Roman Reigns just completed another title defense against LA Knight at Crown Jewel and his historic title run continues. There are those out there who are sick of his reign and want him to drop the title yesterday. I am not one of those people. Roman’s title reign is one of the greatest ongoing stories the WWE has ever produced, it has elevated Roman into the upper echelon of all-time WWE greats, he is currently the biggest star in the entire industry, and he has elevated other talents as well. Not only has he elevated other talents around him, but he has also elevated the WWE as a whole and is at the forefront of a resurgence in popularity for the company.
There are those out there that complain that his reign has become stale and boring because of consistent tactics that are used in his matches. More often than not, interference by other members of the Bloodline helps him retain the title in his various defenses. Is it repetitive? Sure. Does it lessen his reign? Absolutely not. The Reason? HE’S A DAMN HEEL. HEELS CHEAT. This is pro wrestling 101. Ric Flair made a whole reputation for himself by cheating and using the Four Horseman to keep his title during his run at the top. The NWO helped Hogan hold onto the belt. Vince McMahon helped anyone he thought could stop Steve Austin. Triple H used Evolution to stay on top and cheated all the time. IT’S WRESTLING PEOPLE. Heels cheat and use others to win. Roman is like any other heel champion that will win by any means necessary. We can’t forget that there are clean victories during this reign as well. They’re rare, but they have been done. If we’re going to criticize his booking for using the same heel tactics that every other mega heel has ever used to win matches, then we’re truly lost as fans.
We can’t lose sight of what Roman was before the Tribal Chief run began over three years ago. Remember the dog food stuff with Baron Corbin? Yikes. Remember suffering succotash and his other phony promos where he was speaking someone else’s words? Yeah, that stuff sucked. Remember when Vince tried so hard to turn him into Cena 2.0 and the fans saw right through it and rightfully criticized the hell out of it? I do. I felt bad for him during those times because he has always been a good worker. He had the presence. His in-ring performance was good. When allowed to be, he was always a good talker. Vince handcuffed him by trying to recreate the Cena effect. When the fans turned on John Cena in 05-06, he naturally incorporated it into his character. They tried to recreate that with Roman and it never stuck. Finally, in 2020, upon his return, Roman was allowed to be natural like Cena during his run at the top. The Tribal Chief was born, one of the greatest stables in WWE history was born, and a historic title reign began that reinvigorated a fanbase that was leaving the product in droves.
Now, what does the future hold for the Tribal Chief? I believe we are destined for a rematch between Roman and Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania 40 where Cody will dethrone Roman and end his epic reign. From there Roman can continue to be a final boss level heel ala Brock Lesnar pre-Covid and regain the championship every now and then to help elevate a rising babyface star. He could also turn babyface and turn his Tribal Chief act on other heels which would boost his popularity even more than it already has. Whatever direction they take with Roman, it will be a direction where he remains at the forefront of WWE. He will continue to elevate others like he has the likes of Solo Sikoa, The Usos, Sami Zayn, Cody Rhodes, LA Knight, and Logan Paul. Hell, his heel turn created the space for Brock Lesnar to turn babyface and rejuvenate his career with the “Cowboy Brock” gimmick where he was allowed to be his more natural self.
We cannot make the mistake of taking Roman Reigns for granted. He is on the run of a lifetime, and it has created some fantastic moments along the way. He has delivered great matches, and he has become a master storyteller. His improvement in every department as a performer needs to be studied by anyone that wants to rise to the top in this industry. Roman is a student of the greats and it shows in his work. We are witnessing something that will be talked about for a very long time. He’s going to be in the Mt. Rushmore conversation by the time his career is finally done. Acknowledge your Tribal Chief.