There are a lot of fans not looking forward to the main event at Wrestlemania. Aside from the obvious outcome, the match itself doesn’t seem as promising as the rest of the card. So with WWE renegotiating a new contract with Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns winning the title may not be set in stone the way fans think it is. In fact, there are plenty of reasons for Reigns not to win at Wrestlemania. But instead of simply narrowing it down to saying that he is not ready, here are five legit reasons why WWE should hold off on going forward with Reigns at Wrestlemania.
- Reigns was pushed too hard
WWE has a habit of ignoring fans and pushing the superstars they’re interested in seeing at the top. With Roman Reigns almost winning the Royal Rumble last year, WWE could have pushed Reigns in a more subtle way to build him up for the win this year. But their creative team only know how to paint in broad strokes. Reigns was obviously pushed so hard that everything revolved around him and turned in to Monday Night Reigns. The point in which the push started to annoy fans was when Reigns won superstar of the year during a time in which Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker’s streak, and Daniel Bryan single handily defeated Evolution to win the world heavyweight championship. That was around the time fans felt like their intelligence was being insulted.
A lot of WWE creative apologist will argue that fans want WWE to push new talent, but become upset when the talent being pushed isn’t a fan favorite. I find this way of thinking ridiculous. WWE is a product. Fans willing to subscribe to the network and purchase their merchandise are investing in a product being sold to them. So if Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, or any other star gains massive support from fans, then it comes down to simply supply and demand. Complaining about fans being upset that their favorite stars are not being pushed while Roman Reigns is pushed to the moon is like telling a paying customer who ordered a steak to shut the hell up and enjoy the spaghetti they’re being served. And that is one of the biggest problems with Reigns. No matter how hard he is force fed to us, the fact that we know there are better choices out there will hurt his title run if he wins at Wrestlemania.
- Fans can’t relate to Reigns
WWE is trying their best to sell Reigns to fans as a top star. They’ve even went as far as having Reigns defeat Daniel Bryan as a way to get the fans behind him as a top guy. The problem with that is superstars who actually possess that “IT” factor do not need it constantly addressed for the fans to see it. WWE should never have to sell a performer as the next big thing if he is in fact what they’re claiming him to be. This adds on to the image of Roman being pushed by WWE due to favoritism. To break it down to a much simpler comparison, he comes off more like an employee who was hired and promoted by his boss only because of the fact that the manager is friends with his relatives. He never truly had to work for the position, he just has to train for when the time comes for his promotion. And viewed on a basic level like that, it is hard to relate to Roman Reigns.
The best possible way to sell Roman Reigns to fans is to capitalize off of the reaction he has received since winning the Royal Rumble. The “I can. I will.” shirt of his is a step in the right direction. The best way to sell him to fans is as an underdog no one believes in. Other superstars, including the commentators, should express doubt in Reigns being ready to take on Lesnar. Paul Heyman should deliver the high quality promos he’s known for without being tasked with selling Reigns as well as Lesnar. The idea should be to generate so much doubt about Reigns to the point that the people can relate to him in a way they have with Daniel Bryan and other stars. But WWE has sent mixed messages instead. Reigns has adopted a persona that suggest that he is in fact an underdog people do not believe in, while WWE continues to sell him as the next big thing. Paul Heyman has to oversell Reigns as bigger than established superstars of the past, but not as good as Lesnar. And Heyman could sell ice to an Eskimo, but he has struggled to sell Reigns to fans. That should be evidence enough that WWE’s creative team is handling Reigns’ image the wrong way.
- No personality
Reigns has zero personality outside of his old Shield gimmick of being the powerhouse of the group. The other two members have evolved, but it seems like Reigns is stuck in the past. WWE has tried to give him personality by writing John Cena inspired dialog for him, but that has actually done him more damage than good. What Reigns really needs is a heel turn. He has the personality to pull off a great heel regardless of his mic skills. But without any sort of personality as a face, it is impossible for Reigns to be an entertaining world champion. Especially if he has trouble cutting promos. In fact, most of his promos are about him going to Wrestlemania and defeating Brock Lesnar. What will he have to talk about if he wins?
