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.
As you know, Roman Reigns is a big deal. Or at least, he’s usually a big deal. Every week we kneel at Vince McMahon’s Samoan Shrine. His alter of Super Shieldmen. His alter of superman punch.
Basically, Roman Reigns is on TV a lot usually, isn’t he? He was on Monday Night Raw a lot this week too but for once he wasn’t the storytelling tour de force that WWE usually presents him as. Instead, that honour went to the recent re-acquisition, Amber Dean himself.
This week was all about whether or not Dean was drinking from the evil tree. As I’m sure you know by now, beloved reader, the internet has long since decided that Dean Ambrose is super evil now and, more importantly, that there’s an upcoming massive heel turn whereby Dean Ambrose attacks Seth Rollins and then goes on to feud with…erm…someone?
Are The Shield the only faces on Monday Night Balor, there’s Balor. I forgot about him. Just like WWE does at every opportunity.
Of course what would actually happen is the fans would reject the idea of booing Ambrose, much like they did with Becky Lynch, and Rollins would accidentally be turned into his old heel persona, like Charlotte. But that’s alright. Nobody believes me. Accidental face turn? What’s that? Braun Strowman was always a monster heel.
So anyway, Dean spends most of this three hour power trip being preached to by the combined forces of Dolph Ziggler, his best friend from way back, and Drew McIntyre, his father’s cousin’s nephew’s bridge partner sixth removed. They have history you see. He definitely hasn’t been fighting with them for weeks. They’re not his mortal enemies or anything. Nope.
The Shield open the show, with Roman Reigns doing his usual shtick of being the only Shield member to get booed. He hypes up the championships, one of multiple continents and one of a whole damn universe, meanwhile Dean stands in the background looking menacing. Maybe you can get yourself on 205 Live, Dean? Slim down and go to war on the purple brand and you can get a title of your own.
Ziggler and McIntyre speak to a silent Dean Ambrose who absorbs what they’re saying in the ring between a chatty Seth Rollins and a Roman Reigns showing off his most intense Roman face possible. As the night rolls on, many clandestine meetings take place in the darker recesses of the arena. Ambrose, who apparently spends every Raw walking around backstage wandering aimlessly into lifelong enemies, gets a preaching from Ziggler and a preaching from McIntyre. For some reason, Braun Strowman has no interest in a conversation. A monster among men of action you see.
And so while Dean Ambrose has to deal with the twin evils of Ziggler’s logic and McIntyre’s hair, Roman Reigns was paired up with the monstrous, the destructive, the truly demonic Baron Corbin.
Yeah, the guy in the suit who follows Stephanie McMahon around like a lovesick pup. That guy.
And I like Baron Corbin. Wouldn’t have thought it, would you?
Fresh from presenting one of the most awkward renditions of happy birthday you’ll ever hear in your life, Corbin lines up in a six man tag team match alongside two mystery partners against The Shield and possibly Drew McIntyre. Yeah, they tease that too. It’s a weird episode this.
Corbin, ever the intelligent man, ensures that his first acquisition for his team is the monster among men, the ever destructive badass, the war machine who holds singles wins over all three members of The Shield, Braun Strowman.
Yeah, he doesn’t do that. Strowman stays unmentioned through most of this Raw. Instead, what we get is the Authors Of Pain, two guys who in successive weeks have been beaten down by both Dean Ambrose single handedly and then Seth Rollins singlehandedly. This is guaranteed to end well, isn’t it?
To their credit, this is the first time that the Authors Of Pain have looked genuinely threatening on the main roster.
Let’s be honest though, any team containing a Roman Reigns is a team that’s going to win.
Not much really happened on Raw last night, but if there’s one thing we can say with certainty it’s that just the right amount of changes have been teased. Suddenly there might be a reason to watch Super Show Down, or as Braun Strowman correctly identified it, WWE’s Super Show.
– Baron Corbin
– Authors Of Pain
– Those Insidious Words
Did Roman Reigns beat the odds?
Ain’t it sweet that Dean made sure Roman could get the pin though? Such an angel.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: MONDAY NIGHT REIGNS-O-METER #78: Tracking Roman Reigns’s ability to beat the odds and come out on top