After Epic RAW Promo, I Now Believe in Roman Reigns
RAW’s exclusive pay-per-view No Mercy seems like WWE is trying to cap on the overwhelming success of Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor. Braun Strowman challenging Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship is an epic and highly-anticipated matchup, but it is John Cena and Roman Reigns’ bout that most imitates last Saturday’s showcase. An obvious “money match” for WWE that was predicted long before Cena was announced as a free agent on SmackDown Live.
Past Twitter interactions indicated something was on the horizon between Roman and Cena. In fact, when John Cena was first introduced by General Manager Kurt Angle on the RAW after SummerSlam, you knew Roman’s theme would be played thereafter. And, without surprise, it did.
The Brooklyn audience was beyond vocal in their stance of both WWE Superstars upon faceoff, but the results were some that creative did not desire. Chants of “You Both Suck” and poignant cheers for The Miz, the distinguished heel in-ring, gave reason that this matchup was dubious at best.
WWE needed something to get fans excited; something to bring an ounce of care for this WrestleMania caliber, but dreadful, match. An exceedingly clear and controversy promo was needed. And so it came, and it came in segment that certainly was “best for business.”
And after such a segment on last evening’s Monday Night RAW, Roman Reigns (yes, the corporately made, John Cena 2.0, overrated, Vince McMahon favoring, and pushed so far down the WWE Universe’s throat, that Roman Reigns) has turned this critical fan into a believer.
This belief is still with much doubt, as Reigns has yet to prove he is everything WWE Management believes he is, and can be, in the ring and on the mic. However, this current change in character away from the “not a bad guy, not even a good guy, but the guy” persona welcomes a new Roman which fans unfortunately have not seen or been acquainted with. You can only assume what could have been if Roman was given full reign (see what I did there?) over his gimmick from the beginning.
Would the WWE Universe reaction toward Roman be, and have been, different? Possibly, maybe audiences would have had a more positive reception after his Royal Rumble victory and his previous three WrestleMania main events. Why? Because the Roman Reigns we witnessed felt authentic to his personality, and was one that lived up to his prestigious wrestling lineage.
It was this mix of heel and babyface, this cocky style, this “telling it like it is” dialect, and this willingness to go beyond PG limitation that gave Reigns a more natural and personable fit with majority of the WWE Universe. With just this one promo, Roman Reigns overcame the greatest case against him: his inability to speak believably on the mic and hype a future match, which he failed to achieve with matches against Brock Lesnar, Triple H, The Undertaker, Braun Strowman, and others.
As a long-winded member of the WWE Universe, I have never enjoyed the Roman Reigns production since his singles run began. What John Cena sounded off on RAW is exactly how I feel toward him. However, though Cena’s words mirrored my thoughts, Reigns’ verbal assault on Cena resonated more truthfulness, and former employees of WWE would only confirm it — remember the Alex Riley claims? Or how Cena stumped Wade Barrett’s push during Nexus? The infamous JTG rumor? Ryback? Even more recent, backstage incidents with Baron Corbin? The list is far too extensive.
WWE Creative may have controlled this verbal battle, as reports are saying it was “completely scripted”, but that doesn’t take away what was accomplished. Despite analyst claims of Cena “verbally burying Roman Reigns”, Roman walked away the victor for a couple reasons:
First, Roman reinvented his entire character in a short 15-minute skit, and it was stellar. It showed he has the potential to portray a great heel. Imagine how beneficial it would be for his character if only allowed.
Second, his ability to cut a legitimate newsworthy promo matched that of Cena last night, which is something very difficult and intimidating for many performers to do in today’s WWE. If he can continue to match, and possibly beat, the main company guy at his own game, then, definitely, Roman has the finesse to be WWE’s lead command, the “face of WWE” if you will.
Lastly, there is no question against Roman’s wrestling capability in sports entertainment. More necessary, though, is a talents’ interaction within the locker room, and how one can elevate others toward a better product. Reigns’ familiarity with wrestling from his family upbringing ensues his passion and leadership skills for future WWE talent. John Cena may love the business and be a positive role model for many without question, but too many negative backstage stories involving Cena differs from that of Roman, as of now. The Roman Empire may be something WWE desperately needs to get rid of the animosity from the Cenation Era.
It took me all this time to see this inside Roman Reigns. If I am being honest — and if you are too — few dislike Roman because of his wrestling. He is a solid performer that will get better as time progresses. It is everything outside his wrestling, from interviews claiming wrestlers necessitating to “make Roman look strong” to Vince McMahon’s peculiar way of force-feeding the WWE Universe Reigns as the next company phenomenon. All this stacked against him and, yet, Roman somehow slipped from such an ominous shadow on Monday night. But he still has a long way to go.
Hopefully Roman can continue the momentum he garnered Monday Night, giving audiences a reason to get behind him during this grand rivalry. Reigns must convince everyone why he is more than a phony Cena impostor. If RAW was any indication, he isn’t and has the complete potential to be an even more polarizing figure than Cena ever wishes.
For me, Roman Reigns proved what I thought all along if given that opportunity. This written promo definitely helped Reigns stock. I am not full-on converted, but for a brief moment’s time (never thought I’d say this), I believe in Roman Reigns.