Just over 18months ago Bray Wyatt stopped Reigns winning ‘Money in the Bank’ and gave the explanation that “Anyone but you Roman,” which now appears to have become the viewers response to who holds the world title. But is Reigns dead in the water? Where did it go wrong? And how can it be saved? Well lets take a look
Roman Reigns was poised to be a big break out star when the Shield split- he had the size, a decent look and was red hot as the big powerhouse of the group but since then something has happened and the fans have turned on him massively! The problem with Reigns rise to the top of card is two fold in my opinion- the first issue is that he seemed to be rocketed right up there and the second is that he just doesn’t feel ready!
Reigns seemed poised for a push to the top of the card just over a year ago at WrestleMania when he was facing Lesnar and at the time many fans felt he had placed at this point based simply on his looks- and I was one of these. He had beaten no-one of not when he won the 2015 Royal Rumble and guaranteed his place in the main event. This all happened amidst the horribly scripted promos of McMahon that had Reigns spewing out lines like ‘Suckering Succatash,’ and only made his character look out of place and feel stale. However WWE pulled a surprise move and had Rollins win the belt- and go on to a brilliant run that has placed him as the best thing on WWE television in years.
After this Reigns seemed to be given a slight cool down period- he was still clearly being pushed as he never dropped from the upper tier but he shied away from the title picture for a while. However word kept leaking that Vince wanted Reigns to be the next top man and his booking also told the same story as he rarely lost, never gets beaten down and seemed to be getting too much promo time for a man is his position. This continued and when Rollins got injured every knew it was Reigns time to grab the gold. Reigns at this point was still cutting poorly written promos and his in ring work seemed to be lacking, he just didnt feel like the star he was being booked as and everyone was starting to let the WWE know.
Now the situation around the boo’s hasn’t really changed- although there was a contingent of cheers for him on Raw this week- despite the fact that Reigns seems to have slipped into a much more comfortable role as a cocky and arrogant heel. This is something that the WWE should have done a long time ago- as if your booing a heel then technically their doing something right. However despite him having transitioned into this new role there is still a lot of hatred for Reigns that at this point isnt so much about the man himself- and this is where the WWE may have killed him!
The WWE roster is in a much better place than it has been for recent years, yet someone still feels the need to have man above all others and book them as an indestructible force that cant be beaten- and this has turned John Cena into the hated main event-er he is today and Reigns is being booked the same way and will get the same outcome if it continues. However the man isnt dead yet- as if the company realises quickly they have a plethora of talent that is main event ready they can easily trade wins and loses (no 50/50 booking however) between these top stars and have 4or5 people carry the company over the coming years. This is the reason everyone loved the attitude era- it wasn’t the story lines but the fact there was so much top talent that you got great matches at every PPV and anything was possible.
Reigns can still be a top guy, but right now he needs to go full hell- I feel they missed a chance to have him be the man behind Anderson and Gallows and have them beat down AJ at Payback. Let Reigns run with the gold for another 2-3months until Rollins shock return, the two men face off and Rollins once again captures the gold before Reigns is forced to work his way through the top tier talent to earn a shot. There would be great matches with Owens, Zayn, Styles, Balor, Samoa Joe, Cesaro and Ambrose to only name a few and Reigns could have some great feuds that include him losing to this talent to keep the top of the card fresh. If he lost a few times on his way back to the title shot and inevitable victory maybe he would be more welcomed as he would have definitely earned the shot and place on the card. During these runs I would also allow Reigns to go out there unscripted on the microphone and let him learnt he skill he needs (apparently this held Cesaro back but Reigns is ok?) and fall a few times if need be. And if his persona needs him to say less and kick ass more; like recently with AJ; then let him do this as he works best this way.
Reigns is not yet dead in the water- hes slowly running out of energy to continue to tread water however, and the WWE need to change the way he’s booked as soon as possible. A feud with the fan favourite Aj possibly wasnt the best way to get fans behind him, however I’ve liked what we’ve seen in the ring between the two, but Reigns superman booking has hurt the feud- however if he needs the help of the Uso’s at Extreme Rules and then continues his turn to a heel this would be a real positive move for the man and the company. Lets hope the WWE realise that Reigns is capable in the ring, and does have a good look so could very well be a top star but right now the company doesn’t need a single star it has many and continuing to push one man above all others leads to doom.