I wouldn’t normally look to the New York Post to help add substance to one of my opinion pieces here on Camel Clutch Blog, but that’s exactly what I am doing here.
The Roman Reigns Era in WWE and Vince McMahon’s continued commitment to standing by his pet project has handcuffed the company in its attempt to promote this “New Era” that was launched to put the last five years of horrid booing behind the promotion.
Forcing fans to stick to the script and believe in the “Big Dog” as the next incarnation of a John Cena-like superstar has reached its breaking point. Fans weren’t excited to see Reigns gain the win over Samoa Joe at Backlash and won’t back down from their displeasure if the three-time WWE Champion finally becomes the Universal Champion if he defeats Brock Lesnar.
“The WWE continues to book Reigns like he is Hulk Hogan or John Cena in their heyday. He is the baby face that is pummeled early to the point he can barely stand, only to rally and pull a win out in the end against everyone but Brock Lesnar,” writes Joe Staszewski.
“We continue to see the same story and physical match style on a regular basis with Reigns and did again Sunday during Backlash at Prudential Center. Joe threw Reigns through an announce table and over two others before the bell rung for a slow grinding match.”
The only way Reigns becomes the mega success McMahon has wanted for the past four years is to make drastic changes to his character. Reigns is every bit a top performer in the company and goes out nightly and shows why he one of the best at what he does. But being born into the business, having The Rock and the Usos as his cousins and an ill-fated reunion of The Shield hasn’t put him over yet.
It seems nothing will, unless WWE decides to change Reigns’ for be worse, not the better. While fans continued to chant, “This is awful” and “This is boring,” how can WWE make Reigns the mega-star it has wanted all along?
This is not all Reigns’ fault as the company that has built him up to be Hulk Hogan and Cena has some part in his failure. Ok, more than some part. Reigns is stiff, robotic at times. His mic skills are average and his ring gear is as bland as day-old coffee. I still believe a heel turn is what is best for business, and I am not in the minority. Also, timing plays a huge part in how Reigns is perceived by WWE’s faithful.
“It’s time to work Reigns with a fellow babyface or more technical worker if WWE doesn’t want the rejection of Reigns’ matches, not just him, to continue,” Staszewski added.
Look at WWE’s landscape right now. AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura have the hottest feud in the company today. Seth Rollins, Reigns’ “brother” and former Shield mate, is on fire. Finn Balor just beat Reigns and Jinder Mahal to earn a spot in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match.
Backlash wasn’t the pay-per-view that helped Reigns either. By beating Joe, he diffused the challenger’s push toward a main event angle with Styles with the WWE Title on the line.
Braun Strowman, The Miz, and Jeff Hardy are still more popular than Reigns, but McMahon still trusts in the process. Although he is the part-time champion WWE has built him to be, Lesnar still wins the fans over because he beats the hell out of his opponents.
It truly is a no-win situation for the 32-year-old star. And if changes aren’t made to his character soon, this will become one of the biggest busts in WWE history.