EDIT: This article was originally written back in January 2017. After Roman Reigns entered at #30 and ruined the Rumble, I wrote about how to make him interesting. After watching #WWEChamber last night, it’s still relevant today. (Feb 18 Updates in Bold)
So I posted an article yesterday (January 29th 2017) titled: “How the WWE Could Ruin the Royal Rumble, Again”… and while the WWE did a good job of quelling my worst case scenarios for almost every match (and gave us a MOTY candidate in Cena vs Styles III when they didn’t) they still managed to ruin the Royal Rumble, Again..
Like most people, my Rumble experience was ruined when we realized that the 30th and final entrant into this years Rumble, was none other than everyone but Vince McMahon’s least favorite guy, Roman Reigns.
But honestly, my disappointment wasn’t primarily who the entrant was, but rather who it wasn’t. It was a Rumble lacking in Royal Rumble moments. Apart from Jack Gallagher’s delightful involvement featuring his umbrella and the obvious yet satisfying entrant at #10 (10!), there was just… nothing.
This was especially emphasized late in the match, when Brock Lesnar was staring up the ramp as entrant #27 was about to come in. I was half expecting (a return from) Kurt Angle and totally expecting Samoa Joe for most of the Rumble. Knowing there were 2 unannounced wrestlers still to come, I was thinking “This is it! Finally we will get a memorable Rumble moment!”. Then WWE decided to send in the unannounced Enzo Amore (Uh oh..) to halfheartedly repeat the Braun/Ellsworth spot from earlier in the match.
So Kurt Angle never showed up and probably never will for a final match/run in the WWE (He did. It was sort of.. mediocre), while Samoa Joe misses an opportunity to feel the excitement that was brewing just before we were subjected to this:
(Applicable for February 2018:). So what about Roman Reigns? Let’s talk about Roman Reigns. Let’s talk about Roman Reigns and how the only way the WWE can salvage him, is by making him the focal point of WWE programming and push him all the way to the top.
The only way the WWE can salvage Roman Reigns, is by making him the focal point of WWE programming and push him all the way to the top!
I swear I didn’t just turn into Vince McMahon. I’m not joking either by the way, I’m dead serious. I can already feel your urge to rage-quit this article and send me a nasty tweet or two, but that is exactly the point:
Roman Reigns is the perfect heel.
I mean, how many guys in WWE history get the same amount of heat that Roman Reigns gets? His inclusion in a match is enough to ruin an otherwise stellar PPV for most people. Just listen to the ovation Randy Orton got when he finally eliminated Reigns to win the Royal Rumble. Don’t tell me Orton would have gotten that reaction either way, because a lot of people are unhappy to see him win the Rumble. (Orton vs Wyatt at WM33 was for the WWE Championship… think about that.)
But that is what the best heels do. They make sure that the wrestlers who are already over get that extra bit of a push when they interact with them, simply by the fact that you want to see that scummy heel get beaten, victimized and conquered.
The only problem is that Roman Reigns isn’t a heel yet, so instead he has had the opposite effect on guys like Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho, who have been cheered when they are supposed to be booed.
I have wanted the WWE to turn Roman Reigns heel for a long time now. All the way back to when The Shield were about to break up and Paul Heyman was looking for a new “Paul Heyman Guy” with Lesnar off of TV after conquering the streak. I had Roman Reigns pegged as the guy to join forces with the creator of ECW. Reigns was always destined to get booed after getting the Shield spot over Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno) and being made to look “really strong”. So why not pair Reigns with Heyman and turn him heel to preempt a failed run as a face?
Instead, the WWE went with Cesaro, who was about to burst onto the main event scene as a full fledged babyface after winning the inaugural “Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale” (BROTHER!). Cesaro was unfortunately only used as an excuse to have Heyman on TV to talk about his client Brock Lesnar. It sent Cesaro into tweener purgatory as a heel who had the backing of the crowd who desperately wanted him to get a face turn. It didn’t even lead to a match for Cesaro against Brock Lesnar later on. Squandering a potential well deserved push for the Swiss Superman who is still to this day floundering in the mid-card, being stuck with freakin’ Sheamus 3 (Now 4) GOD DAMN years later… WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING VINCE? ARE YOU SO OUT OF TOUCH THAT YOU CAN’T SEE THAT CESARO IS AMAZING AND NEEDS TO BE PUSHED!!?
Sorry for getting a bit worked up there. Cesaro being mishandled by the WWE is a different article for a different time (Coming Soon). We are fixing Roman Reigns in this one:
Paul Heyman is still a great fit for Reigns in my mind, perhaps even more so than before. During the feud between Lesnar and Reigns, Paul Heyman continuously showered praise onto Roman and talk about his admiration for both Reigns’ famous Samoan family and his history with them.
Do you see that? This is perfect! Not only is there a rich history between Heyman and Reigns, with Heyman emphasizing how good he thinks Reigns is, but there’s also that other guy… nay, beast, Brock Lesnar.
Let’s face it. Brock Lesnar – and Paul Heyman by association – have been stale for a while (Still true). They need something fresh and new about as much as Roman Reigns needs to go in a different direction. Add to the fact that Brock Lesnar is looking much more like a man than the beast Heyman boasted about in that clip, it’s quite obvious what needs to happen:
Have Paul Heyman turn his back on Brock Lesnar and align with “The Next Big Thing” Roman Reigns, making him a superheel; a cross between John Cena and Brock Lesnar. If Heyman stabs Lesnar in the back, you also get a rampaging, vengeful beast incarnate, who the WWE Universe easily could get behind again as a face. Especially considering how much they would like to see Roman Reigns get beaten, victimized and conquered.