WWE | Pro Wrestling

Roman’s Reign versus The Brock Backlash

If Roman wins, we riot. Have you seen that sign yet? Don’t worry, you will. WrestleMania is right around the corner and you can be sure that sign will be somewhere among the massive crowd in attendance. Well, unless WWE takes it away. They will probably take it away.

The backlash against Roman Reigns has never been bigger, the hate toward him never more intense. And it’s not just because he’s still the one believed to go over on Brock Lesnar at Mania. Now the vitriol leveled against Roman has been amplified due to Lesnar’s recent resigning with WWE.

That’s right folks; The Beast has chosen his cage. Walking away from a possible UFC return and apparently unwilling to give the NFL the old college try once again, Brock Lesnar has decided to call Vince McMahon’s company home. And truth be told, that’s a good thing.

WWE is in desperate need of big time stars. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at who the top guys are. First there’s John Cena, the eternal Boy Scout and superhero come to life. Then there’s Brock, the monster that eats boy scouts and has superhero heads mounted on his wall. And that’s about it.

Everyone else is a distant number two. I like Daniel Bryan; he’s a star in every sense of the word. But WWE put the kibosh on his forward movement the moment he came back from injury. Randy Orton is still around but his WrestleMania opponent Seth Rollins is closer to the WWE World Championship than he is. I like Seth too, by the way. He’s a future top guy in the making but he’s not been made yet.

John and Brock are it; there is no one else on that level. So when the time came to make a play for The Beast, you can better believe the McMahon family jumped all over it. Can you blame them? He’s one half of their main event scene.

Don’t misunderstand; I’m not saying no one else is contributing. Bryan, Rollins and Orton do what they do every week and they get praised for it. We also can’t forget about Dolph Ziggler, Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose; these three guys give just as much as the previous three. Put all six on the same program on the same night and there is no doubt fans can see who’s putting in the work to entertain them.

But John and Brock are it. WWE knows this and they only have themselves to blame. Instead of creating top moneymaking stars, the company has created a whole bunch of mid-card stars. In other words, the menu is all appetizers and only two main courses.

It’s not a problem in the short term. Then again, nothing ever is. It’s the long term that WWE has to be concerned about, that’s what matters the most. It’s not today that’s the issue, its tomorrow. It’s the same mantra that’s kept them afloat all these years, the one that pushed them past WCW back in the day. And yes, it’s never really been a problem. But it is now.

The fact is if you don’t hate Roman Reigns, you probably know someone who does. But why is that? What did Roman do that was so bad, that will not allow haters to seem him as something other than a future top guy? The answer is nothing. Roman did nothing wrong.

WWE set out to create a new moneymaker, a solid number three behind John and Brock. Never mind it already had one with Daniel Bryan. Kibosh, remember? We’re talking about now and now was supposed to be Roman’s time. The Reignman was supposed to reign over WWE in a new era, moving the company forward past both Lesnar and Cena.

But now Lesnar is staying. And that means Roman may not reign over anything. Common sense says that Roman should be given more time, he’s been unfairly criticized and it’s not his fault he’s in a tough situation. But common sense and pro wrestling do not often break bread together and WWE has been known to change plans at the zero hour.

Is that what we’re looking at for WrestleMania? Will WWE pull the plug on Roman in favor of Lesnar? The truth is right now there’s just no way to know. Roman does deserve the benefit of the doubt; he does deserve the chance to prove what he can do on the main event stage. Lesnar’s presence should not be an excuse to prevent Reigns from moving ahead to the championship. Is he behind the eight ball? Yes. Will it take some work to get him where he needs to be in terms of respect and credibility? Absolutely. Should he be punished and held back because Brock is in the mix? No way.

Fans should be on Roman’s side. Had it not been for Ambrose’s rise last year and Daniel’s mishandling since returning, they may very well be. But they’re not and they may never be. WWE has some major repair work ahead of them and it will be interesting to see how they go about doing it.

And let’s be honest. Fans are a fickle bunch. They love Brock right now but give it time. Maybe the sign should read “If Roman wins we riot provided we don’t get sick of Brock at some point.” It’s a bit wordy but perhaps more on point.

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Tom Clark

Tom Clark can regularly be found on Camel Clutch Blog. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online at https://tomclarksmainevent.libsyn.com/

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