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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
I don’t think it will be much of a surprise to hear that Toronto were not very nice to our old pal Roman on Raw last night. Our great hero, yours and mine, was resoundingly booed when he appeared on the big screen for the first time. The guy who brought you such great moments as when he punched that guy, when he punched that guy off that shark cage, and when he got punched by that guy was less popular than The Miz.
Damned monster that he is, that stupid, horrible, enthralling, and talented Miz. I hate him so much with his nice suits and tremendous charisma.
So Roman did not go down too well in Toronto. If you’re here to see a chair thrown at him, then stick around because that’s definitely coming.
Last week was all about setting Roman apart from his competition. It was about showing what he could do in a straight fight, showing how he could compete using a combination of strength, defiance, and being so frequently beaten up by Braun Strowman that he forgets how to lose. This week? The reverse was true.
All three of Roman Reigns’s upcoming opponents at Summerslam had big moments on Raw last night. Brock Lesnar, as the big name draw and the champion, was treated with the greatest degree of respect, tearing three men apart, one of whom a well established and respected champion. Now, don’t get me wrong, The Miz isn’t as popular as he is because of his wrestling. He’s there because of his mouth and he got to use that perfectly. Lesnar destroyed everything, though.
That was the opening segment, where simply being in the same ring as The Miz made Brock Lesnar the all conquering hero all over again.
The announced main event was Reigns vs. Strowman in a Last Man Standing match. Would Strowman come out of it looking just as good as Lesnar? What about Samoa Joe, who was not announced for an appearance tonight? Most importantly, what about Roman Reigns? Would he get the chance to perform at the top of his game as ever he does? Would he still get to strut and swagger around the ring like he owns the damned place?
Yes, the chair throw is coming, don’t worry. Patience is a virtue.
Braun Strowman is interviewed backstage by a Renee Young so terrified that even the microphone is afraid to make a sound. As per usual, Strowman hits his “I-like-beating-up-Roman” sound bites and the crowd eats up, chews it, and swallows with a wide smile because Braun is naturally a hero. If this feud goes for another year, then Strowman might become the most successful wrestler in history purely by beating on Roman.
WWE have changed sponsors from KFC to Popeyes? Isn’t that chickenist? At the very least it’s surely a conflict of interests. Unrelated, I know, but it stuck out to me.
While his former Shield mates put together one of the most compelling and engaging storylines in recent memory, Reigns, the top guy on Raw regardless of how often Brock has been appearing recently, adds to the burial of The Miz by pointing out that he doesn’t watch Miz TV. As such we can assume that the star of Raw doesn’t watch Raw and that’s probably why he hasn’t been involved in the The Shield story. He also hits his usual Undertaker based sound bites. For a moment he even drops the usual smugness because it’s Renee Young, and everybody loves Renee Young.
You think Roman and his wife go ’round for dinner with Renee and Ambrose? They should. It makes sense to me that they would do that. Maybe not Seth; fifth wheel and all that.
Finally, we reach the actual match, which featured a chair spot if you didn’t already know. Braun comes out to a gorgeous little pop all his own. That loss to Roman at Fast Lane really launched Strowman’s career to heights hitherto unknown. Roman winning is good for everyone, don’t you know?
And then there was Roman. Hallelujah! The new purple lights on his face really add to the aesthetic. There’s a chant. It might be let’s go Roman vs. Strowman sucks. Let’s just assume that that’s exactly what it is, right? I mean, it can’t possibly be anything else.
This match isn’t necessarily anything new, but nobody really cares in this instance. Sometimes, you just want to watch two really big men beating the hell out of each other. Sometimes, you just want to watch one big guy beating relentlessly on the other with weaponry including stairs, tables, and flying chairs.
I mean, these guys are essentially flying the Attitude Era flag in style. Don’t you just love it? I take it back, there’s plenty new in this one.
A dropkick just happened. A dropkick. Kenny Omega ain’t got nothing on Braun Strowman.
Roman gets a pop by getting wood. I say some weird things in this column. I won’t ruin the rest of it for you. Give it another watch; it’s plenty worth it.
The finale comes as Samoa Joe, who has never run in on anybody ever before, runs in to attack your pal and my favorite Roman Reigns. I’m not sure why him and not Braun, to be honest. Maybe Joe was afraid of the chair. The ref stops counting Strowman out because Joe. He then starts all over again to count down Roman because of how massively unfair the world is.
Just massively, massively unfair.
Great Raw, that.
– Braun Strowman
– Samoa Joe
Did Roman Reigns beat the odds?
Back to losing ways again. And oh yeah!
Braun Strowman with the greatest chair toss in wrestling history…
— Kevin Thang (@Skip2MyJays) August 8, 2017
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: MONDAY NIGHT REIGNS-O-METER #30: Tracking Roman Reigns’s ability to beat the odds and come out on top