SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
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.
I spoke recently about how we were seeing much more limited use of Roman Reigns. Since returning he hasn’t been in any main event storylines, instead wrestling with Elias, Drew McIntyre, and Shane McMahon to help those men become the detestable heels that they were apparently born to be.
Since wrestling back-to-back Raw and Smackdown main events as part of other storylines last month, Roman has done some of his best work in flashback segments. If you collect up the total amount of time dedicated to replays of the Reigns vs inanimate object feud, you’ll get a very high number. There were replays on Raw when Roman didn’t appear. There were replays on Smackdown where Roman did appear. There was even a replay on Summerslam.
In fact, that replay was Roman’s only appearance at Summerslam, the second biggest wrestling show of the year. I’d say how the mighty have fallen but, honestly, absence has made the heart grow fonder on Roman Reigns.
Since WrestleMania, the big dog has been through some big phases. In the build up to WrestleMania, his feud with Drew McIntyre took center stage. McIntyre would repeatedly defeat Dean Ambrose so badly that Ambrose has ceased to exist since. He would to something similar to Seth Rollins, the Royal Rumble winner and current Universal Champion. Fortunately, Rollins would manage to survive with the existence of his character intact. This was a big build.
Immediately after that win, Roman would walk into Smackdown Live and start throwing punches at McMahons. This would essentially be Roman’s future for months. Overexposed on both Raw and Smackdown, the boos would begin to return. An intense and passionate dislike would begin to return. Even faced with the ultimate evil that is Shane McMahon, the big dog would not be treated with the ultimate adoration that WWE continues to hope so.
And then, it all went quiet. Roman’s place on the card became less prominent. He stopped appearing on both shows. He had no match at Summerslam. In fact, he had nothing at Summerslam, despite having a strong storyline going in.
And, curiously, just this once, fans missed him.
Roman would return on this week’s Smackdown, but he wouldn’t be the main event. Moreover, he seemed to be playing a side part in his own storyline. Daniel Bryan and Rowan would be the ones investigating the attacks by cars and staging and forklifts and probably a toaster oven in future. Following Roman’s lead, they would attack the entirely trustworthy and likeable Buddy Murphy in the locker room. Just like that, another layer would be added to the story.
Meanwhile, where was Roman? Well, he was putting on a great wrestling match with the aforementioned Buddy Murphy. The fans are right, this would have been a great match to have on the Summerslam card. Instead, absence made the heart grow fonder.
Next week, we are promised another twist in the tail as Bryan and Rowan present their evidence. That means no Roman on Raw once again and could even mean Roman only appears on Smackdown via the medium of flashback.
He’s been doing some very good work in flashbacks lately.
This is all secretly going to have been down to a coat rack with an unhealthy Reigns obsession, isn’t it?
– Buddy Murphy
Did Roman Reigns beat the odds?
It was a very close call though.