Roman Reigns made his long-awaited return to WWE last night at SummerSlam after taking some time out due to Covid-19 fears and having newborn daughters at home, not to mention his battles with Leukaemia in the past.
His return provided a much-needed narrative to the event and he showed WWE fans what they have been missing in recent months.
Attacking both The Fiend Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman after the main event, Reigns' surprise return sent shockwaves across the WWE Universe.
Now it's over to WWE creative to strike whilst the iron is hot and not mess things up for The Big Dog.
Here are seven things that WWE must do to take advantage of his return and create some noise.
1) Keep the Bad*** Look
Reigns came back last night and he turned up with a new shirt on and had more of an edge to his persona than he did previously. Almost like he was completely stripped of The Shield days. If WWE can harness this and provide us with more of that and not just a PG character that plays up to the crowd all of the time, then they are more likely to keep the viewing figures high.
2) Make Him a Heel
The sport always needs bad guys, and after coming back off a long layoff, now is the time to make the most of his return by making him turn to the dark side. Get him on the attack to the likes of The Fiend and Strowman, as well as others in the locker room.. If he brings this mentality to every show, then we are going to see some exciting stories and match-ups to come, but fans will also remain interested and invested in him.
3) Give Him Jey Uso
The return of Roman could mean good news for the The Usos, or one half of them anyway. With Jimmy Uso currently sidelined due to injury, it presents the perfect opportunity to use Jey with Roman for the time being, providing him with some muscle and back-up if and when needed. They obviously have good chemistry together, and it would be a great way to use Jey during this period.
4) Run and Rule SmackDown
His return has provided SmackDown with a much needed boost. Since the blue brand moved to Fox, the ratings have taken a hit. SmackDown’s FOX debut garnered 3.869 million viewers back in October of 2019, but the show has gone on to lose over one million viewers since, with the latest broadcast drawing just 2.168 million viewers for the SummerSlam go-home show. If they let Reigns loose and control the narrative, then the viewing figures will no doubt start to spike up again.
5) Do Not Force Him Down Our Throats
Although the temptation will be there to get him out on every SmackDown show after a long lay off from the sport, WWE bosses should be careful about not over doing him like they have done before. All sport is about creating stories and sometimes leaving rivalries to bubble up under the surface before being unleashed. WWE would be wise to do this and let it naturally evolve over time in the next couple of months. DON'T FORCE HIM LIKE BEFORE!
6) Leave His Promos Unscripted
Reigns has been the master of self-promotion over the years. By allowing him freedom in this respect and allowing him to write his own promos, it will not only cause more drama and intrigue, but also add a layer of uncertainty to the shows. Reigns is good on the mic, let him express himself more!
7) Keep the Belt Away From Him for Now
Like many of the points above, WWE bosses need to make the most of Reigns’ return, but also don’t overdo it at the same time. The time will come when he is crowned WWE Champion or Universal Champion again, but for now, just get him back in the limelight. Make noise about his return, but leave the belts away from him for the time being.
His return marks an exciting time for WWE, despite the challenges faced by Covid-19 such as no crowd which has affected pretty much every sport this year.
The challenge for WWE is to keep the momentum that has cranked up by Reigns’ return and translate that into more exciting shows for the remainder of this year.
By taking some of these points into account, SmackDown and WWE generally will hopefully be in a good place.
- Full SummerSlam results
- Watch Roman Reigns' return
- What are the greatest SummerSlam matches of all time?