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Roman Reigns is a very popular man. Everybody wants a piece. We’re even at the point right now in which people are essentially clamoring all over each other just to get at Roman Reigns. Something about him basically just makes people cranky, irritable, and a little bit excited all at the same time.
We live in a world in which ambivalence is rare. Nowadays, it’s all I love or I hate. It’s I stan or he’s trash. Roman Reigns is probably the perfect example of that. Though it may be hard to remember now, there was a time in which Roman was the most hated man in wrestling. There was a time when the only awards that he could win were worst gimmick, worst promo, and worst use of suckering succotash in a wrestling promo. He’s won that one every year. They retired the phrase because of it. Ten years ago, everyone was doing it!
Things have changed. Roman is a force of nature and beloved for how detestable he is. That said, there are still mutterings of discontent starting to creep in.
Your friendly neighborhood Reigns-o-meter has had a suspicion for a while that Reigns might not be perceived as all that heelish. With the way that he’s presenting himself, the WWE might be glad of a lack of fans. It allows them to pipe in all the boos they want without worrying about creeping positivity. Imagine that. Toxic positivity ruining all of the WWE’s best laid plans. Maybe, in the end, that won’t be the case.
You see, once my Twitch show ends and I browse the wonderful world of Twitter, I begin to see unhappy voices. Oh, is Roman Reigns opening the show again? Boo. Is he beating someone down in the main event segment again? Boo. Boo Roman Reigns. Boo.
It’s all starting to feel a little bit old school. Like a blast from the past. I’ve got to be honest, I’m not here for an anti-Roman revisit.
Roman served his time as one of the biggest failures of the WWE. He served as the example of everything wrong with company booking. He was the butt of the joke on podcasts and radio call-ins. He is that thing no longer. Smackdown has improved dramatically since Roman returned in August, leaving Monday Night Raw in the dust. Where would it rank without Roman? Well, it depends on the award show you watch.
Smackdown has a lot going for it right now. Daniel Bryan is compelling viewing. Cesaro and Nakamura have become prominent names and Otis’ heel turn has breathed new life into a character that had started to lose its way. There is a very powerful crowd at the top, with Sasha Banks joining Roman Reigns as one of the top draws in the company.
After Elimination Chamber, Edge declared himself as the challenger for Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. During Smackdown however, Daniel Bryan threw himself at Roman Reigns’ damaged knee first. This led to a little backstage tension between Edge and Daniel Bryan, but absolutely no interaction between Edge and Roman. Was Edge even there? Was it pre-recorded? There was mention of a tag team match but it wasn’t announced. It came out of nowhere like a spear from Edge.
Who has the better spear? You’re correct. Not Edge.
Daniel Bryan would be the hero of the show this week, taking on Jey Uso with the hope of getting a chance at the Universal Championship at Fastlane. Does this screw up WrestleMania? No. It’s Daniel Bryan. We’ve been conditioned to believe that he’s a loser. It’s also Roman Reigns and we’ve been conditioned over the last nearly ten years to believe it impossible that he would lose.
Having watched WWE at some point in his life, Edge is aware of this. Not only is he confident that Roman will retain, he’s so confident that he made no effort to protect Daniel Bryan during a beat down in the opening segment or a beat down in the closing segment.
In fact, whatever happened to Daniel Bryan’s friends? Where was Cesaro? Where was the Alpha Academy. Where was Edge? Scared of Roman, that’s where.
I don’t know whether to cheer or boo Roman any more, I just know that I’m scared.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REIGNS-O-METER: REIGNS-O-METER #122: Breaking down Roman’s Elimination Chamber possibilities