Ask PWTorch ASK THE SPECIALISTS ROUNDTABLE: The case of Roman Reigns
Aug 24, 2014 - 12:23:21 PM
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The "Ask the Specialists" Roundtable is the latest spin-off from the "Ask the Torch" feature. CSI led to CSI: New York and CSI: Miami, which is where you'll find the Specialists tackling a daily topic submitted by PWTorch readers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask the Specialists Roundtable #55
- Question from PWTorch reader R. Jack: What do you think of the reaction Roman Reigns received at Summerslam? I was in the Los Angeles crowd, and can definitely say that Reigns was over huge with the females. However, with the males, the reaction was mixed. Are you concerned with this? I'd love to here your opinions on this.
- "Mr. PPV" Nathan Kyght responds: Roman Reigns is going to succeed basically on presentation. I think that WWE needs to limit his talking and just have him keep winning. The crowd eventually always gets behind a wrestler if they seem unbeatable (and it makes any eventual vulnerability that much more impactful). For now I think WWE should stay the course with how Reigns is being booked. The big question mark is the return of Daniel Bryan. It seems that the plan is to have Reigns most likely win the Royal Rumble, but if that does indeed end up being Bryan's return date, they'll have to be careful to avoid a situation like they had with Batista this year...
- "Falls Count Anywhere" Tony Donofrio (@TonyDonofrio) responds: This is something I haven’t really touched on yet, but it seems as if Roman Reigns is already getting the John Cena type treatment. He has the look that women love and the kids because he almost has the look of a superhero. But, I believe at this moment in time, Dean Ambrose is the #1 face in WWE.
WWE has a long way to go in terms of making Reigns the #1 babyface. His in-ring work is decent for what he can do but his moveset is very limited. He also isn’t strong at cutting promos. Right now, as far as promos go, less is more. There is roughly half-a-year before WrestleMania, so there is time to get Reigns into position. However, as I stated, there is a lot of work to be done.
- "Common Fan" Jimmy Eaton (@TheCommonFan) responds: I think WWE is walking a fine line with Reigns. I'm a bit concerned, but still have confidence that he can get over, as long as he's able to have solid matches and a change to show his personality without too many cliches or bad angles. He needs to dominate people and still feel like an underdog if and when he faces someone like Brock Lesnar. Thanks for the question!
- "Mr. TV" Justin James (@Justin_M_James) responds: Roman Reign's current offensive arsenal is awesome as a hot-tag and outside-the-ring brawl in a tag match. In singles matches, his moveset is not nearly as impressive and does not build anticipation like it did in The Shield tag matches.
I think Reigns needed to simmer in The Shield a bit longer to learn more about singles wrestling before he was split out. Am I concerned? No. The guy has a ton of charisma and can build a great career. It's just a matter of positioning and learning and growing and evolving and maturing.
- "Showstopper" Shawn Valentino responds: Thanks for your question. I was also there live at Summerslam, and I did not notice a noticeable backlash against Reigns. We have to remember that he has not been around that long, and it has only been a few months since he turned solo. I believe people have to be more patience with Reigns as a performer because he is still very new and trying to find his character.
I do not think he has the same fate as John Cena as a polarizing figure because he has a cool persona and does not seem like a corporate dweeb. I believe he is experiencing some issues because he has received a sudden push, and he is still proving himself. Additionally, Randy Orton has been an established star for years. I am not sure if Reigns is a centerpiece star. In fact, I think he is the least interesting of the three Shield members, but he has plenty of tools and deserves a chance to rise up the ranks and see if he can fit that role.
- "Instant Reaction" Ben Tucker (@BTuckerTorch) responds: I was live in Los Angeles as well, and while his reaction was still strong, it has dropped a bit since June. If Reigns is pushed too hard or before he's ready, the fans are very likely to rebel against him in the same way that they turned against Cena back in 2005-2006.
WWE will need to be especially careful if Reigns is penciled in to dethrone Brock Lesnar for the WWE Title at WrestleMania. Putting the "new face of the company" up against a talent who generally receives strong reactions from smart fans could result in Reigns being booed in his crowning moment. The key is to make Reigns' ascension feel natural and earned. Right now, he's starting to feel like a Samoan John Cena with two fewer moves.
[ FYI: The specialists consist of a mix of current PWTorch contributors providing their opinion on today's wrestling scene and modern wrestling history questions, including Shawn Valentino, Michael Moore, Ben Tucker, Jon Mezzera, Justin James, Brian Leahy, Jimmy Eaton, Nathan Kyght, Tony Donofrio, and Mike Roe. ]
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