If I could sit in and listen in to a WWE creative meeting, I’d love to hear them explain their logic in pushing certain wrestlers. I’d like to hear why certain stars are not being used to their full potential, and how they’ve selected the stars to push. Because I can’t understand how they can ignore the natural talent on their roster, while deciding to push a still developing talent to the moon. Because while I’m just a fan with ideas and no experience in the actual business of booking professional wrestling, I’d probably suggest that taking a talent that is already over with the fans and working on the things that the WWE feels he is missing would be a smarter idea.
There were a lot of huge stars from the attitude era who got over with the fans on their own, but needed just a little assistance to reach the level they eventually did. Take The Rock for example. Rocky Maivia stepped in to the ring with a family history filled with wrestling, just like Roman Reigns. He had the charisma, he had the moves, but he just didn’t connect with the fans in the way WWE had hoped. With his status as a huge baby face, Maivia pushed forward with a gimmick that didn’t fit him while the crowd grew more hostile towards him. And then a heel turn along with more freedom to be himself turned Rocky Maivia in to The Rock, the most electrifying man in sports entertainment. But the transformation didn’t happen overnight. WWE stepped in and helped develop what was already working in to one of the most over gimmicks in wrestling history. Natural talent and a natural connection with fans eventually beat the artificial baby face role that was provided for him.
The same thing can be said for Stone Cold Steve Austin. When given the freedom to finally create his character, the WWE stepped in to help develop it towards his strengths while working on his weaknesses. So let’s apply that logic to someone like Cesaro. He was obviously hired for his in ring ability. He had a rough run at first, but his in ring ability actually won over fans when he was placed with The Real Americans despite the group originally being a heel stable. After removing him from the group due to his popularity, the most logical things to do for Cesaro was to either allow him to continue being himself, or develop the fact that fans love his in ring ability in to a character similar to The Ringmaster or Mr. Perfect. His gimmick could have been that he’s really awesome in the ring as a technical wrestler. His mic skills aren’t exactly where they need to be yet, but the WWE could help him develop in that department over time. But instead of using logic, Cesaro was moved away from one heel group to being represented and ignored by Paul Heyman before dropping down to near jobber status.
So why Roman Reigns? Why was he chosen from the very beginning to be then next big thing? He was brought in with The Shield with the intent of branching off to become a big star from the start. But if the WWE had to invest so much time and effort in to him just to make up for all of the missing natural talent, then what was the point? There are a ton of wrestlers currently signed to the WWE that could benefit from the attention. Plenty of wrestlers who already have the ability to be a to star, but simply need a little more sharpening. Why build a star from the ground up, force him in to a gimmick that doesn’t fit him, all while trying to help him improve in all of the areas he’s failing in while steadily shooting him straight to the championship? Is it really because of his look? Can being handsome and huge make him worth that much effort? Is it because of his relation to The Rock? The Usos have the same relation and have made a name for themselves off of pure talent alone. What do they see in Roman Reigns that could justify investing so much in to only one star? And now that the WWE is losing faith in Reigns being ready in time, was all of the attention invested worth it?
I’m a fan of wrestling. And unfortunately, the biggest product for fans to enjoy is extremely flawed at the moment. I can only imagine that there are too many filters for ideas to go though in order to make it to the television. I have no idea as to what really goes on during WWE creative meetings, nor do I have any experience in booking a three hour show every week. But as a fan, the scramble to figure out what to do at Royal Rumble and Wrestlmania due to the fact that the basket they’ve put all of their eggs in isn’t strong enough to carry the weight looks very unorganized to me.