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How to save Roman Reigns.
Does Roman Reigns need to be saved?
It's a tough question.
On paper, it certainly doesn't look like it.
He was the 2014 "Superstar of the Year" and the 2015 Royal Rumble winner and he's barreling towards a WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of Wrestlemania.
He looks like Khal Drogo and has the blood of champions coursing through his veins.
But... There's more to it than that.
When the Shield broke up last June, all three members were thrown into the deep end to see if they could swim.
Seth Rollins was gifted the "Randy Orton" role as Triple H's protégé and was able to shine as the company's best heel.
Dean Ambrose was unleashed on the microphone and got over naturally with this "unstable" gimmick and quirky chemistry.
Well, that's where the problem is.
Before I go further, let's rewind to the end of the 2014 Royal Rumble.
There were two men left in the ring with the main event of Wrestlemania 30 on the line, Dave Batista and Roman Reigns.
As the silent enforcer of The Shield, Roman Reigns was extremely over.
Everyone in the Consol Energy Center wanted Roman Reigns to win.
When the Shield had tag team matches, the crowd went wild every time Roman got into the ring.
He didn't speak often, but when he did, men cheered, and girls sighed.
When WWE released Roman's first t-shirt, it sold like hotcakes.
So what happened?
What went wrong?
Well, as Seth and Dean fine-tuned their characters and kept trying to get over, Roman didn't.
Roman's character fluctuated over the weeks.
Roman would be smoldering and silent one week, and then goofy and quirky the next.
It's like they were trying to keep the badass enforcer character while molding him into... well..
The comparisons to Cena started very quickly after the Shield broke up when it became obvious that Roman wasn't a very versatile worker.
Leaping clothesline, Samoan drop, Superman punch, a dropkick (with opponent draped over the bottom rope), and his finisher, the spear.
That's about it.
He has more nicknames than moves.
(Seriously, he does. First Class, The Juggernaut, The Big Dog, The Powerhouse, The Enforcer, The Muscle, and the Thoroughbred. Let me know if I forgot one).
So you have a guy who isn't very good with a live microphone, doesn't know many moves, has an inconsistent character, and is receiving the push of a lifetime.
Because let's be honest.
Brock Lesnar is leaving the WWE after Wrestlemania. He wants to go back to UFC (Where the talent has definitely passed him by. Good luck, Big guy), and Roman Reigns will be the one who faces Brock at Mania.
A. I don't think the WWE wants Daniel Bryan to win the title in back-to-back Wrestlemania main events.
B. It would show weakness by the company if they completely abandoned their plans because the fans booed.
C. With the way that the WWE has booked Brock Lesnar, it isn't feasible for someone Bryan's size to beat Brock, despite the fact that Eddie Guerrero accomplished that very feat ten years ago. Brock Lesnar beat the freaking Undertaker at Wrestlemania and then absolutely spanked John Cena for the title. Whoever beats the guy who beat arguably the two biggest names in WWE history had better be something huge.
So what happened?
I think a few things.
Some fans will always boo whatever the WWE pushes on to them. Call them smarks, call them IWC, some fans just want to be unhappy.
Some fans feel insulted by the flip-flopping of Roman Reigns as a character (sufferin' succotash, son!).
And some fans don't necessarily think he's earned this shot.
Watch at your own peril.
It's not too late, it's never too late.
In my snarky smarky opinion, I think they've botched the arrival of their favorite wrestler.
He stumbled through a sloppy feud with the Authority that was only highlighted by a match where Randy Orton carried him, his character has changed constantly, and they've tried to cook a Roman Reigns pie with John Cena ingredients.
I, as someone who has never run a wrestling promotion or booked a show in my life, think that they can still save the character.
I mean, it's not like his nudes leaked online.
What I think they should do is just turn back time.
Drop the corny comedy and cheesy promos.
Add a couple more moves to his set. I'm not saying he has to do a moonsault or a diving senton, add some DDT's, a press, and or maybe even a lazy kick or two.
He doesn't have to be Finn Balor or Seth Rollins, but at least make his moveset more complicated than The Big Show's.
Here's the thing. Despite what any smark will tell you, you don't have to be an incredible wrestler to get over.
Brock certainly doesn't have a complicated moveset. Rusev is more simplistic than Roman! Hell! The face of the company for the last fifteen years, John Cena doesn't even get fancy that often (The five knuckle shuffle is the dumbest thing I've ever seen, but that doesn't stop "you can't see me" shirts from selling out every year).
You need to be able to tell a story with your matches.
If they returned Roman to his strong, silent disposition, and added just a couple more moves, he'd be the total package that they book him to be.
That adds to the genius part of my plan to save Roman Reigns.
Make him look strong... by losing.
You read it.
I made that stale CM Punk joke about making Roman look strong.
I didn't st-st-stuttah.
Make Roman look really strong in the main event of Wrestlemania 31.
Plan it out before and make sure that Brock and Roman have a physical nightmare of a match that even the most bitter marks call "surprisingly good" on the message boards.
And then, at the last minute, have Brock win.
Nobody would expect that.
Everyone knows he's leaving, and Roman hasn't lost clean since he returned from injury at TLC. Much like last year, when we all said that "The Undertaker match was almost boring because there's no way he would ever lose", the ending could really shake people.
Both guys are exhausted, beat up, and broken.
Even though Brock won, Roman would be the first person who really made him look human. This would generate sympathy for Roman, as suddenly he's not Samoan Superman anymore.
Of course... That leaves the issue of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship... Doesn't it.
As the confetti falls on their broken bodies, the titantron stirs to life and...
Everybody's got a price...
Money in the Bank.
Seth Rollins cashes in on a broken Brock Lesnar and becomes WWE Champion for the first time in his young, bright future. (Bright like a cellphone camera flash, eh Seth?).
Brock disappears back to UFC with a strong reputation and a rematch clause (Did Randy Orton ever get his one on one rematch?).
Seth gets plenty of heel heat as he can brag that he "was the one who beat the one in twenty-one and one all by himself", potentially even becoming a Paul Heyman guy, as has been teased.
Well, you can do anything with Roman at this point.
He can stay on the championship trail and go after Seth Rollins in a story that needs no hype.
He can go after Triple H in some kind of anti-authority angle.
I mean, you'll have a guy who suddenly has the fans in his corner again with all the upside in the world.
And here's an idea.
Put Paul Heyman with Roman Reigns.
Paul is the best manager in the history of the business and he could do all the talking for Roman.
The motivation is there.
Thanks to Seth Rollins, Paul's prized beast left the WWE and he's lost a champion.
They could work together against the Authority in a huge angle.
That's your main event, and it happens without using John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Rusev, Randy Orton (is he ever coming back?), Daniel Bryan, or anyone else with main event talent!
Speaking of Daniel Bryan. He still has a rematch!
Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins?
American Dragon Bryan Danielson vs Tyler Black?!
The IWC can't even complain about that.