An objective look at Roman Reigns Submitted by Rob Cline on 05/19/2017 at 05:39 PM
Hello everyone! My name is Rob, and I have been a life long WWE fan. With all of the opinions flying around about who to push and who doesn't deserve a push, I decide to write a piece about the most talked about guy in WWE. Leave any feedback, or ideas for future topics. I very much enjoy trying to write about things from the most objective place I can, but I am only human, and sometimes my opinion will bleed over. I hope you enjoy!
One of the most polarizing characters to grace the WWE in the past decade is none other than Roman Reigns. While a fan favorite of the younger and casual fans, he is an absolute pariah of the hardcore fans and is held in low esteem by rabid internet fanboys alike. I feel that Roman Reigns is treated unfairly, and while I am not really a fan of his character (someone please let Vince know that the Hulk Hogan hero isn’t relevant in today's market!) no one can deny that he is putting butts in the seats, and gets the largest reaction night in and night out.
Many will argue that Roman is the most hated face since John Cena, and that at least John Cena always put in great matches, and to that I have a specific answer. Get ready for it, because I’m about to drop a truth bomb on you! You are not supposed to like Roman Reigns. Let that sink in, and let me explain.
The paradigms of WWE have evolved over the years, and while most of us have not noticed this, and will never admit, the WWE machine is successful because it is smart. In today's product, the heels are cheered and the babyface hero’s are booed. Think back to your favorite characters from the Attitude Era for a moment. Who comes to mind? HHH, The Rock, HBK, Foley, Austin, Flair, Hogan, Sting, Undertaker, the list goes on. What do all of these legends have in common? For the most part, they played amazing heels, and were anti-hero bad asses who didn’t take crap from anyone, and were highly entertaining in the process. And while they were all big draws, and sold PPV’s at a historic level, it skewed the rules of what pro wrestling was. The history of pro wrestling demands that the crowd boos the heels, and cheers for their favorite hero. But when everyone loves the bad guys, and has a lukewarm reaction to the hero’s it makes the story less entertaining. Enter Roman Reigns.
People love to hate this guy, and through pure genius, WWE has created the biggest heel in the past decade. If you don’t believe me, look at all of the reaction videos of Roman entering last at the Royal Rumble, or how much fans cheered with Seth Rollins cashed in a few WrestleManias back. The “You deserve it” chants after Strowman destroyed him on Raw a few weeks ago. With this type of heat, the WWE is slowly building Strowman as a major star, and expect Reigns to overcome him at every turn. Why? Because by the time someone finally beats him clean, it will be a huge deal. It is a way for the company to put someone over who they have the utmost trust in. Sound familiar? It should, because heels have been doing this since the beginning of the business.
Do I think Roman Reigns character is outdated, and a bit boring? Absolutely, I do. But at the same time, the WWE machine understands that the hardcore fans feel that way, so they won't change him. People always complain that Reigns needs new music, or new ring attire, and guess what? They probably won’t do it, because the formula for Roman Reigns is working as intended.
I feel he also gets a bad wrap for his matches. Most of his matches are entertaining, and even if the average hardcore fan won’t admit it, he is getting better every week. If you watch his matches, even if you hate him, you are waiting for the upset to happen. You are waiting for him to fall to Strowman, or Balor, or anyone the WWE puts opposite of him. If he didn’t get the reactions he does, and if the company couldn’t rely on him, he wouldn’t be in the position he is. Everyone likes to point out that he “only has the look Vince likes”, and while he absolutely does have the look down, he brings a lot more to the table. Think of the others who have come and gone that had “the look”. Lex Lugar, Khali, Test, Ryback, Swagger, and the list goes on. Some of you will argue that Reigns doesn’t deserve his push, but looking at the merchandise sales, and fan reaction, I would argue he does. And the guy really hasn’t had a bad match in a long time, and no one can say he doesn’t leave it all in the ring every night.
I personally find his promos a bit robotic, and even I have to give credit to the direction he has taken in the past few months. Creative has at least scrapped his “I wish I was The Rock” promo force feeds, and made him a man of fewer words. The silent bad ass is the character we can all cheer for, and I think over time he will continue to win more fans over. I am also not a huge fan of booking Roman as an underdog in every feud. The guy is a monster, and would rip the arms off of most of his opponents, and beat them to death with them. I think his most recent attitude is exactly what needs to happen. He is becoming cocky, and outside of his injury, he is puffing out his chest, and ready for any challenger that comes his way.
In conclusion, love him or love to hate him, you have to give the guy credit. And you also have to give the WWE credit as well, because they have created the ultimate heel while at the same time having that character be a hero for the younger audience. The best of both worlds if you love money, and we all know Vince does.