Should Roman Reigns be 2017’s WWE Wrestler of the Year?

The Big Dog has had yet another big year in WWE, but is he the Wrestler of the Year?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

(Photo credit: EmSee1223)

Roman Reigns is the marmite of wrestling. There are very few people without an opinion about how great or how awful he is. His 2017 started in controversial fashion as he got both the Universal Title match and the #30 slot at the Royal Rumble to the ire of the San Antonio fans. That then rolled into another WrestleMania main event and a memorable opening to the Raw afterwards.

Reigns’ year has not been without controversy and the usual meta-storyline of Vince’s golden boy vs the hardcore fans, but what is the argument for him as Wrestler of the Year?

Carrying the show

Roman Reigns gets a LOT of screen time, and even more discussion from commentary, but he has managed to put on engaging and exciting feuds for most of the year.

His epic battles with Braun Strowman are the obvious highlight, with the over-the-top antics and some very good action carrying Raw between WrestleMania and SummerSlam. His presence and star power helped to make Braun the crowd favorite he is today, and both of them are better off for that feud.

He has also done some great work with Samoa Joe to help establish him on the main roster, and nothing was as well-received by the fans as The Shield reuniting.

Perhaps the biggest argument for Roman Reigns as Wrestler of the Year comes from his absence due to illness for the few weeks around the TLC pay-per-view. Without Reigns, Raw looked lost and really lacked impact. Obviously the TLC main event would have been worse off without any one of the trio, but without Roman there was no one to really bounce off Strowman and Kane during the match, and it definitely fell flat.

Getting better

There is a section of the WWE audience that will always hate on Reigns and denigrate his performances, but there is no doubt that he has become an extremely good WWE worker. He gets the main event style better than anyone other than John Cena and AJ Styles right now. He has lived in that slot for years now so he should be used to it, but you only have to look at Jinder Mahal’s title run to see that putting on a WWE main event is not easy.

Reigns’ matches are rarely dull and often very engaging. He shoulders a bigger load than anyone on the WWE roster right now and the fact that he does so well was not a guarantee when he was first put in this position.

The promos

Now we come to the flaw in Reigns’ game, and it is a glaring one. Roman has never been able to deliver a compelling promo, and while much of that was the script he was handed (suffering succotash!), the man delivering the lines was rarely engaging. This year he froze on the mic with John Cena, something Kevin Owens aced on his first night on Raw. His brooding menace that usual carried things was shown to be small-fry compared to Braun Strowman.

With The Miz setting the mic-work bar extremely high, Roman has been found wanting, especially now he is back next to Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. The fact that AJ Styles carries himself so well on the mic and has unparalleled ring work is a huge problem for anyone wanting to give Reigns Wrestler of the Year.

In the end this is his Achilles heel, it is something that has always plagued him, and it will stop him being named Wrestler of the Year.

Do you think Roman deserves to be Wrestler of the Year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Toby Durant

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