Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Rehabilitation of Roman Reigns Has Begun


The rehabilitation of Roman Reigns has begun. It took a little help from Mother Nature but it maybe off to a decent start after the disaster that was the Royal Rumble in Philadelphia.

It was a Raw that we will likely never see again as the show was cancelled in Hartford and they showed the two main events from the Royal Rumble on free T.V. They also had a number of sit-down interviews that felt very unscripted. It made for some interesting television in the shadow of perhaps the worst Royal Rumble event of all-time. In all of it, there was a lesson to be learned not to say the WWE will learn it.

Roman Reigns the man who was booed out of the build less than 24 hours earlier in Philadelphia did some of his best work on the microphone in his career. It speaks to how Roman has been more a victim of bad creative more than he is a terrible performer on the microphone. Is he actually ready to main event the biggest show of the year in Wrestlemania? It still remains a question, but perhaps it now is the time as Reigns getting a year to build to Wrestlemania 32 makes better sense than having him get the main event at that massive event.

Paul Heyman did a brilliant job selling this match and if this leads to Reigns turning heel and siding with Paul Heyman it could be great. Imagine a year out Roman Reigns complains that the Rock tried to steal his moment winning the Royal Rumble. It was the Rock’s fault the people booed him. Rock against Reigns with Heyman as Reigns advocate could be a great main event for Wrestlemania 32.

The key is that Roman Reigns needs to be distanced from how John Cena is presented. They have tried to present Reigns like Cena and it has been a massive failure. Reigns made the point that he has a massive opportunity and it is up to him to take advantage of it. Ultimately, Reigns needs to learn to say the word NO to creative that is awful and hurts him and his long-term career.

This is certainly a crossroads for Roman Reigns and the WWE as they face something they truly have never had to deal with. John Cena is not going anywhere and this is the first time the WWE has made a choice to move to a new top guy without having it forced upon them. Hogan left the company so did Bret and Shawn and Steve Austin was injured and Rock went to Hollywood. This is the first time they have not been forced into making a change at the top of the company as its face.

I have never had this hate and hostility for Roman Reigns that the fan base seems to have developed. Daniel Bryan is never getting back to the place he was at and that is just the reality of things. If you’re the WWE can you honestly have faith Bryan can remain healthy for any lengthy period of time? I would have to answer no to that question. He will still have his moment from Wrestlemania 30 and it will be a question of what might have been had he remained healthy and had his proper reign as champion. The reality is though we still could very well be in the same place we find ourselves now. If Bryan ever faced Lesnar as champion, I would not have favored him to win that match. So we still could be on this same path to Reigns against Lesnar main event for Wrestlemania 31. 

How the WWE presents Roman Reigns in the next 60+ days will greatly determine both his future and their future to a large degree. This is a high stakes time for them and honestly, something the WWE has never truly done by replacing their face of the company with the other still remaining. C.M Punk was always in the shadow of Cena similar to how Savage was to Hulk Hogan. This is different and WWE is counting on Reigns to be the guy to carry this company for the next decade more or less.

It certainly has got off to a Rocky start if you will pardon the pun. Still if Reigns is allowed to make the position his own and fans are willing to give him a chance it can work. Those are two major factors that are easier said than done.

The Roman Empire eventually crumbled this Roman Reigns empire has started from the rumble in ruins. Time will tell if he becomes one of the great names that we talk about in the history of this company. If he doesn’t get there, the blame is on the WWE for how they handcuffed his launch into this position of prominence in the company. Reigns has come a long way in a short time and is being asked to take on far more than he should be at this point. This is his opportunity though and he needs to make the most of it regardless of if he is ready or not. He might not get another one, or maybe he will get many, but none will have the potential that this one has for him to solidify himself as a top guy.