LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Best Wishes to Roman, Roman Connected to Fans Like Never Before, Praise and Criticism for Timing of Dean’s Turn on Seth

Roman Reigns (artist Travis Beaven © PWTorch)


You are invited to send “Letters to the Editor” in response to big happenings in pro wrestling and any opinions expressed by PWTorch on our podcasts or on this website to kellerwade@pwtorch.com.


My wife is crying and I am shook.

I noticed when Roman was walking out that something seemed off. Granted, I’d read all of the news that he was missing events. He even fist-bumped adults, the ones that weren’t acting like they were ignoring him or were booing him. Thankfully, unlike those who booed Jinder Mahal’s dancers, the same guy who was acting like he ignoring him gave him a fist bump in the end and everyone was very respectful.

I’m looking forward to Roman beating the shit out of this and coming back as the biggest hero the company has ever seen.

Orlando, Fla.

I feel guilty for not being a Roman fan after tonight. Should I feel guilty for booing him all this time knowing that he is just doing his job and was doing his best? So many mix emotions.

Kenneth Williams
Mobile, Ala.

My prayers are for Roman and his family.  I may not have liked the character or the push, but I respected the performer. And having lost a family member to cancer earlier this year, I just want to wish Roman well, and a speedy recovery.
Paul L.
Ridge, N.Y.

The news about Roman is horrible. Obviously I pray he gets healthy and comes back as I’m sure everyone does. While a lot of fans didn’t like the character or how he was booked, by all accounts the man, Joe, is a phenomenal guy.


Zach G.


I fully understand this may be an unpopular opinion, but I think the way WWE handled Roman Reigns on Monday Night Raw was disgusting. The first two hours of Raw, in general, were maybe an all-time low for WWE.

Roman’s speech was genuine, heartfelt, and really brave. This in no way is a knock on him. But the Kevin Dunn-ish direction of the segment was just gross. Watch Lou Gherig’s speech and then this. The difference is for a real moment, a still camera shot of Gherig is enough. Not a bunch of creeps in the truck zooming in on his tears, stalking the audience for anyone with an emotional reaction, and zooming in on them to sell the moment, and for the love of god not specifically cutting to a 40 year old nerd doing a Daniel Bryan “no!” chant seconds after a man announcing his cancer has returned.

By the time the company got to the eighth replay with Michael Cole using carny lines about how the entire world is talking about this, I had enough and turned the show off. I guarantee we will be subjected to a montage of screenshots of mainstream media outlets covering this news on Raw next week under the guise of support for Reigns, but with the same old subtext of an insecure company desperately trying to convince us that they matter. (Note: This actually happened the very next night on Smackdown.)

The transition of Michael Cole dramatically recapping Reigns health situation to THE SHOW MUST GO ON AND THE UNIVERSAL TITLE WILL BE DECIDED AT WWE CROWN JEWEL! was almost unbelievable in its insanity and felt like using a real persons suffering as an opportunistically timed shield against a blood money event.

The country has been as divided as it has been in decades and, finally, the one thing almost everyone in business and both sides of the aisle have agreed on is that what happened in the Saudi Arabian consulate is cold-blooded murder. And these scumbags brazenly triple down on Crown Jewel while not even having the balls to say the words Saudi Arabia on television like a dog with its tail between its legs?

Born again Shawn Michaels returns from his prideful retirement for a half-ass effort in a country that persecutes Christians like almost nobody else in the world for a payday. Paul Heyman cuts a promo to promote a match in a country his kind isn’t welcome in. Mayor Kane slaps on a wig and mask and performs for a payoff from MBS. We have the virtue of WWE’s women’s progressiveness shoved down our throats when they were forced to apologize to the Saudis for a graphic of a woman with visible shoulders.

And the worst part is they think we are too stupid to see their carnyism for what it is. And they are probably right because in an arena of 10,000 fans, the audience were willing to play along for everything and not even raise their voices against Crown Jewel. Sad all around.


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I feel a bit bad about this, considering the seriousness of Roman’s announcement and obviously wish him a speedy recovery, but I have been thinking about why I have disliked his character and why he hasn’t connected with so much of the crowd.

The major problem, as you have said, has been the lack of authenticity to Roman’s character and presentation and this sense of him being manufactured. However, when you look at the reaction of the other wrestlers and people in the company to his announcement, it seems like Joe is is the opposite. He is so well-liked and respected.

It would have be hard to not come across as authentic when speaking that personally, but he came across so much better on Monday compared to normal.

I know the example you give of his “do what I’m told and make money” comment, but I now wonder if Vince McMahon had allowed him to be more of who he is backstage, rather than being so hands-on with how he feels his top star should be presented, if Roman would have been a more popular babyface years ago.

Essex, England

Long thoughts but bare with me.

I told my wife Reigns was “the next big thing” before we met him at WrestleMania 30. Fans chanted “Yes!” as he walked up and he confidently said “No no no, all due respect, I am not Daniel Bryan. I am Roman Reigns” and then let out a yell. He was a star.

Months later The Shield broke up and Dean Ambrose vowed revenge while the big badass Reigns just moved into a title chase. It never felt right after that, so I booed, but deep down I felt bad because he was good, just on the wrong path.

