Roman Reigns is WWE's golden boy. When one looks at Reigns, one sees superstar.
Standing over six feet tall, weighing well over 200lbs (all muscle, of course) and possessing the good looks of a Hollywood action star, Roman is a prime candidate to take the "Face of the company" mantle from the ageing John Cena...at least in Vince McMahon's eyes.
Reigns vs Bryan
Indeed, it would seem as though Vince McMahon and the "WWE Universe" (at least only a small portion of it called "smart marks") don't see eye to eye on who should carry the WWE into the next decade.
Daniel Bryan is clearly the fan favourite and has been for quite some time. Headlining Wrestlemania 30, gaining mainstream publicity with his "YES" movement and being (arguably) the greatest in-ring competitor on the planet today should mean that he gains the top spot in the company.
However, Daniel does not possess the sheer size and looks of Reigns which, as we all know, is what Vince McMahon looks for in a star.
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What went wrong?
At the Royal Rumble Pay Per View (included on the WWE Network for just £9.99 - you get it?), Reigns was quite literally booed out of the building. Yes, even The Rock couldn't deflect the boos from Reigns. So, what caused this to happen?
First of all, Daniel Bryan being eliminated within ten minutes of entering the Rumble. One has to wonder whether or not Reigns would have been booed so heavily if Bryan had lasted into the final three. Coupled with an atrocious Royal Rumble match mostly ruined by WWE's insistence on having Citizen Kane and The Big Show eliminate all the fan favourites in such a boring and uneventful manner, this was a Rumble match to forget (which is a shame when you consider that, prior to the Rumble match, possibly the greatest Triple Threat Match ever took place).
So, how can Reigns recover from this atrocity?
Cut the promos
Okay, I will admit, the Reigns promos have improved a little over the last couple of weeks. When compared to the promos of a few weeks ago when Roman was quoting Sylvester the cat from Looney Tunes (no, seriously) and reciting Jack and the Beanstalk, his promos now are perfect. Reigns is someone who should be built as an indestructible bad a** and his promos should be short and sweet. Remember Roman Reigns during his Shield days? He was over because he pretty much said nothing, but beat down everything. That is how you book Reigns.
Don't change attire colours every few weeks
Okay, this one can be considered as nitpicking, but stay with me. Which WWE superstar is most renowned for switching colours every so often? John Cena. Who is disliked by a huge amount of fans for reasons similar to Reigns? John Cena. Who does the WWE universe fear Reigns could become? John Cena. It really is quite simple: keep Reigns as different from Cena as possible.
Keep Reigns away from Bryan
Reigns and Bryan are now penciled in to have a match at WWE's latest PPV, Fast Lane. Now, I am certainly not doubting the greatness of the match; in fact, I am certain that Reigns and Bryan will tear the house down. However, the problem is that Bryan's fans (and of that there are many) are just going to constantly boo Reigns.
WWE wants Reigns to become the flag bearer for WWE; they want him to be someone who gets cheered at every event (ala Steve Austin) and this match could potentially hinder that plan and ruin him. If Reigns loses this match, he almost has to turn heel in order to regain interest and that is something which Vince, quite understandably, does not want to happen. If Bryan loses this match, the fans will perceive it as WWE having no faith in the guy and will proceed to boo Reigns constantly.
To quote a famous philosopher: "WWE, you've got to make Reigns look strong. No, we mean real strong."