If I want to know about professional wrestling from an authority, I usually look to my good friend Tom Clark. As a fellow wrestling and CB writer, Tom Clark is far more knowledgeable than I on the world of wrestling and its business.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]So when he wrote a story for another online publication about the importance of Randy Orton to Roman Reigns ascension up the WWE ladder, I could not agree more with his assessment. Wrestling is a series of chain reactions and a series of chess moves that are used to build programs, increase popularity in performers and excite fans enough to pay at the gate and for pay-per-view events. But it is true for every top performer in the WWE or WCW or NWA or whatever wrestling promotion that existed, stars became stars because others have pushed them to the top.
There are two sides to the Orton/Reigns conflict that make so much sense. Reigns needs a huge performer for his rise in the ranks. Orton is the right choice to make Reigns the star the WWE wants him to be – on the same path that the third-generation wrestler took, the same path that allowed The Rock to become a star, the same road traveled by the likes of Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin and Triple H.
I have always said, even when it came to other sports, athletes make other athletes better.
Larry Bird needed Magic Johnson. Andre Agassi needed Pete Sampras. Emmitt Smith needed Walter Payton. And in the wrestling world it is no different.
“The speculation on Reigns for quite some time has been that he is WWE’s next top guy, the heir apparent to John Cena. It’s a notion that began as something just blowing in the breeze among the wrestling community,” Clark said in a story on Bleacher Report.
A lot of the great we saw as children needed a push as well. Ric Flair spoke highly of Harley Race and Ken Patera helping him get to the top of the food chain in his biography, “To Be the Man.” Triple H could not have been as successful as he was without Killer Kowalski’s guidance. The Von Erichs (David, Kevin, Kerry) were trained by their father, Fritz Von Erich. Steve Austin credits Scott Casey as the one who got him to the game. Rick Steamboat needed Flair to put him over in the NWA.
Reigns has been on a roller coaster of sorts lately, but has not gotten to the top of the apex yet.
Orton has a reputation for being an ass when it comes to working with younger talent (i.e. Kofi Kingston), but this is a program where Reigns could match the 12-time World Champion move for move and word for word. This is not a situation where John Cena will not put someone like Bray Wyatt over because he is afraid to lose is spot.
“Now, Reigns is rubbing elbows with WWE’s elite. To see him challenging for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is nothing new; he worked the ladder match for the belt at Money in the Bank, and then competed in the Fatal 4-Way match at Battleground. In both instances, Reigns fit right in with WWE’s heavy hitters and that includes Cena,” Clark added.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]If the WWE is going to continue to move forward, it needs to allow the eventual change of winds happen in the business. It is a process that cannot be forced and cannot be rushed. But there must also be caution in not stepping in between change and success. The combination could mean suicide for the industry and destroy a potentially great champion to fall off the ladder.
In Reigns’ case, the fall would be catastrophic and could hurt the company in ratings and in confidence amongst its fan base – something it cannot afford to do.
[amazon_link id=”B00JHH1YAW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE The Paul Heyman Story[/amazon_link]