In this episode of Wrestling Night in America, PWTorch columnist Greg Parks breaks down both nights of WrestleMania with callers and emailers. Topics include the quality of the Firefly Funhouse match, the decision to put Charlotte over Rhea Ripley, the potential of wrestlers getting more creative freedom in the current environment, and more.
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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
In the words of the eternal, the immortal, the unstoppable Undertaker: “Roman Reigns is dolla dolla bills, y’all.” It was during his urban era, I swear.
Recently your faithful Reigns-o-Meter seems to have become self-aware, to the point at which Vinny Mac clearly books his show based on the existence of our little column. Roman Reigns is at a very even playing field in the grand scheme of wins and losses. His last three matches have been a win in a triple threat match, when surely the odds were against him, a loss in a last man standing match, when the odds were surely in his favor, and finally a loss in a Fatal Four-way match when the odds favored nobody.
It’s been a wild ride aboard our favorite Romancopter. I call him that because of the way he soars through the air on his way to hit you in the face. Like all good helicopters do, you know?
But the reason that The Undertaker voiced that now famous quote that he definitely said – don’t look it up, just trust me, it’s real – is that Roman Reigns is the guy that brings the most money to the company. Except for, you know, the other guys – John Cena and Brock Lesnar.
(And New Day? I never said New Day. Who said New Day?)
Naturally, Lesnar has long been presented as Reigns’s ultimate opponent. Meanwhile, John Cena has been off doing other things, not competing directly against Roman Reigns since 2014. A lot has happened in that three year span. Reigns won some matches. John Cena went off and was barely on TV, while somehow still winning matches and burying people. Long range burial is a talent honed by The Rock and perfected by C.M. Punk, of course.
So while Brock Lesnar is off making some guy famous – curiously, the same guy that Roman Reigns has been making famous since January – Roman Reigns finally gets the chance to step away from the continuous ass whooping that Braun Strowman has been giving him to tangle with the former Doctor of Thuganomics, John Cena.
They stripped his doctorate after that incident with the tuba. John Cena is a monster.
We open Raw with a highlight package detailing how Roman Reigns viciously won last week’s promo battle apparently. I believe this is also the first time in history that WWE has shown Roman Reigns being booed.
Cena goes on to destroy Reigns on the mic and get the last word, expect for this particular highlight package in which Roman Reigns stands up for young talent as if he’s one of the guys lower down the card struggling to break through. The true hero of the piece, Kurt Angle’s reaction face, deserves a highlight package all of its own, right next to the one where he spends a twenty year career forgetting how to say WWE.
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— Tom Colohue (@Colohue) August 29, 2017
Cena comes out into the arena to more cheers than he’s had in a while. Tonight he faces Jason Jordan in a truly amazing booking move that Raw definitely did not steal from Smackdown and Chad Gable, no sirree.
Jason Jordan, of course, is the future superstar about which The Undertaker definitely once said: “Jordan got buns, son.”
You can not make up these stunning quotes that come direct from the Deadman himself at some nondescript time, or place, or anything really. Stop asking for details.
Wrestling happens, but with Roman Reigns not on television during this segment I naturally start baking a cake. The Undertaker once referred to my baking skills as “Stop ****ing baking, you ****.” We’re very close. Jason Jordan and John Cena also seem quite close. Mid-ring spooning is very technical, you see.
Cena eventually gets the win, which makes perfect sense, really. Cena’s not buried anybody there. And then there was Reigns, interrupting one of the strongest face reactions Cena has had in about ten years.
Yeah, Reigns is definitely the face here, right? Sure. Dolla dolla bills, y’all indeed.
Cena gets his second chant of the night, which equals the last three years or so. Meanwhile, Roman starts to speak and gets a whole lot of aggro from the crowd. He questions Cena’s talent, casually heeling all over Jason Jordan in the meantime and inspiring a lovely “What?!” chant. Would you rather have a beach ball, where the fans aren’t watching you wrestling, or a “What?!” chant, where the fans are actively trying to sabotage you? Asking for a friend.
Cena calls Roman Reigns an “ugly bimbo” and a “homie” in the same sentence. Nice guy, Cena. Cena then explains his whole wrestling strategy to his next pay-per-view opponent. Reigns makes a crude joke. Cena makes a crude joke. Reigns makes a crude joke. Reigns leans into his Attitude Era cast off role very smoothly.
Then Cena launches into his standard uninterrupted promo. He puts over The Miz, which makes me respect John Cena even though I’m obviously in the Roman Reigns camp with my hero urban Undertaker. PG-13 cursing from both men.
Okay, this promo isn’t very good now; it’s all Cena. If Roman could just punch him in the face or something, that would be great. Instead, Roman stands casually, holding his own hand, and makes a great grimace.
The battle lines have been very clear in this feud. Cena talks the talk – Roman walks the walk. He even gets the biggest pop of his career by asking the crowd if they want to see him get beat up. Strowman was literally made by beating up Reigns; they’re always going to agree with that.
Good Raw. I’m told there’s sometimes more after the Roman Reigns section.
– The audience attention span
Did Roman Reigns beat the odds?
You tell me.
Okay, The Undertaker never said that. My baking is tight.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: MONDAY NIGHT REIGNS-O-METER #33: Tracking Roman Reigns’s ability to beat the odds and come out on top