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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.
Lately, for Roman Reigns, things have been slowing down, getting a little listless. A little repetitive. A little boring. Even having finally won the Universal Championship; a hunt which technically began seventeen months ago, something was missing from Roman Reigns. His promos were all the same. His matches the same and even though his entrances have returned to the full The shield dynamic, his entrance music is still somehow the same.
This week it hit me what it was; there just weren’t enough odds. This week it hit me because this week they fixed it. But did they really? Are these really odds when it’s odds he’s beaten before?
Roman’s first feud with Braun Strowman was over four years ago, when the latter debuted as part of the Wyatt family against Reigns, Ambrose and later Chris Jericho. His first feud with Brock Lesnar started even earlier for that right after the 2015 Royal Rumble. Admittedly his problems with Corbin are fairly fresh but a match isn’t a feud and this isn’t the first match that the two have had.
And so, after numerous matches with everyone he competed with this week, these odds don’t feel particularly fresh.
You see, it’s definitely a problem that the Universal Championship division only seems to contain three people and, other than that, it has been utterly locked for the whole of 2018 so far. Brock, Roman and Strowman seem to be locked in an eternal three way, which is not as fun as it sounds, trust me. Is the WWE running out of ideas or is Vince McMahon’s master plan finally coming together? Only time will tell.
At WWE’s Hell In A Cell pay per view, Roman Reigns and Strowman had the only cell match on the Raw brand, perfectly allowing them to do things that they simply couldn’t do without that cell.
Of course, “them” refers to Ambrose, Rollins, Ziggler and McIntyre. You know, four guys who were not actually in the match whatsoever.
Braun Strowman was speared through a table, which Foley thought was okay. Table was okay. Foley is pro home furnishings obviously. Rollins and Ziggler, after a brief pause to discuss the weather on the side of the cell, both leapt through commentary tables in perfect sync, somehow getting only the silver medal for synchronised bumping. Mick Foley was blinded by the beauty of Paul Heyman’s hairline.
Roman had a nap. I mean, I’d love to detail all the rough, hardcore things he did but it was a long nap. A really long nap.
Thankfully, a wild Brock Lesnar would arrive to put both Roman and Strowman to bed by giving them a light slap on the back with a piece of wood and his usual F5 – not even a finisher when used against Roman Reigns. Then the match was stopped.
What odds did he have there? Admittedly he competed with Braun Strowman but Jeff Hardy had his ear nearly torn off with a screwdriver and your match is stopped because you took an F5? Overbooked mess, I tell you.
And so we come to Raw, where surely Roman Reigns would offer Braun Strowman a rematch or challenge Brock Lesnar or sell his injuries that are apparently so bad that he can’t compete after a light beating. Instead, he celebrated retaining his championship. Well if not winning a match is something to celebrate then you ahead Roman.
Being fair, Roman isn’t technically the Universal champion given that Mick Foley counted a pretty clear three count. Anyway, Baron Corbin challenged former Universal champion Roman Reigns to a match after having set up a triple threat Universal Championship match between Reigns, Strowman and Lesnar.
It’s almost like he forgot that he might himself be the champion at that time or, you know, knew he was going to lose or something. But that would mean that wrestling isn’t a real competitive blood sport. That’s a ridiculous idea.
While McIntyre and Ziggler took on a little divide and conquer, essentially exterminating The Shield as they did so successfully the night before, Corbin prepared his evil plan. He would start a normal match, like he did recently against Finn Balor. He would get himself disqualified, like he did recently against Finn Balor. He would restart the match as no disqualification, like he did recently against Finn Balor. Meanwhile, ultimate evil Braun Strowman would be waiting in the wings ready to back up his next best friend Baron.
And all else failed, they had a locker room full of heels who were more than ready to get involved at a moment’s notice.
Except they didn’t.
Except The Shield turned up and wrecked the Ziggle Bunnies.
Except Roman demolished Baron Corbin despite all the interference.
So the odds are back, and Roman Reigns is back to being booked as an underdog babyface even when faced with a zero time world champion in the Baron Corbin mould. Can Corbin fill the shoes of Vince McMahon’s evil overlord? No. Just plain no.
Can he make people cheer for Roman Reigns? Who knows. Wasn’t it nice to see Roman main event something though? That never happens.
– Braun Strowman
– Brock Lesnar
– Dolph Ziggler
– Drew McIntyre
– Baron Corbin
Did Roman Reigns beat the odds?
All hail the return of the odds.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: MONDAY NIGHT REIGNS-O-METER #77: Tracking Roman Reigns’s ability to beat the odds and come out on top