5 Signs WWE No Longer Views Roman Reigns As Its Top Star
May 11, 2018 - WWE
WWE might be finale a Roman Reigns experiment.
Ever given The Shield imploded in 2014 and Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins went their apart ways, WWE has heavily featured all 3 stars as critical pieces to a company’s puzzle. But there was always this clarity that Reigns was a 1A to Rollins’ 1B and Ambrose’s 1C, with a thought being that Reigns was a successor apparent to John Cena, a intensity blockbuster pull and someone who could lift a association for a subsequent decade or more.
It hasn’t accurately been well-spoken sailing, however, and for any splendid spot, like Reigns apropos a tip sell seller, there has been a disaster or two, such as his inability to transcend Cena as both a pull and a performer. Now, 4 years after his large pull began, there is ascent justification that indicates WWE is deliberation pulling a block on pulling Reigns as “the guy.” Will he unexpected spin a reduce label worker? No, of march not, yet WWE’s constant pull of him as “the subsequent Cena” could shortly come to an end.
Here are 5 signs that WWE no longer views Reigns as a tip star.
Everything Roman Reigns can do, Braun Strowman can (arguably) do better.
If we indispensable explanation certain of a approach WWE views Reigns in comparison to Strowman, demeanour no serve than a Greatest Royal Rumble, when Reigns mislaid to Brock Lesnar nonetheless again while Strowman won a biggest Royal Rumble compare in history. On a same night that Reigns catastrophic to slay “The Beast,” WWE finished a outrageous matter with Strowman’s ancestral victory, radically observant that Strowman is “the guy” and Reigns is not.
The dual gigantic superstars have radically been neck and neck fighting for a mark as WWE’s No. 1 full-time star as of late, and Strowman, who usually over a year ago couldn’t get on a categorical WrestleMania card, is respirating down Reigns’ neck. According to a Wrestling Observer, Strowman categorical evented a same volume of shows that drew during slightest 10,000 fans (12) that Reigns did final year, while, many like Reigns, he is also a substantial pull on YouTube (which shows that stars fans are gravitating toward) and has determined himself as a top sell mover.
Perhaps usually as importantly, however, Strowman has a advantage of being roughly zodiacally liked, so if notice is reality, afterwards a existence is that Strowman is generating many improved reactions than Reigns is these days. Although it might be a small-but-vocal minority of fans who continue to disapprove Reigns, it’s tough for a infrequent fan to see Reigns as a babyface when he’s so sexually hated by so many. On a flip side, it’s formidable not to perspective Strowman as a bigger star when his reactions are louder and apparently a form of reactions we wish out of a tip babyface.
As prolonged as Strowman is around, it will be difficult, if not officious impossible, for Reigns to ever truly be a No. 1 star, and formed on new engagement that enclosed a large Greatest Royal Rumble win for Strowman, WWE is finally noticing that.
His Losing Streak
Generally speaking, a losing strain for a tip star means one of dual things: Either WWE is giving adult on him in that role, or it is engagement him that approach as a matter for a heel turn.
But formed on new comments from Triple H, who has balked during a thought of branch Reigns heel, and Reigns himself, who doesn’t see a advantage of an central heel spin either, it appears to be impossibly doubtful that WWE will pierce Reigns to a dim side anytime soon. Triple H has confirmed that Reigns is a draw in his stream purpose as a pseudo babyface, and unless something drastically changes in that regard, afterwards “The Big Dog” is expected going to be pigeonholed into that dialect for years to come.
That what creates we consternation what a proclivity or logic behind Reigns’ new losing strain is given he has mislaid a boatload of vital matches lately, quite given WrestleMania 33 final year. In 2017, Reigns mislaid critical PPV matches during shows like Extreme Rules and SummerSlam, and in 2018, he mislaid a slew of vital matches and surprisingly wasn’t even stable in many of them. Those waste includes an Intercontinental pretension compare opposite The Miz on Raw, being separated from a Royal Rumble by Shinsuke Nakamura, a purify better during a hands of Seth Rollins in that noted gauntlet compare and waste to Lesnar during both WrestleMania 34 and a Greatest Royal Rumble.
It seems WWE has wavered for so prolonged on a preference of what to do with Reigns and how to book him, yet what has been transparent is that, as Samoa Joe has alluded to in his new promos, Reigns has consistently catastrophic to win a large one. It’s been scarcely dual years given he won a universe title, and during that span, he’s mislaid a large compare for any large compare he’s won, that creates it seem as if WWE is engagement him reduction like Cena and some-more like someone it isn’t certain about.
For all of a comparisons to Cena, “The Champ” was requisitioned as “Super Cena” during his prime, typically mowing by a foe in track to a whopping 16 universe pretension wins. But Reigns hasn’t been finished to “look strong.” If anything, he’s looked like a crook in 2018.
The Lack Of A Legitimate Title Reign
The following names have hold a WWE or Universal Championship given Jun 2016: Rollins, Ambrose, AJ Styles, Cena, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Jinder Mahal, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Goldberg and Lesnar. Reigns, well, has not.
