PUNISHERREIGNSFirst off, I’m sorry for the bad photoshop job. And with that out of the way, we all know The Shield’s story by now. Seth Rollins betrayed The Shield, joined the Authority, and the other members had to find their own place within WWE. Dean Ambrose became The Lunatic Fringe, and Roman Reigns became the most booed man ever in the history of the Royal Rumble. But despite how things turned out for Reigns due to WWE’s creative team not knowing how to handle him properly, he still has a lot of potential as a top superstar. He just needs a reason for fans to get behind him. WWE relied entirely on making him some one else instead of simply evolving his character from his Shield days. But if WWE’s creative team would have went the route of simple storytelling instead of forcing Reigns down our throats, he would have been the biggest name in professional wrestling at the moment.

Wrestling takes some of its ideas from other forms of media. So it would make sense to adapt one of their superstars in to a character similar to one from a comic book. It’s not like they haven’t done it before. Take a look back at The Hurricane. Even today, WWE is embracing the idea of a super hero character with how Neville is depicted. So it wouldn’t have been a stretch to evolve Reigns in to an outright vigilante such as The Punisher. His in ring attire is basically all black with a vest covered with his logo similar to the Marvel antihero. Why not embrace the lone wolf personality as well? Unfortunately, Reigns has to endure the aftermath of WWE failing in every attempt to force him upon the audience. He will most likely remain on the course he’s on without being repackaged, but let’s have some fun and wonder what could have been if WWE’s would have stayed out of the way of natural progression.

On June 2, 2014, Seth Rollins attacked the other members of The Shield and joined the Authority. Dean Ambrose went after Seth Rollins for revenge, and Roman Reigns was immediately thrown in to the heavyweight title picture. But what if Reigns had chosen to remain the only standing member of The Shield instead? What if he decided to uphold the idea of justice that the stable believed in? It would certainly explain why he still wears his Shield inspired attire and retained The Shield’s theme and entrance. Before suffering succotash and the rest of the awful dialog WWE forced him to say, Reigns was seen as the most silent out of the group. So his persona of the last man standing from The Shield could easily be sold through his actions and presence similar to the way Baron Corbin has been handled so far. And all of his promos could be prerecorded in the back like The Shield has done in the past. Keeping Reigns mysterious and seen as a powerhouse would easily appeal to wrestling fans, especially since he would have been a constant reminder of the biggest story that year.

The year could have consisted of Ambrose having his attention on Rollins, while Reigns focused on completely taking down the Authority. This could have played out for however long WWE wanted it to until it eventually lead to Reigns facing Triple H himself. Giving his character a proper buildup would have drawn fans behind him in time for the Royal Rumble. And keeping him off television during his injury would have added surprise to his return. Because a true top guy could leave with an injury without having to give updates every other week to keep him relevant.

Roman Reigns suffers from no lack of direction. If WWE would have left his character similar to what it was before and allowed him to evolve on his own, I’m pretty sure he would have connected with fans a lot better than he has. Reigns had the ability to become the next big antihero if handled right. And while that moment has come and gone,  it’s never to late to repackage him as a heel at least. After all, most of the biggest names from the attitude era started off as heels before becoming the top baby faces of the company.  WWE should have used the biggest angle last year to shape him in to something of substance. Their heavy handedness has caused Reigns more than he has gained since his push. Hopefully, Reigns is able to capture the crowd again like his Shield days before WWE gives him the title. Because as of right now, he seems like more of an overhyped midcarder at the moment. And WWE not capitalizing on their biggest story in years to push him is to blame for his missed opportunity.