Following the debacle that was the main event of WrestleMania, and the (quite unbelievably) even more rotten Universal Championship match at the Greatest Royal Rumble, the title remains very much in flux with Lesnar’s contract situation unclear and Roman Reigns’ push as top company babyface on life support.
The way WWE have handled Roman Reigns since Royal Rumble 2015 really does beggar belief, as had they actually turned him back then at WrestleMania 31 (or in the direct aftermath) it’s not a far-fetched notion to believe that by now he could quite easily be the number one good guy in WWE.
However, Vince McMahon, showing a level of stubbornness perhaps never before seen, did not relent in his quest to try to make the people cheer for Reigns. This resulted in, during the build to New Orleans, the crowd being told, ad nauseam, that as Brock Lesnar was only a part timer the crowd shouldn’t like him. Informed as well that Lesnar couldn’t care less about the fans or the company and was only holding out in WWE until he could secure another UFC pay-day. As a result Lesnar, one of the company’s top stars for the last 3-4 years, was somewhat turned on and rejected by the crowd and even Paul Heyman’s more often than not great promos seemed boring and repetitive. The whole act was severely damaged, and for what? The result was the high paying and most loyal customers of the company not caring at all about the main event of the biggest show of the year or either participant.
Worse further, after an overly long and disappointing Backlash card, fans streamed out of the arena while Reigns and the popular Samoa Joe put on a snooze fest. It appeared that Joe’s offence was designed to be so tiresome in the hope that he wouldn’t be cheered which was an unbelievably short-sighted decision again by management and just gave their live crowd and network viewers a really disappointing main event by two very strong workers.
Reigns no longer has the Cena reaction of a percentage of the crowd passionately liking him and the rest the opposite. Apathy, the absolute worst kind of emotion in wrestling, has set in and there is absolutely no buzz in yet another Lesnar vs Reigns encounter. The story has been done, two of the three matches were poor and no one cares about Roman as a babyface at this point. Ideally some time off television would be good for him and he must be turned and soon in the right way before any value that is left in him is gone forever. Perhaps in an angle with the returning Dean Ambrose that would be reminiscent of when Rollins turned in 2014 could work.
As for Rollins, something is connecting with him that just hasn’t since his return from injury in 2016 when he received a monster superstar babyface reaction but was yet another victim to the Reigns impossible quest. That comeback was botched so badly that it has taken Seth two years to recover from it, and now the fans are really starting to get behind him again. In today’s WWE, where match quality has never been so important, he is the perfect choice to lead the Raw brand as its flagship Champion. Braun Strowman has received some fantastic responses, however he just isn’t there in ring and for fanbase to really accept a top-tier star in 2018 they have to be able to perform in ring. There is no one better on Raw, and perhaps only AJ Styles in the company, and as such Seth is capable of having great matches with everyone on the roster.
As such, if I were holding all of WWE’s creative cards I would strap a rocket to Rollins’ back and have him beat Lesnar clean and decisively in a match at SummerSlam. Turn Reigns and then you can build to a Rollins vs Reigns WrestleMania main event in New Jersey next Spring and along the way have highly entertaining championship matches on a monthly basis as part of the new dual branded pay per views.
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