In fact, Reigns’ 3 WWE Championship reigns lasted one day (well, indeed about 5 minutes), 41 and 77 days, respectively, for an normal of fewer than 40 days per reign. Compare that to, let’s say, John Cena (16 reigns), Triple H (14) or Randy Orton (13), and it’s painfully apparent that Reigns, notwithstanding any indications to a contrary, isn’t noticed to be on a same turn as those stars even yet it’s easy to consider otherwise.
The ideal volume of pretension reigns for stars like Cena and Orton as good as a length of pretension reigns for stars like CM Punk (who spent 434 days as WWE Champion) speaks volumes about WWE noticed those stars not usually as performers yet as drivers of business. The fact that Cena, prolonged famous to be a aristocrat of WWE’s sell movers, and Punk, who seemed to be quite a pull during his energy as champion, spent so many time with a WWE pretension shows that WWE truly had faith in them as stars who could lift a company.
On a other hand, questions still sojourn about whether or not Reigns is a legitimate draw, and his miss of Universal or WWE Championship reigns is eventually a microcosm of WWE’s position on him.
Sure, he’s been positioned to be WWE’s many featured star over a past 4 years, yet with names like Styles and even Mahal holding a universe pretension significantly longer than he did, maybe that’s WWE’s approach of subtly revelation fans how a association unequivocally feels about Reigns’ sketch energy and his ability to a lift a universe pretension design as champion rather than challenger.
The Rise Of Other Babyface Stars
Last week’s part of Raw was a ideal enactment of because Reigns is clearly not “the guy.”
While a Montreal throng scarcely pennyless a Richter scale with a earth-shaking reactions for stars like Strowman and Rollins, a disapprove birds rained down on Reigns like a heavily hailstorm, demonstrating how Reigns’ tumble from babyface beauty has resulted in a arise of a series of other favorites. A demeanour during a latest list of WWE’s tip sell sellers flawlessly demonstrates that babyfaces are clicking with a masses as that list now includes Styles (who might have upheld Reigns to get to No. 2 behind usually Cena), Strowman, Rollins, Balor and The New Day, an considerable ensembles of throng favorites.
That list doesn’t even take into care a likes of Daniel Bryan (who usually returned yet is already proving his pull power and has a story of being an elite sell mover), Orton, Jeff Hardy or even Ambrose, who are all fantastic sell movers and large stars in their possess rights. As we can see, WWE has a boatload of talent on a babyface side on both Raw and SmackDown, that has combined one of a many built rosters in new memory and one that positively does not need to rest on one man to lift a company.
There’s no doubt that, formed on a large pushes of guys like Styles and Rollins over a past 6 months to a year, WWE sees large income intensity in those guys, maybe even some-more so than Reigns. But during a really least, what Rollins’ prohibited strain and Styles’ extensive WWE pretension energy tell us is that WWE knows how critical those stars are to a success of WWE and sees a advantage of featuring those guys as many as Reigns.
His Failures To Beat Brock Lesnar
Here’s what the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc) reported about WrestleMania 34 skeleton for Reigns approach behind in Mar 2017:
WWE officials already have a compare designed for a categorical eventuality of WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans – Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar for a WWE Universal Title…WWE has attempted to make Reigns a tip babyface for a few years now yet a thought is still really many to make Reigns a ‘next John Cena’ of a company. They are once again looking during building Reigns adult for a whole year for a accession during WrestleMania 34 and a thought between now and afterwards is for Reigns to reinstate Cena as a new face of a company
Well, those skeleton apparently changed.
Even yet WWE stranded with Lesnar vs. Reigns as a WrestleMania 34 categorical eventuality in front of a biggest assembly in WWE history, an heard was apparently called when Reigns catastrophic to a win a pretension during WrestleMania 34 and afterwards opposite during a Greatest Royal Rumble. That indeed noted a fourth time Reigns was catastrophic in his attempts to kick Lesnar for a universe pretension after he couldn’t get a pursuit finished during WrestleMania 31 or SummerSlam 2017, either.
While some reports advise that Lesnar signing a new understanding with WWE caused a change in skeleton for Reigns’ “coronation,” a fact that Reigns catastrophic to win during a Greatest Royal Rumble as good suggests that isn’t a case. Judging by all that has transpired between Reigns and Lesnar recently, WWE didn’t usually incidentally confirm to keep a Universal Championship on Lesnar. No, this was a distributed preference to keep Lesnar looking clever while also once again creation a choice not to go all a approach with Reigns.
WWE has had a unclothed smallest of 4 opportunities to have Reigns better Lesnar and contend “this is a guy,” yet in any and any situation, a artistic group (and Vince McMahon) has gotten cold feet. We don’t know accurately why, and we might never know. But it wouldn’t be wrong to interpretation that this is WWE’s approach of saying, “Reigns is not a guy, and we’ve finally satisfied it.”
Blake Oestriecher is an facile propagandize clergyman by day and a sports author by night. He’s a writer to a Forbes @SportsMoneyBlog, where he essentially covers WWE. You can follow him on Twitter @BOestriecher.