At the outset, I should say I’m everything for anyone who makes their bag with placing their body less and less risky. If Roman Reigns wants to keep making millions just by wrestling 20 times a year, you get it, my friend. If he wants to do it by taking all risks and just making movies from here on out, that’s great too (same goes for Sasha Banks, who’s more likely to do so, but but I’m heartbroken that never seeing her in the ring again would be unmanageable).
I’m also one of the biggest fans of Reign’s repackaging, now almost two years ago, as an all-conqueror who doesn’t have to do anything else. . It’s something he’s always been made of, and it’s just a pandemic and there’s no risk since there’s no live crowd for Vince McMahon to figure it out.
But everything has a shelf life, and it feels like this roman run was on the right track. Except it won’t stop for a short time, and maybe even longer.
We know Vince has desperately wanted Reigns at the top of the company for years. That’s why he crowbarred into Mania’s main event after the main event even though fans didn’t really want any part of it. But now that Vince has got what he’s after, he’s made it clear he’s going to sit on it. And sit on it. And he still is.
Now that Roman holds both titles (both Raw and Smackdown), WWE had a similar problem when Vince let Brock Lesnar sit on the title for over a year. It’s not on TV. That’s not to say Roman struggles with both shows, or whatever comes closest. But Raw took place last week without any mention of the title or Reigns. It feels heartless, and even more so when the main event is one of these pointless and silly bouts, forcing a champion like Bianca Belair to play a no-title match to see if she can win. must win a title fight down the road. Even Becky Lynch pointed out its stupidity on the show. And of course it has one flaw, rendering the entire program meaningless.
But Roman needs to be present, and he needs someone chasing him to play. He hasn’t had that since Mania, and even that Mania build is skewed because, as fun as Brock was in that time, no one thought for a second he’d win. And the Mania match really left the most cold, I don’t know if it was due to injury or not. There was no light from it that Reigns could use to illuminate the aftermath. He was just sitting there.
There is still some confusion about what exactly Roman’s schedule will look like now. He began swirling rumors of a fifth device at a home show in New Jersey, hinting that he might not be back. Some thought he would leave altogether. Some people think he’s just skipping the house shows. It appears to be the latter, with Reigns only really participating in PPVs (or PLEs, Premium Live Events, to use the parlance of our times). And again, that’s fine. It will be a BIG WOMEN when Reigns wrestles. It should be an event, which means it shouldn’t happen often.
But you still need the builds, you still need the prediction, you still need the story. WWE didn’t, and Roman running through everyone left the field without reliable challengers. New York looks set to start Drew McIntyre on the road on PLE Sunday in a six-man card with Reigns and Usos, alongside current WWE’s most popular performers Randy Orton and Matt Riddle. It’s an opportunity to show a crack or two. Reigns won’t even have to eat the pin, but it will easily start the fall of the empire with Usos losing while paired with Reigns and his discontent and paranoia starting to surface and create out cracks. Instead, Roman pinned Riddle. We are back where we started.
Of course there’s still time here, if Orton and Riddle agree on card titles for the Usos, but why not start on Sunday? Losing incumbents has to be a big deal, built over months, so why not take some small steps? Reigns won’t appear when and if Usos loses, and neither will McIntyre.
All of this ignores that New York has dodged the best angle it has with Reigns in their desperation to place him with Brock. And that was his feud with Seth Rollins at the Royal Rumble. That match was brilliant and ended unsuccessfully because it revealed the marks on Roman’s armor – his insecurities about his history with Rollins and the Shield, he couldn’t reconcile. that his old friends are always ahead of him, that he may not have to face real loss and panic. That’s also what Kevin Owens brought into him in the dying days of the Thunderdome. It was all there, and made this inestimable monster that Reigns had become seem like it could be conquered, if only for a minute.
And WWE ignored it, putting it in the trash to service more Brock-Roman matches. Never heard of it again. That turned Roman back into what we’ve seen over the past year, “I’m the best no one can beat me, here’s my ring.” There is no variation for the character. He’s nothing more than a piece of cardboard. You do it long enough and fans stop buying it or care. And they can’t ignore how fiercely McMahon wants Roman to be his next Hogan, which is all Lesnar ever did. Too bland now.
Seth is no longer a possibility, and WWE has never been interested in calling its history, even recent history, to build a match. It is possible that they are lining up McIntyre to win it in Wales, while ignoring that McIntyre is Scottish (there is little chance for Vince to know the difference between Wales and Scotland). However, that crowd will be near riot and Drew’s victory there will feel epic.
But not having Roman around much won’t help with that. And not changing his personality doesn’t help either. There are four months left to turn McIntyre into a true giant again, but this is still the same guy who has spent the past few months chasing Baron Corbin and Madcap Moss with a sword. It doesn’t exactly scream the “wrestling symbol”. Is Drew a strong enough ad to build this in part or mostly on his own? Doubt.
Maybe it’s Cody Rhodes, another guy who is just too happy to ignore giving his character any flaws or depth and can become the face of every number to counter his heels. every number that Reigns has become. Rhodes is certainly a good enough ad to do the amount of work he’ll need on his own, and WWE fans are more forgiving of someone being able to improve their own ass that they have to film. one more time.
What is clear is that this has been going on for too long. Having Reigns take the top spot on a card simply let Reigns do the top on the card that washed it. McMahon has confirmed, accepted the award, but now it’s time to move on.