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.
If today you have seen a strange, tall man with red skin dragging a suitcase down the side of the road, it’s because hell froze over last night. The devil was evicted, kicked out on the street with only his collection of novelty demonic tarot cards and a suitcase that clearly says Bill on it. He might already have set fire to your house but I promise you, it’s a lot worse for him. He’s freezing cold. His nipples are permanently erect.
This is what happens when people chant for Roman Reigns. I hope you’re all very proud of yourselves. Who’s going to torture evil doers now?
Yes, a truly remarkable moment occurred on Monday Night Raw last night but, dear reader, I worry we’re getting ahead of ourselves. It begins, as most things do, with Braun Strowman.
Also Ziggler and McIntyre but they’re less important, much like Ambrose and Rollins. Really, this all comes down to Strowman vs Reigns (vs Lesnar). Two titans, two giants, two behemoths locked in an eternal struggle (also Brock Lesnar). Two strong, courageous, unstoppable machines who have carried Monday Night Raw endlessly for months on end (and some other guy who turns up sometimes). Indeed, WWE Crown Jewel in [name redacted] i going to be the envy of the world when these two showstoppers collide (and some other guy is also there).
This week though, it wasn’t really about Roman. Don’t get me wrong; it was still all about The Shield, but considering how popular the theory is that The Shield are only there as a Roman vehicle, a whole lot of attention has been paid to Dean Ambrose, hasn’t it?
The maverick lunatic was at it again this week, saving his friend from attack, winning a six man tag match and being in the arena in plenty of time to wrestle. What a wildcard!
While Rollins and Ambrose did their usual will they, won’t they shtick, staring lovingly and hatefully into each others eyes, occasionally getting into brawls and basically doing exactly what they were doing this time last year, Roman was left to save the day. By being good at the wrestles? Not so much. He really didn’t do much of anything as regards the business with all the fighting. I mean, he threw some punches, hit a spear and did a lot of very attractive running of the ropes but really Roman was about as far removed from the story as it was possible to be.
That said when your entire role in a story is to hold your friends apart and look bemused, Reigns absolutely nailed it.
So while Ambrose and Rollins are locked in a feud at once both intensely aggressive and oddly romantic, Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre begin their own budding rivalry. Ronda Rousey compares the Bellas to smallpox. Ember Moon suddenly develops a need to throw women over the top rope which is a bit out of the blue. Apollo Crews gets the briefest of pushes which hopefully might actually progress in some way at some point.
I’ve got to be honest; actual progression in any meaningful way was thin on the ground. I mean, Kurt Angle was briefly present. That’s something, right? Suppose we’d best get back to Roman then.
Roman Reigns makes several appearances across the span of the three hour show. Firstly, he comes down to interrupt Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre’s celebration of their collective dislike for each other. He calls out his opponents for their secret jealousy of his Universal title, which has definitely been defended recently. Of course the tag titles and the Intercontinental title are all locked up in this and going undefended but let’s just ignore that, shall we?
Roman’s right. Boo! Jealous guys!
Later, Roman appears in a corridor in possibly the most dramatic slow walking through a corridor scene in wrestling history. Dean Ambrose, offended by a word that has literally been his most used adjective over the course of the last six years, takes offence to the massively offensive thing that Seth Rollins offends him with.
Roman doesn’t say much, to be fair.
Later, Roman is called upon as peacekeeper as the fight threatens to become physical. Just like he did in 2014. And 2017. He’s been through the wars has Roman but this is a new situation for him.
I just want to be clear here, if the definition of madness is to do the same thing again and again and expect a different outcome, then we’re cheering for Roman Reigns out of pure madness and Vince McMahon is absolutely fine with it.
As the main event came up and the night drew to a close, Roman, a spent force after wailing on Braun Strowman on the outside, laid down on the floor and considered his life choices. Meanwhile, his best friends attacked each other in the middle of the ring.
Might be best to just sit this one out, eh Roman? Or, you know, forget friendship and just go full Becky Lynch. Now that hell’s frozen over it’s about time, isn’t it?
– Braun Strowman
– Dolph Ziggler
– Drew McIntyre
Did Roman Reigns beat the odds?
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: MONDAY NIGHT REIGNS-O-METER #81: Tracking Roman Reigns’s ability to beat the odds and come out on top