I haven’t written in a while, but given that WWE’s main storyline of the year is based on a campaign of utter contempt for their audience, it seemed like an interesting time to do so.
In my opinion, the recent influx of amazing in-ring talent (Styles, Owens, Zayn, Del Rio, Cesaro, Kalisto, Neville – and those are just the guys on the main roster and doesn’t even include Shield, Wyatt or New Guy guys that have been with the company for a while) are WHY so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to lynch Roman Reigns. It’s BECAUSE WWE actually HAS guys now that the audience wants to see, while they try to give us 10 years of a guy on top that we don’t want to see. I don’t even know that there’s ever been a time in WWE where they had this popular a roster, a fact which makes selling Roman Reigns to the audience exponentially more difficult. Some people hate it so much that it’s runing entire PPV’s for them – “This PPV is absolutely amazing, every single match was good but Roman Reigns just won the Royal Rumble and now it’s an unwatchable shithole.”
Poor, poor Roman Reigns. It’s not been said enough lately – it really is not his fault. I actually like Roman Reigns, but since the end of The Shield, Roman has been a modern manifestation of the next prolonged John Cena era that the audience is trying to kill in the womb. You can’t blame the fans for that – to them, it’s like going back in time to kill Wrestling Baby Hitler. I certainly would have preferred if I could have skipped over the John Cena era (actually, I kind of did, and that’s my whole point.)
The crazy thing is, you can’t really blame Roman Reigns either – he didn’t choose to get his giant push at the same time WWE somehow accumulated this amazing roster. If this were 5 or 6 years ago, and he were positioned to take a main event slot from Shaemus, Wade Barrett, Randy Orton or John Cena? The crowd reaction would probably be a different story and yes, if you can remember back that many years, those 4 guys literally were your main event – hence why I say the roster has improved so much since that time.
But what’s Roman Reigns supposed to do? Say, “well, I tried, but I just found out there are a ton of guys better than me, I better pack it in and go be a personal trainer!” At this point, he really is just such a tragic Charlie Brown figure. Think about it – nobody likes him, everyone just wants to beat up on him, even though he really is nowhere near as bad as the vitriol he seems to incite amongst fans. He is the guy who just wants to kick that football even though none of the other kids care, or are outright rooting for him to fall on his dick trying. He goes to kick it anyway, because that’s the kind of guy he is… and WWE pulls it away from him. It already happened once a year ago, and I could see them pulling that football away from him again this year.
And what I don’t understand and what no rational adult has ever been able to explain to me is… why? Why push Roman when your paying fans are screaming “NO” at you?
It would be one thing if the fans weren’t cheering for anyone. But they are. To use the most popular examples, they’re cheering for Ambrose, Styles, and Owens. You currently HAVE the guys the fans want to see, the same way you had Punk and Bryan when the fans were cheering for them. I could understand if the guys being cheered for were hurt or with another company because that situation is beyond your control… but you HAVE the guys people want to see. They’re right there.
The arguments I hear for this? Well, there’s the silly little copouts that wrestling fans like to use to sound smart like “Oh, they can’t put a fatty like Owens on a poster.” Really? That Bray Wyatt guy isn’t so svelte and he gets put on a lot of posters.
How about AJ Styles? “Oh, he’s horrible on the mic.” So what you’re saying is that a guy who’s “horrible on the mic” can’t headline WrestleMania but The Miz, for example, a guy who’s a “talker” (and that’s up for serious debate in my opinion anyway) can? When The Miz hasn’t generated one tenth the excitement in his 10-year career that AJ Styles has in 2 months? That’s actually your argument?
Then there’s the “sponsors and stockholders” gimmick, which I hear get applied a lot to Dean Ambrose. Can we please just dispell that bullshit myth right here – WWE fans aren’t WWE stockholders and WWE sponsors don’t care as long as Dean isn’t exposing a woman’s nipple or going Mass Transit on someone. Dean Ambrose has been prominently featured in and out of the title scene for the past 2 years, and sponsors and stockholders didn’t make a fucking noise because they honestly, truly and validly don’t give a shit. The fact that it’s WrestleMania and not just another PPV makes no difference. The sponsors and stockholders want whoever will bring in the most money, and to be dumb enough to suggest anything otherwise means you should be tied up shot with a ball of your own shit because it really, honestly is not more complicated than that.
But WrestleMania is almost here and I’m going to be honest – I want Charlie Brown to kick that football. There’s a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that a lengthier HHH title run in 2016 won’t accomplish anything, or that Roman has been busting his ass for a couple years and is not at fault here – no, the main reason is that I want it to be over – as entertaining as it has been – and I want to see the reaction it gets. I’m assuming it’s going to be entertaining as all hell and erase literally any goodwill WWE manages to build up at WrestleMania before that, but it might be that reaction and ONLY that reaction that gets them to wake up to the realization that the right guy to be on top of your company is the right guy that the majority of the fans want to see.
Let’s be honest – it’s 2016 and professional wrestling is still here – WWE is lucky they even HAVE guys the fans want to see. If WWE doesn’t start listening to them, one day they might not have a fanbase who cares enough to cheer anyone – you know what happens then?
So, whether it be now or after WrestleMania, I say let’s go ahead and kill Wrestling Baby Hitler once and for all. It’s only going to get harder the more they keep trying to do it. So let’s do something new. You don’t have to fire Roman or anything – just tweak your plans for him.
I stated before that I like Roman Reigns, so I feel bad that I’d sacrifice his main event run just to avoid another John Cena era… but I would.
Tags: AJ Styles, dean ambrose, Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, wrestlemania 32