In other words, his promos and personality will not improve if he becomes world champ. He would just be a big guy with the title. It will end up being another Diesel situation all over again. WWE should at least wait until he is in the Kevin Nash phase of his career and allow him to find his own voice as a performer before throwing him in to the spotlight. And instead of just telling us he’s the future, WWE should allow him to actually become a star of the future before they make the mistake of repeating the past.
- Average ring work
Aside from his recent match with Daniel Bryan, I can not remember Reigns having a really impressive match outside of The Shield. And even in that stable his job was to allow the other two members to do most of the heavy lifting before coming in for all of the big spots in the match. His in ring work isn’t awful, it’s just boring. Nothing about his style is unique outside of his apron kick. And while people could argue the same for John Cena, John has a better understanding of how a match works. He can lead talent through a match with his experience. Cena also understands the the talent that he’s working with and what they are capable of. That is why he may seem bland at times, but can pull off moves you would have never thought he was capable of out of nowhere with certain people.
Reigns has to be lead through a match in order to put on a decent performance. So despite what WWE thinks fans want, what we really want is to enjoy great wrestling matches. And if Reigns taking on Lesnar is currently considered a weak main event at the biggest show WWE has to offer, then it will be hard for Reigns to keep the attention of fans weekly.
- Marketing possibilities
WWE is currently ironing out the details of Lesnar’s new contract. The original issue with it was that Brock wanted to compete in UFC while still under contract with WWE. And while WWE may have been hesitant at first to allow such a thing, it could be used for WWE’s personal gain if worked well by their creative team. WWE could stick with the original plan and have Reigns defeat Lesnar for the title and continue down his path of mixed reactions from fans as champion, or they could do something that will draw a lot of attention to their product.
Brock Lesnar back on UFC television will draw a lot of attention to UFC. But Brock Lesnar on UFC television with the WWE world heavyweight championship will draw eyes to WWE as well. Brock is on fire at the moment. And whoever beats the man who ended The Undertaker’s streak and take the championship will become an instant star. Why waste that on a performer who is currently drawing mixed reactions from the crowd, while they could gain free marketing for their product to a new fanbase instead? WWE could run a angle in which The Authority is concerned Brock would leave with the title to the UFC. Paul Heyman has already hinted at it, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to work with. Assuming that Dana White is okay with Lesnar carrying the WWE title out during his events, the possibilities are limitless.
Paul Heyman could still remain an advocate for Brock in the meantime while working the angle of Lesnar wanting to unify the UFC and WWE world heavyweight titles. He could even accompany Brock to the Octagon once he actually starts competing again. Dana White will draw in WWE fans like he did before with Brock, while UFC fans will tune in to WWE programming in order to see the response WWE has to Lesnar’s actions. It could be the biggest thing to happen to wrestling since Scott Hall interrupted WCW Monday Nitro.
The only down side to it is that it will require Lesnar to hold the title for a while. Some fans may have an issue with the world champion not being on television as much as they would like him to be, but an angle like this would excuse his long absences from WWE television. But he would need a little time to train to compete before he can successfully balance both careers. My opinion is if Triple H could hold the championship for three years, then Brock could hold it until he has successfully had a few fights in the UFC. The only thing that could stop the angle is if WWE decides to give the belt to Reigns instead.
I can imagine Dana being okay with Brock carrying the WWE championship on UFC television considering that he started negotiations with Lesnar knowing that he intends to work for both companies. However, Lesnar would be WWE champ regardless of if he is allowed to carry the strap on TV. So it would really be up to WWE on if the angle actually happens or not. But if WWE does decide to let Lesnar continue working for them while competing in the UFC, then it would be a wasted opportunity if he is not holding the championship at the time.
So there you have it. Five legit reasons why Roman Reigns should lose at Wrestlemania. If Brock comes out of it victorious, then it would give Reigns time to actually address some of his issues without all of the pressure of being in the forefront. And aside from reminding fans that a Royal Rumble win doesn’t necessary guarantee a Wrestlemania win, It would also allow a huge crossover event to occur that would bring a newer fanbase to WWE’s product. Roman Reigns has talent. That can’t be denied. But WWE has to learn how to take baby steps with their talent instead of throwing him in the deep end. Reigns could take on a smaller title like the US championship in order to test the waters first. Once his problems are addressed and when WWE has truly capitalized on Lesnar’s run as champ, then Reigns should have his time as the face of the company. But as things stand now, it would be a mistake for the title to change hands at Wrestlemania.