
What’s the point in taking this action-figure like, bad-ass long-haired superstar (kinda paraphrasing Alvarez here) and turn him into something he’s not? He’s not a Cena character. He’s not a “Eat your vitamins” guy. He’s not the guy and will never be the guy Vince McMahon believe he should be. So why would people be interested in Roman if he’s playing that role. But you know what, WWE did redeem themselves with Roman in the build up to Fast Lane.
I thought Roman Reigns going up against Daniel Bryan was a terrible idea. I was in my head thinking, “Oh god. WWE were hitting the panic button and now it’s gonna be a triple threat”. But as it turned out, Daniel was a great foil for Roman. Bryan’s repeatdely talked on WWE Television about the ideology of having big, muscular guys being hot-shotted to the top. So when you put Roman Reigns in the main event of Wrestlemania despite Bryan being the bigger fan favourite, you’ve got an interesting plate on your hands…
They did the good old out-doing each other angle with Roman and Daniel bickering back-and-forth. And what it accumilated to was a good old brawl on RAW which made Roman look really good. You could say it made Roman look really STRONG! 😉
After Reigns beat Bryan, he know looked like a legit threat to Lesnar and people were actually into him. Then WWE did what WWE does best… drop the ball with Roman.
I’ll point out early on before going on that Brock Lesnar not showing up frequently hurt the build up to their match at Wrestlemania hugely. There was no really big scrap between the two for main event and why? Why didn’t two badass fighters like Brock and Roman beat each other up or something before the main event? Did WWE really thinking Roman and Paul Heyman going back up or just intense staredowns was gonna get people interested? No. We’re in WWE… HAVE THEM FIGHT. To top it all off the RAW before Wrestlemania ended… like this. -.-
To go into one of the biggest and most important main event of Wrestlemania, you ended it with them agressivley holding onto a championship belt to pan out. People don’t want to see that! They want to see a fight! The crowd was dead when they did that spot. Hell, the biggest talking point going into Wrestlemania was Brock Lesnar resigning his contract… and that wasn’t even announced on WWE Television or the WWE Network. It was on bloody SportsCentre. While that did get people more hyped up about the match knowing Lesnar was staying, WWE never got that out there. They needed Third-Party coverage to get their main event over when they could have just done it themselves…
Thankfully at Wrestlemania, WWE saved their arses and delivered… but NOT in a way that benefitted Roman Reigns.
Roman Reigns took a trip to Suplex City as Brock Lesnar basically beat him up the entire match! To Reigns credit, he took three F5s and still kicked out. And he no doubt got in more offense throughout the match than John Cena did at Summerslam. But after being F5’d a fourth time, Seth Rollins came out with his Money In The Bank briefcase and… I assume everybody knew what happened next.
All of this hype, which I’ve talked about for about 1000 words, has led to Roman being pinned by the cashing in Seth Rollins after getting slaughtered throughout the entire match and the next night on RAW, he never showed up until the very end and… NOBODY cared.
Now I did watch RAW live this week and I can tell you why I didn’t care. Firstly, because it was pretty obvious that Roman was gonna come out as Randy Orton’s mystery partner. Secondly, the biggest thing that came out of RAW was Brock Lesnar. For good reason. The Brock Lesnar stuff was just amazing and is easily one of the best segments I’ve seen on RAW ever! This was like the Nexus debut segment but with ONE man! I could go on about how great this segment was but we’re talking about Reigns. What WWE did on RAW was focus heavily on the Lesnar stuff and they kinda forget about Reigns. Hell, Randy Orton got a segment with Seth Rollins and Reigns was just thrown in at the end. Reigns has fallen HUGELY down the food chain. Seth Rollins is the champion, everybody can’t stop talking about Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton is the number one contender for the WWE World Title (spoilers for SmackDown! apologizes). Where does that leave Reigns?
What RAW might have been was the END of the big bad push of Roman Reigns as it’s clear WWE doesn’t know what to do with him. All of this push that I’ve talked about for 1,000+ words going to waste because WWE have simply booked him into irrelevancy. WWE have booked a bad-ass, Rambo like character, that the fans love for having this cool factor about, to the point where WWE just doesn’t care about him… unless Roman ends up being put into the main event of Extreme Rules. But then again, technically it would be three triple threat WWE World Heavyweight Championship matches in a row on PPV. Lesnar vs Cena vs Rollins at the Rumble. Lesnar vs Reigns technically became a triple threat at Mania as Rollins pinned Reigns. And if Roman is added to this, it’s another triple threat match! So why would they? Unless of course they just love to have triple threat matches nowadays. The Wrestlemania XXX main event was a triple threat too! 😄
Anyway, Roman is now currently lost in the WWE mix. What WWE have is essentialy job Reigns out to Lesnar, had Rollins pin him at Mania and made the next night all about Lesnar… simply because they have NO idea what to do with him.
Sadly, that’s the fate of Roman Reigns. The potential of this kid has been squandered. A big part of me wanted Reigns to win the belt at Mania because at least it showed WWE had faith in him. It’s obvious that WWE felt this about Reigns before. But now they’ve messed up Reigns this bad with their booking, Reigns immedietly goes down after this. And it’s a sad scenario for Reigns. The Roman Empire has been toppled before it’s even been properly built…