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Roman Reigns is one of the most dramatic, divisive and discussed WWE performers in history. The company makes desperate play after desperate play to make him your favourite graps guy – with limited success. How do they do it? What do they do?
I’m Tom Colohue and this is the Monday Night Reigns-o-Meter.
There are a lot of opinions out there as to what would make for a good Roman Reigns. A lot of people think that no Roman Reigns would be the best Roman Reigns. A lot of other people are very happy with the Roman Reigns that they have and would happily rate it four-and-a-half stars on the app store. That said, there is one Roman Reigns that WWE, Twitter, hardcore smarks, and Vince McMahon all agree on.
The best Roman Reigns is the one who runs people down with ambulances, smashes Triple H up with a chair, and gets stuck into big brutal brawls.
This week, that’s precisely what we got.
We open with a hype package with some real strong crescendo music. We literally open with the stunning climax music that you’d expect from a Daft Punk orchestral album. Roman Reigns is talking about being The Guy. Bobby Lashley, despite being gone for ten years, claims he’s the guy. You’re definitely the guy in WWE when you’re in TNA, sure.
And then we cut to a live shot of Roman walking. Vince McMahon has always insisted that there are at least six cameramen following Roman Reigns backstage at all time just in case Roman’s face looks nice. Bobby Lashley comes to talk and then carefully edges around Roman so that the camera can pan to a Boston Celtics image on the wall. Roman and Lashley just did the job for product placement.
Roman comes down to the ring to a very strong mixed reception. The boos are strong, but so are the cheers. His new t-shirt literally has a dog on it. Bit on the nose, isn’t it? Peak cheer comes as Roman reaches the ring and looks out across his empire. Whatever happened to the Roman Empire concept? It might still be on his Titantron, but for some reason he doesn’t reference it much any more.
Naturally, peak boo comes once the music stops; nobody wants to boo unless all of their friends can hear them. Roman lets them get it out of their system. It’s a very short promo, though. Roman calls out Lashley to a huge cheer. Five minutes ago nobody could care less about Bobby Lashley as his stagnant establishing feud with Sami Zayn was quickly going nowhere. Now that Roman Reigns is involved though, the arena is electric at the prospect of these two really getting into it.
Bobby Lashley’s new music makes this staredown sound even more epic than before. Music can really make a big deal of someone.
Kurt Angle tries to stop a fight from breaking out, but Roman is offended by the vicious manner in which Lashley slowly removes his baseball cap and, just like that, we’re going at it. Baron Corbin does some shouting at the top of the ramp and makes little effort to get involved until hero one and all Finn Balor charges the ring with some mid-carders.
Lately there have been quite a few of these pull apart brawls, usually involving Brock Lesnar. Undertaker, Roman, Braun, and Samoa Joe have all been involved in these but the aggression in this one keeps the crowd hyped. Everybody is chanting “Yes!” when Lashley gets free, effortlessly might I add, and completely cleans Roman out. We already know that the fastest and easiest way to get over in WWE is to beat up Roman Reigns; why did Lashley waste all that time with Sami Zayn?
As Bobby Lashley is dragged around the ring into position by 20 men, most of whom are bigger than him, Roman gets himself up to a standing position and does his over-the-top rope dive that we haven’t seen since the go-home show of WrestleMania 32. Based on the massive pop it gets, the fans remember it. Hell, it might be the most fan-friendly move he has.
As the segment is wrapping up, a referee runs behind Roman and lets him know that they need to add another 30 seconds before the commercial break cuts in, so he runs around everybody in the way and dives on to Lashley one more time. The crowd is going wild.
Lashley vs. Strowman is going to be an amazing feud.
Later in the night, Roman Reigns gets the rub from Renee Young by sharing a screen with her. Renee asks Reigns why he might provoke someone that he’s planning to fight with anyway. Reigns answers by calling himself a dog. Puppies definitely have killer instinct, sure Roman. Sure.
– Bobby Lashley
– The entire Raw locker room
Did Roman Reigns beat the odds?
The Big Dog stands tall on the go home show. That’s not a good sign, is it?
Follow Tom Colohue on @Colohue for news and updates.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: MONDAY NIGHT REIGNS-O-METER #68: Tracking Roman Reigns’s ability to beat the odds and come out on top