Dear Vince McMahon
Dear Vince McMahon,
I am not a booker.
I have never booked a wrestling show in my life. Hell, for that matter, I haven't even wrestled in a match... well... not a sanctioned one (I tried it at home, I'm sorry).
I've never taken a bump, I've never cut a promo in front of 100,000 people, and I've certainly never been a champion.
But I am a fan. I am a fan of professional wrestling, I am a fan of "sports entertainment", and I am a fan of the WWE.
I'm an active subscriber to the WWE Network, I've been to a half dozen live events between Raw, Smackdown, and house shows, I've got a stack of WWE DVDs, and hell, even as I write this, I'm wearing a Randy Orton t-shirt. I think I've watched every pay per view of the last ten years a dozen times, and regardless of how often I'm mocked, I'm a proud fan of your company.
But this morning, when I went to write my review of your show, WrestleMania, for a website called Last Word on Sports, I just couldn't.
I re-watched WresteMania, and I took notes. I noted the things I liked, the things I didn't, and the things I just didn't understand.
And as the show went on, I noticed a trend. The things I liked, the things I didn't, and the things I didn't understand started repeating themselves.
The entrances were all great. I'm sure you didn't understand what The New Day's deal was, but my friends and I got a real kick out of it. Your son, Shane, coming out with his kids was a feel good moment. The promo that your daughter, Stephanie, cut before Triple H came out was incredible. There's no doubt that your production team is the very best in the world at what they do, and WrestleMania was very pretty, just like it always is.
The wrestling was also very good. AJ Styles and Chris Jericho put on a clinic like everyone knew they would. The ladder match had some really awesome spots that made me cringe (in a good way). For the most part, every match was quality.
That's a good thing, but... also it isn't.
Because this is where the negatives come in.
Despite injuries to many of your top stars, your show was full of extremely talented individuals. Even without Rollins, Orton, Cena, Cesaro, or the others, each show featured many really great wrestlers.
And none of them were in the main event.
None of them were beating Triple H.
In a moment of pure frustration, I tweeted last night that I wasn't sure if you were deaf, blind, or stupid.
Now, obviously you're none of those things.
"You're Vince McMahon, dammit!"
You're a billionaire that has built an international powerhouse, holding a monopoly over one of the popular genres of entertainment in the world. When people think wrestling, people think WWE, and that's all thanks to you.
But you've lost sight of what is important.
You aren't connected to the fans anymore.
The fans do not want Roman Reigns to be the face of the company.
Not like this. Not the way you've built him.
I fear that you believe that any reaction is a good reaction, but if you're going to insist that Roman Reigns be the face of the company, you've gotta own it.
That means you can't mute the crowd microphones. That means you can't fake injuries to keep Roman way from rougher crowds.
You can't keep pretending you don't know the fans don't want Roman, all the while doing your very best to protect him.
He's not John Cena.
People boo Cena, sure, but a lot of people cheer him too. John Cena is wildly popular, and it doesn't matter if it's just kids who like him, someone likes him.
Roman Reigns, or at least this version of him that you've booked, is just bad.
I get why you like him. He's big, strong, good looking, and from every interview he's done outside of the WWE, very, very charismatic.
But that's not who you let him be.
You've made him a stiff, awkward, unbeatable juggernaut.
Why would anyone get behind this guy? He's not an underdog.
The fans aren't going to relate to a huge ex-football player that never loses and stiffly runs around tackling people in combat gear. He's not Stone Cold. He's not the everyman.
Superman movies bomb at the box office because nobody can relate to a giant, unkillable alien.
You've got the right idea, building the company around an underdog, but that's not Roman. It never has been. You could make it a literal one vs. all match where Roman has to fight the entire roster at once when both arms tied behind his back, and fans are still going to cheer when he gets his ass kicked.
You may be thinking, "Superman has a movie in the box office right now, breaking records!"
You wouldn't be wrong. But you wouldn't be right either.
Because people aren't paying to see Superman plow through a bunch of bad guys, they're paying to see Superman fight Batman.
You've got your Batman in Dean Ambrose. The fans love him, and you refuse to give him the payoff he deserves. Every time he loses to a Triple H or a Brock Lesnar or even Roman, the fans love him more. Just like they loved Daniel Bryan after Sheamus crushed him at WrestleMania 28.
Roman Reigns is a big, talented, cool guy. But you've gotta let him be himself. If you're going to cuff him to The Rock anyway, let him follow Dwayne's example. Let Reigns turn heel. Turn that negative reaction into money and let Roman say what he wants to say.
A big, angry heel Roman Reigns destroying everyone without remorse? That works. People would love that. People would get behind that. And before you know it, Roman Reigns is a popular superstar and the fans are behind him.
I would love to see Roman Reigns succeed in WWE. But forcing him down everyone's throat as an underdog isn't going to cut it.
I love the WWE, and I want to look forward to watching Raw again. I want to get excited to see what you'll pull out of the hat again. But for the third year in a row, the main event heading into Mania has been garbage, and this year, you didn't have Daniel Bryan or Seth Rollins there to save it.
WWE is slowly becoming WCW right before it folded, and while there aren't any companies that can unseat you yet, I would rather I didn't have to find out.
Please stop what you're doing and listen to your fans. They love your product, but not like this.
Not like this.
Some stupid internet mark.