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
Consider, if you will, the following unpopular opinion: Vince McMahon knows what he’s doing.
In the opening segment of Raw, something really very confusing happened. A loud, boisterous, and unanswered Roman chant travelled across the arena when Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose lined up against The Miz, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel.
A minute or so later, when Roman’s face appeared on the Titantron, the guy was booed out of the building.
Vince McMahon knows how to get Roman Reigns cheered. He knows how to kick Rollins’s babyface persona straight into orbit. He knows how to force marketability back onto a Dean Ambrose whose drawing power doesn’t exist beyond hardcore fans. He just didn’t do it.
Why? It’s not the right time yet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to happen, but The Shield is not the right vehicle for Roman until after WrestleMania. So when they do reunite, and Rollins gets that title shot at Survivor Series? The Shield won’t be able to handle heel Roman.
And isn’t that delicious?
Moving on, as Raw does, Roman gets a hype package in which he repeats his catchphrase and spears some folk. It’s a nice package; I was sort of casually impressed by it.
To further promote his match, Roman has a backstage interview. As usual, he ties his hair backstage but lets it down in battle. He remind everyone he beat The Undertaker, guaranteeing himself some tasty boos in the process. We’re still at the early stages of pride cometh before a fall and I am excited for that fall.
Ooh, Joe’s promo was better. Just remember what I said last week, yeah? This match was set up for Strowman to interfere on it.
Game time on Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe, two people whose lives have been tightly intertwined if not constantly interweaving. It’s interesting how much louder the crowd has been with each successive match these two have put on. The push for Samoa Joe has been absolutely amazing and is one of the main reasons that Raw is so far ahead of Smackdown right now in terms of storytelling.
The crowd is loud throughout the whole match. Loud in an Attitude Era sort of loud. Loud in a way that they don’t get with anyone else except for Brock Lesnar. Roman Reigns plays the role of Hogan in his “the other guy is the heel” style rather than his “I’m the heel” style. The match is a bit slow, to be honest. Not their best. That suggests they might be holding something back, say for a triple threat next week alongside Braun Strowman?
Or it might be if Braun Strowman was there, but Braun Strowman isn’t there. Strowman isn’t going to appear, is he? Let’s be fair. Roman did a massive number on Strowman, to the point of intended murder. Surely nobody’s going to come back from that?
So what’s with all the restholds, Samoan Joe? Waiting for something? Eh? You’re about as slow as that awful Ed Sheeran cameo on “Game of Thrones.” Never mind, it’s picking up now. Samoa Joe just got out Samoan Dropped. You get a nice slow-motion capture of a big boot to the face. Is it a botch if it’s marketable? Who knows? Does WWE care? No.
Oh look! It’s Strowman. A wild Strowman appears. You should see the shock on my face.
Well, that was quite a pop. Have you missed him, Nashville? Or have you just missed the magical way he beats up Roman? I’m not judging. Reigns gets into it first, but once he loses momentum, that’s all she wrote. Reigns does one of his patented “look how high I can jump to make someone else look good” dives, and then Strowman-Joe get into it ever so slightly. Teasing me, WWE. You’re teasing me.
This three-man beating genuinely goes on for a long time. If this is a tease for a triple threat next week, I’m in. If it’s a tease for a fatal four-way at Summerslam, I’m still in. Anyone who still thinks Reigns is taking the title at Summerslam, remember this: Over Braun Strowman’s dead body.
And people still chant “This is awful” just to be contradictory.
– Samoa Joe
– Braun Strowman
– Both Samoa Joe And Braun Strowman
Did Roman Reigns beat the odds?
Sold that toss well, though, didn’t he?
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— Tom Colohue (@Colohue) June 27, 2017
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: MONDAY NIGHT REIGNS-O-METER #26: Tracking Roman Reigns’s ability to beat the odds and come out on top
Like what you’re reading? Looking for more? Help me hit 500 followers by #summerslam by hitting that follow, retweet or like button here:
Like what you're reading? Looking for more? Help me hit 500 followers by #summerslam by hitting that follow, retweet or like button. Thanks!
— Tom Colohue (@Colohue) June 27, 2017