KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
(Search "wade keller" to subscribe in podcast app)
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
I’d just like to open with a simple statement: Even though Undertaker is clearly the face in the Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns feud, by cheering him you are condoning straight up murder. Literally. The Undertaker is planning to straight up murder Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. He’s dug him a grave and everything. Can we cheer someone who goes into a wrestling match, with rules and, you know, a script, before casually murdering his opponent and burying him?
Oh, right. Well, as it’s Roman Reigns. Yay Undertaker, am I right?
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns feud got a lot of attention on Raw this week. Particularly, Undertaker was rebuilt as a force to be reckoned with by showing lots of creepy shots of graveyards and tombstones.
Seriously though, I haven’t forgiven Bray Wyatt for his muddy blackface earlier this month so it wouldn’t be fair to be altogether impressed by this. The Undertaker might be good at digging graves – which he should be given that he’s an undertaker – but Roman Reigns is still the guy. If one thing is certain, it’s that someone who calls himself the guy can beat an undead, immortal, near godlike deity with lightning flying out of his hands.
Sad thing is, I’m pretty sure Roman will actually win, too. Don’t quote me on that though.
This episode of Raw was heavy on the creep factor, with graveyard footage creeping into play every now and again, replete with screams and crows and the like. Are we sure it’s not Sting?
Michael Cole asks if Undertaker might be digging Roman Reigns a new yard. That’s fair. Maybe we’re misjudging the murderous intentions of The Undertaker. Maybe he’s just digging a new yard so that they can both have a yard and be best buds?
No? Are my dreams of a Taker Reigns tag team title run in ashes? Man, reality ain’t no fun.
Far from his usual finger-in-every-pie act, Roman Reigns doesn’t have a backup feud with Braun Strowman tonight. He doesn’t have a match again Kevin Owens earlier in the match before coming out and beating up Undertaker. It’s just Reigns vs. Taker and it’s just now.
Roman Reigns is interviewed backstage about Undertaker mind games. He plays smug, which is the usual trait of anti-villain Roman. He explains that he doesn’t believe in dead men, which will be real handy when he is one. As usual, his promo is short and sweet – delivering enough punch and enough smugness that you hate the guy but still kind of respect him for cutting through everything and just going looking for a fight.
I honestly can’t tell what the cheer:boo ratio is when Reigns comes out any more. There are no odds, beyond the buried alive business. Oh, wow, I do not want to see a Buried Alive match between these two. Don’t make that happen.
Reigns does his usual. He has wet hair and looks smug. He leaves plenty of room for boos. He smiles as people boo. He is really riling that crowd up now. Reigns says nothing we haven’t heard before in his feud with Taker, but he continues to speak in an assured, aggressive manner that will appeal to people who just want to see a fight. Love him or hate him, I am ready to see this match now.
A claim that the arena is his house now goes down about as well as someone walking into your house at 2 a.m. and telling you that it’s their house and you’d better make with the hot dogs now. The Undertaker speaks of having many souls in his collection, as serial killers often do. Where’s Kane again? Where’s Hulk Hogan? Good lord, somebody call Jake Roberts and see if he’s okay!
Just to be sure, nobody wants to call the police or anything? No? Oh, Roman’s the bad guy. Sure, yeah.
The Undertaker appears, sunburnt and grey. He raises his arms to the sky. Does he want a hug? Is this all in jest? Roman doesn’t hug him. I don’t think I would either, to be honest. He slowly lowers his arms and the lights go down with them.
And that’s all she wrote, folks. There be a big match coming.
Did Roman Reigns beat the odds?
He hit nobody and was hit by nobody. N/A.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: MONDAY NIGHT REIGNS-O-METER #11: Tracking Roman Reigns’s ability to beat the odds and come out on top