Roman Reigns is currently WWE world heavyweight champion, and it will most likely stay that way for a while. WWE is in it for the long haul with the “The Guy” possibly holding on to the title for the rest of the year. And due to their obsession with forcing him on to the audience in hopes of making him a legitimate top face of the company, Roman Reigns has inadvertently ruined certain superstars and elements in WWE. Reigns is just a guy whom has been chosen by WWE to be “The Guy” in the company. He has very little, to no, say so in how his character is written and used. So blaming the superstar for how he’s been used in the WWE is like blaming an instrument for how awful the musician is. But because he’s the face of the company, and the product mostly revolves around him regardless if he has the title or not, it’s forgivable to dislike him for being the face of everything wrong with the company. So here are five things Roman Reigns has ruined in the WWE due to how he’s been booked.
5. The Shield reunion
The Shield was one of the most dominant forces in the WWE in recent years. It will go in history as one of the greatest stables in WWE. So it’s only natural for fans to want a reunion of sorts. We’ve received a few teasers in the past such as when the team has worked together for brief moments in matches, but the team members have officially remained separate from each other aside from Ambrose and Reigns working together from time to time. But Roman has gained “go away” heat from fans for a while now, and a reformation of the group would only come off as WWE once again trying to get the fans behind him. And so far, fans have rejected every idea WWE has thrown out in hopes of getting Reigns over.
Each member of The Shield has moved on to have successful careers of their own. It would be sort of a step backwards for both Dean and Seth to rejoin the group, but it could work if booked right. Unfortunately, good booking when it comes to Roman Reigns is rare for WWE. If the group reformed, it would feel less like the original Shield and more like Roman Reigns and friends. Reigns, like how he was used in the last months of The Shield, would be positioned as somewhat of the leader of the group. Fans would immediately notice how hard he’s being pushed over the other members, and continue to reject him. Roman’s negative reaction, along with WWE’s consistently questionable booking of him, would ultimately kill all of the momentum the group would gain. At this moment, a reunion would definitely fail.
Better handling of Reigns would make a future reunion worthwhile, but fans would quickly turn on the group for how it would be booked, or simply cheer Rollins and Ambrose while booing whenever Reigns is in the ring. Considering the reaction he’s getting as of late, along with the fact that he has already established his superiority over his former teammates by defeating them multiple times in the past, Reigns has ruined any chance of a successful Shield reunion.
4. The Club
Gallows and Anderson were one of the most dominant tag teams in New Japan Pro Wrestling’s recent history, which is something WWE loves to remind us of whenever they’re on screen. So considering how WWE loves to hype up the tag team as a force to be reckoned with, you’d think the team would obviously go immediately after the tag titles, right? Nope. They spent their first few weeks getting manhandled by one guy whenever possible. Anderson and Gallows were reduced to being punching bags for Reigns whenever they were in the same ring with him. In fact, he’s even saved The Usos from beatings from the team by clearing the ring all by himself. Even their finishers were of no use against Reigns as he’s kicked out of them repeatedly as if they were simply arm drags. The indestructible man ran through The Club like they were jobbers for more than a month before he eventually ended the feud by pinning AJ Styles for the second time. So now that the group is finally focused on making an impact in the company, why should we care?
The team attacked The New Day, which makes sense due to the group holding the tag team titles. But their attack on John Cena later in the night started a feud that will eventually end just as badly as their feud with Reigns did. So for fans familiar to their work outside of WWE, we’re well aware of how awful they’ve been used since their arrival. But for fans that are only familiar with their work in WWE, this will be their first impression of the team. So why should fans take the staple seriously after Reigns had his way with the group? And why should we even consider that their next feud with John Cena will end any differently? Roman Reigns has ruined The Club, and it will take a while after enduring the same treatment from Cena in the future for them to rebuild.
3. The Royal Rumble
Although Reigns was booed out of the building last year at the Royal Rumble, it pales in comparison to how the show revolved around him this year. The 2016 Royal Rumble completely revolved around him as the camera stayed focused on Reigns instead of the action in ring. Even AJ Styles’ premiere in the company was reduced to facial reactions from Reigns instead of filming Styles making his way to the ring. The audience wanted a free for all, not one vs all. And due to the ridiculous booking of Reigns, WWE officially killed their progress of finally getting the fans behind him earlier. Royal Rumble 2016 will go down as one of the worst Rumbles in WWE’s recent history, and Reigns has yet to recover from the damage it’s done to how the audience responds to him. WWE ruined the Royal Rumble with its booking of Reigns, and he has been booed out of arenas ever since.
2. The concept of face/heel
Roman Reigns screams heel. In fact, a heel turn would legitimately make him the biggest star in the company organically, and it seems like he would feel more comfortable in the role. But WWE wants him to be a face, which means that they are going against the grain regardless of how easy it would be just to go with it. Their hope is that maybe he would receive the John Cena treatment, in which he’s still liked and over even when the crowd boos him. This just isn’t the case for Reigns as he gains “go away” heat, and his segments are generally where people change the channel. But WWE is so determined to force it to happen that they’ve edited his crowd reactions numerous times in the past.
Boos become cheers, or the crowd’s volume is turned down to drown out the sound of their displeasure with the superstar. But instead of actually addressing this issue and finally turning him heel, commentators make excuses for the crowd’s reaction instead. The idea of a negative reaction still being positive one due to him at least getting a reaction out of the audience does not apply to Reigns like the commentators suggest. Because fans would rather cheer a heel even if they’ve insulted them over Reigns at this point. And people associated with him suffer as well. Dean Ambrose was reduced to being his sidekick instead of standing on his own, The Usos are now booed for their interactions with him, heels instantly turn face when going against him as far as fans are concerned, and every big match he has at a pay per view ends with him being booed out of the building. Because Reigns is cemented in the WWE as a face regardless of the fact that even still pictures of him on the Titantron are booed mercilessly makes the idea of heels and baby faces seem pointless if fan reactions are just going to be ignored.
1. Finishers no longer matter
John Cena has kicked out of a lot of finishers in his career. But Roman Reigns can not only take on stables by himself, he can also kick out of infinite finishers and chair shots. Reigns has been booked as super humanly indestructible. Hit him with a barrage of finishers, with some of them being performed on top of a steel chair, and he will simply kick out and land one spear to win. Even his Superman punch is highly overpowered for no reason whatsoever. It’s embarrassing to watch former UFC world heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar, sell a Superman punch from a wrestler as something extremely devastating. He’s incredibly overpowered, and finishers no longer have an affect on him. Roman Reigns has reached video game final boss level of difficulty to defeat, and that completely takes the audience out of his matches. Rollins better prepare himself, because it’s going to take around twelve Pedigrees for him to at least come close to scoring a three count.
The Raw/SmackDown brand extension is coming soon, and Roman Reigns will remain on Raw. This means fans whom may have become frustrated with the product over his booking will be able to enjoy a Reigns free WWE wrestling program that will allow other stars to shine. And once again, the decisions on his booking are beyond his control. But as the current face of everything WWE fans find frustrating with the company, it would be nice for fans to have a WWE program that doesn’t have to suffer from his terrible booking. Maybe the split will bring new ideas that will reinvigorate his image. But so far, too much damage has already been done for WWE to keep avoiding a heel turn. Maybe we’ll see that turn in the future. But for now, a bad catch phrase and ridiculous booking isn’t doing him any favors.