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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 favorite 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.
The news broke while I was on holiday, sunning it up in a 70 degree February. The ground shook, the skies fell, and the seas parted. Sadly, I was delayed because Roman’s usual 26 page fax detailing his arrival went unread. I’m here now, it’s okay. Like Roman, I beat the odds, though what odds they were that Roman took down this time.
Our last Reigns-o-Meter, dear reader, was in late October of 2018. A long, slow collection of dry, Romanless months had followed. WWE had tried to push several people in his absence. A big heel turn for Dean Ambrose? Rejected. Braun Strowman; face of the company? Denied. Ronda Rousey at the top of the tree? Don’t make me laugh. There’s only one hero on Raw and that’s Roman Reigns.
And so, in late February, The Man returned. But more importantly, so did The Big Dog.
For what seems like the first time in his entire singles run, Roman Reigns was received with a mountain of cheers, applause, and love. He cut a promo of dignified ecstasy, visibly nervous but loving every second of it. Our boy was back, and he had beaten the odds.
As usual, Roman Reigns beats the odds. He did exactly what he said he would; crowded the plate, swung for the fences, and even found time to film a movie while he did it. And now, he’s back. This all leads of course to the very exciting prospect of a Roman Reigns feud against the immensely popular and likeable Baron Corbin.
Let me rephrase that, the “safe worker with a bit of heat behind him” Baron Corbin.
How the landscape has changed in those few months, though! Roman must have felt he was walking into a brand new company. The Universal champion is now Brock Lesnar, which is clearly something Roman has never seen before. Ronda Rousey is the Raw Women’s Champion. Still. Okay that’s not new. The Revival are losing matches! No, that’s not new. Erm. Everyone likes Becky Lynch? Nah, that’s been doing on for years. Dean Ambrose has turned heel? Not really.
So, really, the only surprises for Roman are that Finn Balor is now hiding his abs, much to Bliss’s chagrin, and Lacey Evans has a whole Emmalina thing going on. Well, at least if Roman ever feels bad about himself, he can go on to “A Moment Of Bliss” himself and the whole Horny Bliss character can cheer him up a little.
Roman was not done, of course. Returning to action, beating Leukemia, changing the global perception of himself was not enough. He had to reunite the families. He had to bring the black sheep back into the fold. When Dean Ambrose, a supposed heel, came under fire from three heels and one heel who was a face five minutes ago, Seth Rollins could not stay in the back.
I mean, he could. They were in a blood feud for months. You could just let him get beat down. You could join in the beat down. You could wait for him to come to the back and attack him in the ambulance. You could do anything, Seth. Unfortunately for Seth, Roman Reigns is back now so daddy has to sort the kids out. Seth would come out, followed by Roman Reigns to fix the problems that have been had in his absence.
I mean, I think we can all agree that all Dean Ambrose ever needed was a hug, right? It’s actually a pretty great story in the grand scheme of things. Ambrose turned heel the night Roman left due to a crisis of faith in those around him. He believed that nobody could be relied on, that his friendships and his connections made him weak. The pain of losing his brother made him lash out at his other brother. He just needs a hug. One big, sweaty, hairy hug. Isn’t that what we all want? One big, sweaty, hair hug from Roman?
All in all, Roman was underutilized this week on Raw. Usually he’s in eight or nine segments, beating three or four opponents, a dragon, and saving Pikachu from Team Rocket while he does so. This week, freshly back from a huge battle with cancer, they kept it minimalist. He came. He saw. He conquered. He went home.
Where this will all lead going into WrestleMania, I’m not sure. It’s hard to deny though that there has been a gaping hole in WWE programming since Roman Reigns left the show. Smackdown, largely due to the huge crowd support behind names like Daniel Bryan, Becky Lynch, and at current Kofi Kingston, has been fine, but Raw needed Roman in a way that it doesn’t need others.
Welcome back, Big Dog.
– Baron Corbin
– Bobby Lashley
– Drew McIntyre
Did Roman Reigns beat the odds?
Not sure he’ll beat more odds this year, but let’s wait and see, shall we?