Is Roman Reigns doomed
as WWE champion either way?
Roman Reigns is WWE Champion at long last, but it took a long while getting there. One year on from his Royal Rumble victory to title race contendership, the bland beefcake has had many setbacks but just how over is the Samoan Heavyweight and is he as capable as WWE had hoped?
Beloved by the locker-room and WWE after its belligerent campaign to crown Roman Reigns as its new star for the future, Reigns has been through the ringer. Sent on to Wrestlmania last year against WWE champion Brock Lesnar, their match was so tentative and of lacking interest WWE had no option but to stall Reigns' victory. Knowing fans would not accept Reigns as champion would have crippled the landscape for WWE and the title linage.
After his build to mid-season Pay Per View rebuilding, WWE chose to forget about him and put him in side attractions that should have elevated him and his opponent, Bray Wyatt. WWE could not be fussed to wait. Impatience reared its ugly head as it often does in WWE and with it, WWE tossed Reigns aside and hoped for the best.
After realising it needed someone once again towards the Survivor Series line up, and with WWE forced to select a new WWE champion, it relied on its only probably ideal of Reigns. Still unmade and irrelevant, Reigns put in his best action over the tournament that was so weakly formed to produce a championship match-up worthy of both him and Dean Ambrose as heavyweight successors.
|Best wrestler of 2015, Cesaro, |
suffered injury towards
end of year
On top of that, WWE, who can't decide how or when to push their best candidate Cesaro, to the world title, became injured, putting the joke back on WWE for its stalling idiocy. Spates of injuries followed among its top performers and WWE are now in a bind. Every main performer they have ever known has dropped from competition. They are now left with the overly green, under-developed rookies WWE hopes would one day be its stars. Their stalling to build stars is a sickness that WWE will never cure. Once more, after years of guidance from Max Waltham, which WWE hate to admit, have snubbed and with it, become costly to the good of the product. There are no credible champions in the wings and Reigns is felt as a cheap substitute who is still not over with public audiences.
Some cheer but the majority still view Reigns as the John Cena number two, gaining favouritism based on positioning backstage rather than outright skill and fan worth. Even critics cannot support him to the fullest through WWE's misdirection.
Fast forward one year and Roman Reigns is the WWE champion. Despite his weak interactions the Survivor Series match with Ambrose was a worthy title victory, only for WWE to drop him literally five minutes afterwards with Sheamus, who was not even close to being anything translatable to the WWE audience. WWE thought this was a watertight option, which questions fans respect of WWE's not so creative decisions.
Roman Reigns is set to defend the World title in the Royal Rumble thirty man match itself after ratings nosedived so terribly that Vince McMahon had no option but to intervene his dishonourable character to tray and salvage the show. It will take much more than the aging McMahon to redevelop WWE's future. He knows what he must do to survive but can't bring himself to do the simplest of choices. The ego is too heavy, at this point. Fans feel the product is not valued nor their investment, and with it fans are and have bailed. WWE thought fans would stupidly stay put even if they moan about it. Fans won't put up with such for too long.
So, either way the Royal Rumble match is tainted, Roman Reigns is tainted, the world title and WWE also with it. What has gotten to this point? WWE have had it too good from Max Waltham and without any respect and such influxes of ignorance, WWE is now hitting the skids. We're not telling you anymore. You'll have to show something else if you want it. Or extend your hand. You have everything to lose. Waltham doesn't. Go figure. How much do you value your product?
The Royal Rumble concept is reserved to launch a new star instantly. It catapults them to the main event at Wrestlemania and whether they win the World title or not, they are a self made superstar at the height of programming that the company desperately needs, fans adore and keeps the content fresh. WWE has relented in recent years and this mega match is infeasible. Should Reigns retain fans will resent him for the unbelievability of defeating 29 other men and defying WWE management's overdone 'The Authority' angle of corporate staff misusing their position with staff. Fans don't buy it any longer and overcoming the odds where one would most likely lose is infeasible beyond creativity.
Should Reigns lose, WWE is also doomed. There is no-one adequate enough to replace him outside of its top stars and those are all reaching the point of boredom with fans. All seen before, nothing new, what's the point? Hiring new people who are ignorant from overseas won't solve the solution either. Ignorance has proven to ruin WWE's interior walls and it still fails to learn because Triple H chooses to hire his fan favourites for a cheap thrill with no quality booking or real, deserving talent. The novelty soon evaporates with its precious WWE Universe.
No-one is capable of replacing Reigns at this point, except for Curtis Axel. Yes, stay with it, WWE. Axel has had the best angle of his career in years with last year's mistreatment in the Royal Rumble. If anyone can train The Rock and John Cena to a perfect Wrestlemania match, WWE, with its wrestling royalty in Axel, can make this workable. Axel is skilled, can vocally deliver in promos and needs a strong backing faith. Though WWE, as seen before, cannot be bothered. Look how that turned out. Axel also now has two eligible entries since last year's sloppy mess, too.
Axel is the only credible choice at this point and WWE should drop him from his recent stable and push him to the top. Give him a decent and lengthy run and boost his potential as well as the brand. It's the only logical choice WWE have left. Well, that and hiring Max Waltham pronto. It's just one email away, babe.
It's a shame WWE drove CM Punk to the point of despair. Washing his hands with wrestling, and signed to rival MMA fighting group UFC, this would no doubt have been the setting where WWE would have re-hired CM Punk. Punk, too, has had it with them.
WWE is in a tough period despite lacking ratings and stars. While it might hope to wait, use Vince McMahon and try to prove the man can make the brand, WWE has lost its past magic. It is the past and that doesn't work with fans any longer. They live in the present looking for a future. WWE do not offer this and no random surge of change now is going to change that gaping hole filled over the last seven years, most apparent in 2015.
WWE need to think long and hard about a real company strategy. It isn't working and now they are in a position that they are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Times are tense and provocation with ego is not beneficial to anyone. They are owed a lot of receipts coming in 2016 should they not do what is right for their company. This writer has proven to be WWE through and through, (with a neutral stance and widely filled knowledge of all things wrestling globally) but can WWE fix itself right? Only time will tell. WWE, however, don't have much of that left.
© Max Waltham 11th January 2016
All Rights Reserved