One look at Roman Reigns is enough to understand why the WWE brass has decided to push him as the new poster boy for the company.
He has the look, the credibility, he comes from wrestling nobility and most of all he has that elusive ‘it’ factor, that special something that instantly makes you stand out amongst your peers and most importantly he has the ‘machine’ behind him.
With everything he has going on for him Roman Reigns should be on top of the world but for some reason, that just hasn’t happened for him.
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It is undeniable that he has a strong following, after all only John Cena is outselling him in terms of merchandise sales, however, a sector of the fans have decided to reject the concept of Roman being the top dog of the company and unfortunately for him, that sector is the loudest sector in the arena.
Those fans who identify themselves as the ‘Smart Fans’ consider themselves to be rebels, they refuse to accept the idea that they have to support the guy that the company wants them to support and they have a history of getting what they want.
These are the same fans who had forced the WWE to change the main event of Wrestlemania 30 by adding the eventual winner Daniel Bryan to the originally planned match between Randy Orton and Batista. This change was made because there was a genuine fear that these fans would hijack the main event and boo the roof of the building, something that could very easily happen with the much rumoured Triple H vs Roman Reigns main event, which is planned for this year’s WrestleMania.
This is an unreal situation for Roman Reigns to be in considering that he was easily the most over Superstar when he was in the Shield with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. This leads to a very simple question, what went wrong?
The simple answer is that the creative team did not let Roman grow organically but they choose to book him very similarly to how John Cena is booked. He is constantly placed in impossible to beat odds but he still manages to prevail, he takes an amazing amount of punishment during a match only to no sell it at the end of the match and make a winning come back and most of all despite clearly being a dominant figure he is constantly booked as an underdog, something that fans do not see as credible.
When booking was clearly failing, the creative team tried desperation moves such as having fan favourites such as The Rock and Daniel Bryan endorse Roman, but even that has failed.
The WWE simply are not grasping the fact that this type of booking has become outdated and the living proof of this lies with Dean Ambrose’s rise in popularity.
Dean Ambrose was originally the leader of the Shield, but along the way he had been out shinned by Roman Reigns and near the end of the Shield’s run he took a back seat to Roman. When the Shield broke up, Seth Rollins was assigned the important role of being Triple H’s prodigy, Roman Reigns was positioned as the future face of the company and Dean Ambrose became a second thought for the creative team.
Dean Ambrose would go on to lose high profile feuds with Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt, he would drift the mid card for a number of months and would then declare that he would become the new Intercontinental Champion at Wrestlemania 31.
On the night where Roman Reigns main evented Wrestlemania against Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins became the first Shield member to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Dean Ambrose lost a ladder match for the Intercontinental title.
Despite all his in ring failures, Dean Ambrose is perhaps the most over Superstar in the WWE right now, if you need to be convinced just look at how the audience at the Royal Rumble lost their minds at the possibility of Dean winning the big one when he made it to the final two.
Dean Ambrose is over because he is not dominant, he is not the best wrestler, he is not the best brawler, he is not the best high flyer, he is not the biggest and he is not the fastest. Dean Ambrose is simply a combination of all the above, he has embraced his character and he has convinced us that he is willing to throw his body on the line to win a match, a mentality which is high risk and could easily lead to a loss. This is why Dean is always credible when he wins or loses a match, in short his booking is realistic.
This is the treatment that Roman Reigns needs to receive to go over, he needs to be booked as the dominant athlete that he really is however he needs to be booked as a human and not as a super hero after all we already have Brock Lesnar and John Cena booked in that manner, we really don’t need a third Super Man.
Have Roman lose clean on occasions, not every loss he suffers has to be caused by an interference. Simply put make Roman more relatable to the average fan.
Roman Reigns has a long and successful career ahead of him, he has all the time in the world to win over the crowd and eventually will. The fans right now want to hate him and perhaps this would be the best course of action, letting him turn heel now and slowly start winning the fans over as a heel before turning back face.
The Rock did the same thing in the 90’s and we all know how things turned out for him.