Tonight, unfortunately, I felt like we got to not only know Joe but also the real Roman Reigns. It makes sense why he didn’t really seek to get the fans on board, because when you have faced death and won, you’re already on top of the world.

But I still feel WWE missed the mark with him.

A man who overcomes cancer to fight for his family has my respect. Even if he wanted to keep it private, I feel WWE should have found a way to make that real life hero to stand out. Instead, they wanted him to be an elementary hero that is just invincible.

I hope he comes back, I hope he gets to wrestle again and I hope he gets cheered. I know I will cheer, but not just because he overcame a real life tragedy, but because for once he doesn’t look invincible and yet he’s still fights. Thats what a hero is. That’s what WWE, and mainly Vince, never got about him.

Thanks for reading.

Aaron B.

I missed you last night on your post-show podcast and I know you’ve addressed this quite a bit, but I just wanted to make a point and get my thoughts across.

Not to sound bad and make light of Roman’s leukemia, but after Roman’s promo last night, when they went to commercial, the only thing I could keep thinking to myself was, “Why couldn’t you speak like this, from the heart, for the last several years?!”

Whether it was Roman was told word-for-word what to always say, or if he seriously just didn’t care, but this speech he gave Monday night was, to me, the first time he EVER spoke from his heart. And interestingly enough, just being able to see and hear that made ALL the difference in the world!

I think this goes to show – not just for Roman, but for everyone – that they should be given (no pun intended) the reins to run with their own character. If Roman over the last several years could have spoken like this, with this type of passion, relating to storylines and allowing people into his self, he could have been an amazing babyface. It’s unfortunate that THIS is what caused him to finally drop that wall to let people in. If we could/would have had this attitude/feeling/whatever, Vince would have had his babyface the last several years.

Again, not to make light of this serious issue Roman faces, but I am curious what your thoughts are on this since Roman has been a main point of discussion for the last five-plus years.

Denver, Col.

I would like to know where this Roman (Joe) been for the last four years. He was likable, he wasn’t dressed like a goof, and he showed real emotion! It’s a shame that this tragedy had to happen for us to see this side of him.

Pittsburgh, Pa.

P.S. – GO VIP, it’s worth it!


I saw you didn’t like the heel turn by Dean Ambrose on Seth Rollins, but I absolutely loved it. The perfect time to do an effective turn is when everyone is not emotionally ready for it. It was shocking and riveting and incredible. I was glued to my TV. The fans in attendance viscerally reacted. It was one of the best heel turns in an era where they barely do them. The Tomasso Ciampa turn was similar to this and was just as effective.

Baltimore, Md.

WWE never misses out on an opportunity to be as tacky as humanly possible. Dean Ambrose’s turn would’ve been so much more impactful had they not poured on the schmaltz all evening long. Why can’t a sad moment just be allowed to quietly resonate for what it is?

It’s like they don’t even trust their dumb audience to feel somber correctly. Did Braun Strowman need to chime in with heartfelt wishes? Or Paul Heyman? It wouldn’t have felt so exploitative if they didn’t go out of their way exploiting it.


I don’t think you should hold it against WWE for running an angle at the end of tonight’s show. Roman’s sendoff was everything it needed to be – genuine, impactful, appropriate, and free of any shenanigans. The fact that WWE ran an angle two hours later, with Roman nowhere in sight, doesn’t spoil any of that.

I give credit to WWE for getting right to work re-positioning everyone in the wake of Roman’s exit. By the end of the show, two main event storylines were in place – with Drew McIntyre ready to step right into Reigns’ spot.

Not only that, but they managed something that seemed almost impossible – surprising us with a Dean heel turn despite the fact that we’ve seen it coming for weeks.

All told, it’s a Raw we’ll remember for a long time. Thanks so much for having this instant post-show coverage – it’s the first time I’ve tuned in live.

Kansas City

At the end of a night filled with emotion, Raw pulled off easily its Moment of the Year. It was brilliant on so many levels. Roman’s heartbreaking announcement stunned fans, including me. I’m not ashamed to say I got a little misty-eyed when Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose joined Roman on the stage.

That emotion carried to the main event where everyone wanted them to “win it for Roman” and we got are emotional release and feel-good moment only for Dean to destroy it. People didn’t even boo. They were stunned silent. Dude has nuclear heat now. It was just phenomenal. That’s taking lemons and making one hell of a glass of lemonade.



I feel like this is the second week in a row where real life event are more important or news worthy than whatever lame “Jokes” DX makes, or cryptic sentences from the Undertaker.

Last week was all the Saudi stuff, then this week with Roman Reigns’s diagnosis. Once I saw Roman’s speech, then Dean and Seth crying, the scripted “show” was just far less interesting.

I also feel bad for the women of Evolution as this was their “go home” show, but the final segment was all about the Ambrose turn instead of something with Mickie James and Trish Stratus. If you want those women to get a big reaction, treating them like big stars would help.

Los Angeles, Calif.

You are invited to send “Letters to the Editor” in response to big happenings in pro wrestling and any opinions expressed by PWTorch on our podcasts or on this website to kellerwade@pwtorch.com.

NOW CHECK OUT THIS EDITORIAL: PARKS’S TAKE: Bray Wyatt could be a valuable chip for Monday Night Raw going forward…as a new character

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