For the first time in years, Roman Reigns is actually being booked in a positive manner. Not positive in terms of winning loads of titles, because he’s always been title-ridden in WWE. From The SHIELD to his solo run, he was never without a title for a long period of time. That’s damn impressive, but it never received the reaction that WWE wanted, with fans seeing Reigns as the second coming of John Cena, but not in a good way.
Finally, at the fourth WrestleMania main event of asking, they seem to have figured out a way to have Reigns be received in the way an underdog should. Finally fighting back against authority is great, but the absence of Brock Lesnar, and Paul Heyman, is the really important part here.
An absentee champion
For years WWE fans have been growing tired of Lesnar as a world champion. Sure, it’s great when he shows up and he is a spectacle, often to his and WWE’s detriment. Because, quite frankly, a monster WWE heel-champion who only turns up whenever a big PPV is coming isn’t fair to 90% of the roster or the fans—and those fans who are begrudged by Lesnar finally have a vessel who is actively saying what they are thinking and taking that voice one step further.
When Reigns shattered that fourth wall in a way only John Cena or CM Punk could do by walking into Gorilla position during a live segment and confronting the Mr. McMahon, it felt like the beginning of a rebirth for Roman. He cut a fantastic promo for a second week in a row and took his very legitimate complaints to the one man who should be held accountable: Vince McMahon.
But as good as Reigns is allowed to be on the mic now, the absence of Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman is the real reason why this is working. Having Brock no-show his ‘contracted’ appearances is solidifying the point that he doesn’t care and is only in this for the money—something fans have rightly been saying for years. Now that fans who have paid good money to see Brock are being let down, they’re the ones who will be turning towards Roman.
But Brock Lesnar being absent is only half of the equation, Paul Heyman being away is the real turning point here. Let’s be honest, even when Brock shows up, he doesn’t ever really do anything. Normally he just rocks up, wearing his tracksuit, he can’t even be arsed to wear ring gear, jogs on the spot whilst Heyman rips the opposition to pieces, maybe hits a Suplex or an F-5 if we’re lucky, and ultimately disappears for a few weeks.
Heyman is the driving force behind Brock. The advocate for the beast is the only reason Lesnar is still relevant. The founder of ECW is one of, if not the, greatest talker in the history of the business. What chance does anyone have in promo battle against him? Heyman talks the talk and Lesnar walks the walk. Take one away from the other and you have a beast and a brain, but they would wander hopelessly without the other.
Letting Roman loose
Reigns finally has the freedom to talk without being embarrassed and it has been doing him wonders. Kurt Angle and Vince McMahon are defenseless against what Reigns because he's speaking the truth. Vince even admitted that Brock has special privileges. What’s truly shocking is that it has taken them four years of WrestleMania main events, against THREE different part-timers (Brock Lesnar, Triple H, and The Undertaker), to realize that fans complaints about too many part-timers being at WrestleMania instead of the talent who work near 300 days a year are very legitimate and that they are starting to turn on these guys.
Giving the people a vessel for their anger and complaints shows that the WWE are finally listening and learning from previous years errors, giving us Roman Reigns as a legitimate babyface with genuine anger, not a man who is booked as an underdog constantly but is a Grand Slam Champion who says daft things such a “Sufferin' Succotash”. We now have a badass-babyface who will take the fight to Brock and anyone that defends him, and may even begin to turn the fans towards him. Hell, I know I’m one of them. If WWE continue this angle all the way to Mania and have Roman win, we may actually have a successful coronation. It won’t be easy, but keeping the heat on Brock is necessary to Romans success and potentially changing the fate of the Universal Championship, which has been fairly invisible on the flagship show since as far back as March of 2017.
How do you feel about these shifts with Lesnar and Reigns? Are you excited for their match? Let us know in the comments below!