Brand new year, full of possibilities! Happy New Year and happy fresh start.
As my first letter to you of 2017, I must say, I’m really looking forward to the Royal Rumble. It’s always been one of my more favorite pay-per-views and I love the excitement and anticipation around who will win the big match, the action, the surprise entrants, and those final moments before a single man is left standing in the ring, as he points to the ‘Wrestlemania’ sign.
So cliché, I know, but I love it!
Alas, this letter is not about the 2017 Royal Rumble 30-man elimination match, rather, the Royal Rumble RAW Universal Championship match between Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns. I’m worried. The Royal Rumble + Roman Reigns has never equaled out to a good scene. Yes, he lost last year’s Rumble to Triple H – but we all still knew he was headed to Wrestlemania, the main event (once again), and championship glory.
I truly believe that Roman Reigns needs a break from the Wrestlemania spotlight. I’m not implying that he shouldn’t be booked on the show, but he certainly needs a break from headlining or closing the show. There is just so much animosity around the character (as it is), but seems to hit peak come this time of year. Why does it escalate? I think for Roman haters, this time of year is a reminder of Royal Rumbles in the past and the injustice around booking main events. We all want to see our favorite headline the show, but one can’t forget the year Daniel Bryan almost got booted out of the WM 30 main event, because WWE officials were so high on Dave Bautista. I think it’s also an ugly reminder of Roman’s 2015 win, that his cousin The Rock couldn’t even salvage – because that too was a reminder of all the bad blood that boiled over the year before. It’s also a reminder of a terrible WM 32 main event, a very low point in an otherwise history-making event for the WWE.
I guess what I’m saying Creative, is give Roman a break that night. Yes, you read right: give him a break. Book him to lose. They’ll boo him out of the building anyways. But the reality is, I think by booking Roman in less prominent role come Rumble and WM 33 for that matter, things may change when it comes to fan’s hostility around the superstar that seems to escalate even more this time of year. New memories will be made, new winners will be established, new superstars will get a chance to showcase their talents on the ‘Grandest Stage of Them All’. Perhaps the tarnished image of the Rumble can be polished up again once more. Not to mention the fact that if Roman loses against Kevin Owens (and assuming he is not a surprise entrant in the Rumble and wins that match), this will also give a Wrestlemania headlining opportunity to two other superstars; two other talents that have yet to main event the big event.
I’m not proposing a burial of Roman Reigns. He’s young and has years ahead of him when it comes to WM, Royal Rumble wins, championships reigns and so on. I’m just proposing that he gets a break when it comes to Rumble wins and Wrestlemania spotlights. I think it might benefit his character in the long run to take a back seat this year when it comes to the big event, maybe help push another talent over, and focus on other ways to evolve his character. It may be just what Reigns and the fans (hater or otherwise) need to help the character progress.
Happy 2017, Creative!