It’s no secret that the good ol’ world of Sports Entertainment is going through one of its lulls as of late, but as fans we stand by hoping things will change. We get disappointed, angry even, but there’s still a lot to feel good about when it comes to WWE and God knows I’m trying to find it. One of the strongest feelings amongst the WWE Universe is that Roman Reigns sucks. He’s not good enough to carry the mantle that so many superstars before have done so well. Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Shawn Michaels – they were never hated as much as Reigns seems to be. Maybe the audience has changed, maybe the older fans see him as unoriginal or bad on the mic, and even less interesting in the ring – who knows? I can’t speak for those that can’t stand him, but one thing I do believe is that Roman Reigns has all the hallmarks to lead the WWE into a new era.
Roman Reigns is at Raw week in and week out, fighting in house shows, facing the boos of the crowd every single night, and it’s moulded him into a character that we should all embrace. He’s good in the ring – no worse than Austin or Cena – and he has a good image. From the ashes of The Shield he was thrust into the limelight by Vince McMahon, and there’s no denying he struggled to find his place. He wasn’t right to be the man back then, the big dog, the future. He was still riding the coattails of The Shield’s ethos and design, and it just didn’t work. Rollins has become such a talented athlete and well-loved superstar, as has Ambrose, and both have created personas that work. It’s taken some time, but Roman Reigns is there, ready to beat Brock Lesnar at Summerslam regardless of the reaction of the fans. He’s a focused and determined athlete who gives everything for the fans, and whilst many do love him, it’s clear he still has to win many people over.
But that’s the thing – he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about the boos or the hate. He’s confident in his ability and he knows he’s a headliner. Roman isn’t arrogant, but he’s simply found a way to acknowledge it and block it out. And don’t forget, it isn’t Reigns that has written his storylines, it’s the WWE. Vince has paved a way for Roman to headline countless events and build yet another feud with Lesnar, but this time we’re going to see a new side at Summerslam. If the fans start booing and protesting from the seats so be it. I’m sick and tired of the hate Reigns gets, but all he needs to do is put on the performance of his career. It may not win them over, but it’ll hopefully shut some of them up. At Extreme Rules, the fans ruined Rollins and Ziggler’s match by doing that irritating countdown after every minute, showing that even the most-liked Superstars aren’t even safe.
The point is, people need to embrace Roman Reigns and appreciate him for what he is: a wrestler who’s promos have improved tenfold over the last six months, and a character that has been built upon the hate he’s received. He has done that on his own, and people need to appreciate that a bit more. These guys can only work with the opportunities they’re given; his push after Wrestlemania 31 was definitely premature, but he never lacked drive or determination.
One of the main issues people have with Roman Reigns is his variety in the ring, and to a point I agree. He’s a big man with seldom signature moves, but he excels when his opponents push him. His recent match with Bobby Lashley at Extreme Rules was excellent, and both put in a very physical performance. We all know he can perform well in certain situations, and hopefully as soon as he lifts the championship at Summerslam (providing there’s no cashing in by Braun Strowman), he’ll be able to pave a way to a successful title run and to the bosom of a crowd with little care for embracing him.
I wonder if we’ll see Paul Heyman turn on Brock during the match and align himself with Reigns, making him a Paul Heyman Guy. Honestly, that’d be perfect because he can do heel very well (see his time in NXT). There’re a lot of guys who are more babyface than heel and if Raw is losing Lesnar they need someone who’ll fit that hole. I’m all for a Reigns heel turn, and if it was to happen at Summerslam I feel it will be another factor in helping him finally get over. Regardless, people could do worse than Reigns, and learning to appreciate who he is and how he’s come on since The Shield wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Whatever happens in the near future, just give him a chance. Don’t jump on the bandwagon of haters – try to enjoy his matches. They can be great, and when he nails a promo, he NAILS a promo. I’ll continue supporting Reigns in and out of the ring regardless of the constant negatively running through the veins of social media, but it might be worth taking a step back and see what I see – what many see in The Big Dog, Roman Reigns.
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