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An Objective Look at Roman Reigns

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5 years is a long time, especially for professional wrestling. A little over 5 years ago, the Shield debuted on Raw. Either together or apart, the members of the Shield have been a part of some of the most major events in the last 5 years of WWE. The breakup and reunion of the Shield alone (more the breakup) are cornerstone events anyone who saw them remember and WWE loves to remind us about. The name we chanted in the Shield matches?

Roman Reigns.

We didn’t chant for Seth Rollins or Dean Ambrose, both who are undeniably great and were much further along in their readiness at the time. We wanted Roman and they wouldn’t give him to us. Within a year, Seth betrayed Dean and Roman and the Shield was broken. They started giving us exactly what we had been chanting for not one year prior.

And we HATED WWE for that.

His move set was limited. His promo skills were lacking. We will never forget or forgive “suffering succotash”. It’s what we screamed for and like children who want Macaroni and Cheese to eat up until the exact moment when it’s ready and decide they want pizza instead, it wasn’t good enough.

They tried to make us love him the way we had when he was in the Shield. In 3 years, he became a Grand Slam winner. 3 years! He faced the best heels the company could provide and we still booed Roman. Championships didn’t fix things.

As soon as he was by himself, we saw the flaws and wondered why WWE kept putting him in these main event slots when he clearly wasn’t ready. The answer: we did that. We asked for Reigns, they gave him to us, and we rejected him. It became very obvious that Seth and Dean were more dynamic, both in the ring and on the mic, and Roman fell behind.
For the record: I don’t think he was ready when he first got the rocket strapped to his back. But we are the reason that rocket was even built.

So now, we’re 5 years into the first time since we saw Roman Reigns. He’s still trying to shake this stigma that his matches are weak, his mic skills aren’t good, and he just isn’t that interesting.

The fact is: none of that rings true any more.

He’s not on the upper echelon of promos for sure but so few are. He’s well beyond “suffering succotash” though. His promos are concise and believable. He speaks with conviction. When he says he’s going to beat someone down, it’s going to happen. Frankly, that all he needs to do and he does it very well now. Roman doesn’t need to be the guy who does “shoot” promos that make us all wonder if it was scripted or not. He just needs to convince us that when he speaks, it carries weight. That, he does as well as anyone else on the roster right now.

As for his matches, name me a bad Roman Reigns match. Can you? I can’t think of an actually bad one. I can think of ones that I didn’t care for other reasons (story line, matchup, etc) but the actually contents of the match have been very consistently good. Classic? No. Good, at least as good as anything else they put on TV or PPV? Absolutely. The first match he had with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania was shaping up as a great match in my opinion. I think Seth cashed in because we had rejected Roman so thoroughly then that they decided to pivot.

When we asked for him, Roman wasn’t ready. They gave us what we wanted, we realized that, and then rejected him. Roman now is the Roman we wanted 3 years ago but we can’t get over this idea he was shoved down our throats when we didn’t want him. Even I’m guilty of this.

The objective truth is the rise of Roman when he wasn’t ready was our fault. Our rejection of him was our fault. It’s now our responsibility to realize that Roman Reigns is really good now and only getting better. When we look past our prejudice and see Roman for who he is today, I think we all will be able to believe that.

Alex Mihailoff is a WWE fan who loves a good storyline and overanalyzing the WWE. He doesn’t know everything but will readily give his opinion on anything.

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