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 was a time, not too long ago – not long ago at all in fact, some might say – when the Reignsometer was briefly off your screens. You know, every single week Roman Reigns did the same thing so there really wasn’t anything new to provide coverage of. He walked out at the top of the show. He strutted around like he owned the place. He complained about Brock Lesnar not showing up for work.
Walk, strut, complain, in that order. Thankfully, things are very different now. Yes, Roman still comes out at the top of the show. Yes, he still complains about Brock Lesnar. In fact, he’s getting kicked out of the arena just the same. All this is true. But, and this bears remembering; Roman Reigns now has a different t-shirt on while he’s doing it.
This week saw the return of Brock Lesnar. His first appearance on screen earned him what’s affectionately known as the Roman Reigns treatment from the crowd. He threw a nice chunk of metal on a strap on his shoulder and stared at Paul Heyman, love bursting from his eyes.
Oh, Universal Championship, you say? What’s that? Never heard of it.
Paul Heyman, the non-wrestler who is by far the most over guy in the segment, would interrupt in his typical Heyman style. He suggested that Roman Reigns commit himself to a mental ward (yeah, he’s the good guy here) and bragged about UFC things.
And here we saw something rather spectacular. “We don’t care about anything you have to say,” Roman would say, as if speaking for a crowd that actually cared about what he had to say. And nobody called him out on it. Everyone just accepted it.
The funny thing is, without Paul Heyman, there’s no feud. Is there even a Universal Championship without Paul Heyman?
By the end of the segment that crowd were a lot more vocally supportive of Roman than they had been when he first came out. To be clear though, Paul Heyman, now rumoured to be on board as a member of the creative team, is the story tonight. His is now a face turn and a face turn a little bit out of nowhere, isn’t it?
And this is where the conundrum really comes into play. You see, this time, for the first time in forever, Roman Reigns isn’t the story. Roman Reigns is a bit part player. In fact, let’s just say it, Roman Reigns isn’t important.
The Roman Reignsometer isn’t just about Roman Reigns though, it’s about the odds. The odds are a living thing. They are the source of Vince McMahon’s power. If Roman Reigns does not beat the odds, does he truly reign?
That was a bad line; I’m so sorry you had to read it.
So where are the odds this week? Well, Finn Balor’s facing a few. Baron Corbin’s unbeaten end of days continues to antagonise the demon king; undefeated at Summerslam. Famous underdog hero Kevin Owens has got some odds to deal with. Myth and legend Jinder Mahal is facing some overwhelming odds and probably the most important player in WWE right now, Alexa Bliss is facing possibly the greatest odds of all.
And none of them are Roman Reigns.
Later, Roman does some hardcore leaving in disgust at the lack of odds for him to conquer. I’m kind of with him. As the night ended fans were starting to chant for Roman Reigns. And where was he?
He might as well have been sat with Brock Lesnar all night reading magazines. The love that dare not speak its name.
– Absolutely nothing
Did Roman Reigns beat the odds?
I have no idea how Roman got beaten by no odds.
Follow Tom Colohue on @Colohue for news and updates.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: MONDAY NIGHT REIGNS-O-METER #71: Tracking Roman Reigns’s ability to beat the odds and come out on top