What Should WWE Do With Roman Reigns?
With the Royal Rumble behind us, and WrestleMania rapidly approaching something needs to be done about Roman Reigns. The reaction he received after winning the 2015 Royal Rumble was clearly much more negative than WWE was expecting. Personally the thought of Brock Lesnar versus Roman Reigns for the WWE Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 31 is not even remotely exciting to me. Just typing those words causes me to groan with disappointment, but what’s done is done. There’s no use crying over spilled milk. At this point the WWE finds themselves in a situation where they need to take action in order to maintain interest from fans like myself.
Although the WWE has painted themselves into a corner with this scenario, it’s not the end of the world. WrestleMania will still go on without a hitch and even if it’s not my first choice for the main event, I’m sure the WWE will find a way to make it work (at least for their main demographic). They certainly did a good job generating some interest on the RAW after the Royal Rumble during the face to face between Brock and Roman. Simply having Paul Heyman take control of the sit down helped add more dimension and excitement to the impending matchup than ever before. However, Paul Heyman can only do so much to build up the contest, because at the end of the day, Roman Reigns is the one that will have to actually deliver when he’s under that spotlight, which bodes the question: What should WWE do with Roman Reigns?
By now the response to his victory at the Royal Rumble is old news. The crowd in the Wells Fargo Center voiced what most of us were thinking, and #CancelWWENetwork was trending worldwide for over 24 hours. Many of the fans from the Royal Rumble will undoubtedly be at WrestleMania this year as well as RAW the following night. I don’t think it takes a genius to understand that the WWE doesn’t want the crowd collectively crapping on the individual they’re grooming to be the next face of the company. Moreover, Brock Lesnar’s contract is coming to an end after WrestleMania and so there is a very real possibility that he may return to UFC. For this reason, the crowd’s reaction on the Road to WrestleMania will likely play a huge role in what they decide to do with Reigns creatively. I see two possible scenarios for Reigns, but as I just mentioned, they are relative to the overall crowd reaction leading up to the Showcase of the Immortals.
Scenario one (which is not my favorite of the two), the WWE continues to book Roman Reigns as a dominant force but without the terribly scripted looney tunes style promos. If they can properly write him better lines and actually book him properly leading up to WrestleMania, maybe the fans will get behind him (although this is highly unlikely in my humble opinion).
However, if Roman Reigns continues to get booed consistently like he was at the Royal Rumble there is always scenario number two. In this scenario, the WWE could always do a double turn. Personally I find this scenario to be much better overall for all parties involved. First off the fans love Brock, he always gets a pop, so if the fans continue to reject Reigns as a face he might as well embrace the hatred at this point in his career. Not only would this make sense, it perfectly correlates to the career path of his cousin The Rock. Initially when The Rock (at that time known as Rocky Maivia) made his debut for the WWF, he was heavily pushed as a babyface but the crowd rejected it. In response to the crowd, the WWF had Rocky join the ranks of the Nation of Domination subsequently becoming a heel. During his time in the Nation, he transformed himself from Rocky Maivia to The Rock and the rest is history.
Hypothetically speaking of course, if the WWE did decide to go this route with Roman Reigns, they could also have Paul Heyman turn on Brock to back him up in this new role. This would also allow Roman Reigns to focus more on his in-ring work and worry less about cutting promos. Furthermore, the association with Heyman would allow him to learn first hand from one of the best talkers in the industry today. More importantly, the WWE would always have the ability to eventually turn him face again and then make him the face of the company as they clearly plan on doing at some point or another.
Keep in mind though, all these scenarios are obviously dependent on how the fans choose to react to Roman Reigns. If fans continue to cheer and rally behind him the WWE will likely just go with their original plan. However, if there is some sort of domino effect, and the fans predominantly respond to him like those in attendance at the 2015 Royal Rumble, the double turn would make perfect sense. With that being said, I’d love to see Brock Lesnar win or Seth Rollins just run out immediately after the contest and successfully cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase. Unfortunately those other options are highly unlikely, if the WWE plans on going through with all of these plans, Reigns has to win (especially if Brock is leaving). As for Rollins cashing in after the match, it would take away from the WWE’s main goal of this entire matchup, which is to make a new star in Reigns. Then again, when it comes to professional wrestling, never say never.