So, when I started this last week, this blog had a completely different tone to it. In it, I was writing about how things had to turn for the better for Roman Reigns after a tumultuous 2015. 2016 in essence, must be a complete turnaround if WWE wants Reigns to succeed as their top guy.
What a difference a few days makes.
Up until Sunday night, Roman Reigns was pretty much the good guy in all of this chaos surrounding him this year. Good Guy Reigns stayed humble and grateful through the disastrous Royal Rumble this year, got manhandled by Brock Lesnar, and then screwed by not one, but two Money in the Bank winners. The silver lining in all of that is that he has produced some of the best singles work of his career. And you can’t argue with that.
With all the ups and downs though, it was obvious something was going to have to give soon. It made sense, after all. Reigns had been chasing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship all year, and had roadblock after roadblock in attempts to get there. I had made a prediction that Reigns maybe would lose his temper by Survivor Series should things continue to go south for him. It didn’t happen in Atlanta, but it came to blows at TLC in Boston.
And that’s what is turning the tables for Good Guy Reigns. We all know the saying, “nice guys finish last”. Apparently, Reigns got the memo and threw his guns down after his loss at TLC. He stopped caring about what is the right way to go and do things. Because, that train of thought was getting him nowhere and fast. Besides, some of the greatest WWE superstars have defied authority (pardon the pun) at one point in their careers and that’s what part of what made them succeed. This is what fans want to see. They want to see Reigns as a beast, because that’s how he shines the brightest. TLC was the perfect example Sunday night, as Reigns took his aggression and frustration out on Triple H. It was a long time coming.
The last forty eight, plus hours for Roman Reigns was nothing short of a miracle. Who would’ve guessed it would take a snap and Vince McMahon to turn everything around for Reigns? Didn’t I say when WWE was pushed into a corner things could happen? Simple fixes can make big differences. A little bit goes a long way.
It seems like that is what happened here. The early ratings that have come out speak for it. Overall, Raw had positive buzz for the first time in weeks, if not months. Can WWE keep this momentum going? Only time will tell from here.
And that brings me to the topic at hand. Monday night was a great night for Reigns and his fans. I’m talking real fans from the jump, not the closet fans that stayed silent when times got hard, and not the bandwagoners who jumped ship on Reigns when The Shield disbanded. We saw what could be a great run for him leading into 2016 and the WrestleMania season. It could be, but it must be. WWE needs to stay consistent with this scenario with the strong following of TLC and Raw.
WWE has made up slightly from the months on end of mishandling Reigns’ character. While Reigns’ snap at TLC was better late than never, truth is that it should’ve happened long ago before that. I would say as early as the Raw after Mania. Both TLC and Raw saw WWE attempting to fix what is going on with Reigns’ character in terms of behavior and speaking. Jim Ross said last week the long promos from Reigns are both unfair to him and his fans. Reigns isn’t much of a talker to begin with, and it’s clearly uncomfortable for him to recite anything scripted and requires him to talk longer than he should. Reigns talks better when it’s short and sweet, or when it comes from the heart. Both examples happened on Raw Monday night.
We all know that when it comes down to the wire, Reigns can and will deliver in his new position as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He has delivered in matches as a member of the Shield, and he has delivered in his matches this year in 2015. This will be no different, and I have no worries in that department as far as his work ethic goes. What I am worried about, is how WWE will protect him in the long run. Reigns is one of the many who has suffered at the hands of Creative. He was one of the ones who suffered the most, actually. Creative and Vince were doing everything they shouldn’t when it came to Reigns. Bad booking can crush his legacy that he is trying hard to create.
And Reigns shouldn’t have to deal with that. Coming from the strong, gifted and well respected Anoa’i family, Reigns is more than capable to add to the rich Samoan Dynasty. His work ethic speaks volumes; he has the look and what it takes to making this Dynasty even richer. It is up to WWE to protect this newfound turnaround for Reigns and to not annihilate his new direction. This direction is positive, and the majority of fans are behind Reigns now; something WWE has been trying and failed to do all year long. It’s a chance to see how he does now, because he will not always have the Usos or Dean Ambrose in his corner.
It’s only been over twenty four hours since Reigns’ title win. I can only hope that the promise WWE put out there on Monday can only continue from there. With WrestleMania season being right around the corner, WWE needs to continue this route and not sabotage Reigns anymore. He has secured his spot at the top of the mountain, the top of the food chain. That’s the expectation considering WWE’s way of doing things. WWE must exceed that expectation and finally do Reigns right. Sunday and Monday were a great start.
Here’s to the Roman Reigns era!