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Roman Reigns is one of the most divisive and talked about WWE performers in history. The company makes desperate play after desperate play to make him their number one star – thus far to no avail. How do they do it? What do they do?
I’m Tom Colohue and this is the Monday Night Reigns-o-meter.
Monday Night Reigns-o-Meter
Reignsypoo was the focus of the WWE for over two years. Since The Shield split until the day before his suspension for a violation of the WWE Wellness Policy, it’s been all Roman, all Reigns, all of the time. Since that day though, he has been a focus but only one of many. Lesnar has been more prominent. Goldberg has been more prominent. Finn Balor would have been more prominent had Seth not broke him. But now, with the Royal Rumble out of the way and the road to WrestleMania on the way, surely it’s all about Roman?
Ladies and gentleman, the hottest story in wrestling right now, Mick Foley putting over Stephanie McMahon!
Seriously, Samoa Joe is right there. Take a lesson from Shane and just go away, Stephanie. It’s best for business.
Roman Reigns does not walk out first for what feels like the first time this year, but it is a Samoan called Joe so it’s about as close as possible to be without it actually being Roman. Roman comes out second, though, cutting off a far better promo than Roman has ever delivered himself.
He’s nice enough to wait until Joe’s contract is signed, though. He’s lovely and sweet, really. Why don’t people cheer him? Oh wait, some people are cheering him. I don’t know how to feel any more!
Roman shows off his sadistic side by getting Samoa Joe to talk dirty to him, then hits Joe with a brutal new catchphrase. Alright this is actually a half good promo. Simple and angry.
Mick Foley steals back a bit of heat, taking his total heat count to 2 percent by making Reigns vs. Joe our main event tonight. Sorry, Joe vs. Joe: The Joening.
Not 20 minutes later, obviously worried that people might forget Roman’s name, Foley namedrops him to Braun Strowman, offering up a match at Fast Lane between the two. Now this quite blatantly points out that tonight’s main event isn’t actually going to go anywhere, but hell if it doesn’t sound fun.
Roman comes out for the main event to a practically dead crowd. Someone in the crowd films him ready for an upskirt shot but this turns out to be a cunning ruse that allows the camera to not show Samoa Joe as he comes out early until the moment of impact when he assaults Roman.
We have to know who the heel is in this match. It’s important. It’s the incredibly powerful, talented, and over one. No, not Roman, but I can understand why that might confuse you. Reigns is the sexy one with the wet hair. He’s the face. He’s the good guy, for some reason. We’ve all forgotten what he did to the Undertaker now, right? I think we’re supposed to have.
Reigns gets beat up and ambushed and that makes us all hope that he’s going to win. To those who want him to fail, you have no heart! The crowd is restless, but in a positive way for once. It’s a big atmosphere. Roman comes back briefly, then gets grounded again by the temporarily superior Joe of Samoan origin. Then Reigns hulks up. It doesn’t last, but for a moment the crowd forget that they hate Reigns.
And, suddenly, it’s all Roman. Suddenly it looks like Samoa Joe’s push is over before it begins and, suddenly, there’s Braun Strowman. He gets a little pop because it’s now clear that Reigns is losing. Braun goes down on the second punch, but Samoa Joe still manages to pick up the win with a… hang on… is that a Rockbottom?
That’s a Rockbottom. Sure it’s also a bit of a Sidewalk Slam, but let’s be honest, that’s a Rockbottom.
The show ends with Braun Strowman standing tall after laying a few more shots in on Roman. The fans chant “Thank you, Strowman” and, if WWE aren’t careful, they might have accidentally turned Strowman face.
– Another Samoan called Joe
– Mick Foley’s natural charisma
– An ambush from behind
– A solid early beating
– Braun Strowman
– The Rockbottom
– Getting smashed into a barricade
Did Roman Reigns beat the odds?
I really chose a bad time to launch this series.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: MONDAY NIGHT REIGNS-O-METER #4: Tracking Roman Reigns’s ability to beat the odds and come out on top