Is this finally Reigns’ time to shine? Has he proven himself enough to the WWE Universe to take that next step? Surrounded by controversy earlier this year when he won the 2015 Royal Rumble competition, WWE Officials seemed to have quite the confidence that the young superstar was ready to hold the WWE World Heavyweight title. Leading up to Wrestlemania 31, all arrows pointed to Roman Reigns winning the coveted title, to be the first to knock down ‘The Beast Incarnate’ Brock Lesnar (who had incredible momentum going into the flagship event).
Then, something happened: Seth Rollins shocked the WWE Universe and cashed in his Money in the Bank (MITB) briefcase.
Since, Reigns has been on winding road to gain another chance at the title. He seemed to fall off track with his feud with Bray Wyatt; but in a lot of ways, that program was setting him up for something big. I can only report on what I see, and without being at every Monday Night RAW (live in the audience) or SmackDown for that matter; it’s really hard to say. It seems like Reigns’ receives a pop from the crowd; and at other venues it’s clear that he gets mixed reviews. I know that I have been seeing a lot more Roman Reigns’ t-shirts on the playgrounds when I drop off my girls at school, and if you ask these kids who their favorite superstar is, you’ll hear his name in their top three lists. Much like John Cena, he seems to be zeroing in on this demographic nicely. He might be also be gaining momentum with the female demographic of the WWE Universe, as Roman was also part of a Susan G. Komen presentation along with Cena, a few weeks ago on RAW.
Speaking of Cena, if Vince McMahon’s idea has been for Roman to move into Cena’s spots (eventually); then Roman may be well on his way. Who could ignore the polarizing chants during his Hell in a Cell (HIAC) match against Wyatt this past Sunday, as fans were torn; with half the crowd yelling, “Let’s Go Roman” and the other immediately stating “Roman Sucks” – a crowd chant that may be used for other superstars, but was made famous for Cena. While there are fans out there who can’t stand Cena, and think he’s been shoved down our throats over the years; having a significant demographic who can’t stand the man has actually worked in his favor over the years. Perhaps WWE Officials see a profitable opportunity to use that very same formula with Reigns? Despite what the haters might think, it does work for Cena, and he has carved a unique spot in WWE history as one of the most popular and profitable superstars as it relates to fans, media, merchandise, etc. – despite the fact that there is a significant fan base who can’t stand the man.
In terms of whether Reigns is ready? I think he is. This is just my opinion (and I would love to hear yours!), but he puts on a good match, and if anyone wants to dispute that, I ask that they re-watch his recent HIAC bout with Bray Wyatt. He’s more than comfortable on the mic now, and more importantly, he’s finally accepted the fact that not all fans are going to like him, and I think this is key. When he returned to the WWE late last year from injury, he seemed shaken at the negative crowd reaction. Not so much anymore. He can take the ‘boos’ with a grain of salt, not be thrown off by them, and he’s proven that he can move on. Does WWE think he’s ready? I think they have thought that for a while now. I think it was only a matter of time before they built Roman Reigns up to be the next baby face champion. I think tensions were high during the Road to Wrestlemania, and in order to take some heat of Roman (no one wants to see a crowd boo a face once they have won the holy grail of titles on the grandest stage of them all), they decided to go with the Rollins cash-in; and in a lot of ways that was what was best for business, at the time. The aftermath to that story has been incredible too. Now that the heat is gone, Roman has gained momentum, and made some incredible strides with both mic and in-ring performance, he is clearly ready for the next step.
As it seems, WWE Creative is building up a storyline where Seth Rollins appears to be unstoppable; which might further explain just why he was so dominant in his match against Kane at HIAC. He’s finally gained the acceptance he needs from mom and dad (a.k.a The Authority), and he’s hit some incredible milestones during his championship reign. With that in mind, I think the road to the WWE title will be a challenging one for Reigns (within this budding program with Seth), and when I say that, I mean I don’t think Roman will win the first match again Rollins; rather The Authority will step in to ensure Rollins wins. I think it will be reminiscent of Daniel Bryan’s road to the WWE title; Reigns will be continually knocked off his block, he will get up, defy the odds … yada, yada, yada. But, it will make a compelling story for the younger fans, and I think I might even find it entertaining.
What are your thoughts WrestleNewz fans? Is it Roman Reign’s time to shine? Is a WWE World Heavyweight title reign in the near future for this superstar?