Reining in the Roman Fatigue
Why are people tired of Roman Reigns?
Roman Reigns is a special kind of pro-wrestler with a very specific kind of personality and in-ring stye. While some hold the opinion that his ring work seems to be limited it's been good enough, obviously, as he is the current WWE Heavyweight Champion.
Reigns, like many others, began his WWE career in the early incarnation of NXT when it was still FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling) as Roman Leakee working mostly in tag team action. He had a short program against Leo Kruger (Adam Rose) for the main championship but fell just short. In August 2012 FCW was rebranded to NXT, as was Roman to Roman Reigns. He debuted for NXT on October 31 and would wrestler his last match for them in December.
He joined WWE Raw roster along with his shield brothers Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to an immediate impact. They roguishly stalked the bleachers of RAW & Smackdown and beat the hell out of everyone on the roster - even making a victim of the Undertaker. The shield separated in 2014 in the same city they began (Indianapolis, IN) when Seth Rollins double-crossed Dean and Roman and pairing himself with The Authority. We all know the story. Despite the knife in his back though there are still those that love to hate on Roman Reigns. Why?
-It's Lonely at the top
It's no secret, Roman has been considered 'The Guy' the past several years. He was in the main event of two consecutive WrestleManias, involved in every major story arc, match, merch push, and Vince McMahon Christmas Card list of the past several years and even got to put away The Undertaker at WrestleMania. The WWE Universe has a (generally) mixed but always vocal reaction to the big dog and when you're show revolves around fan interaction that will always be a plus but what about other superstars who may get less ring time because of the constant barrage of super punches to our collective eyes? What about Finn Balor, Mojo Rawley, Cesaro, Bray Wyatt, Braun Stroman or even fellow shield member Dean Ambrose? Arguably, given the right direction and angle couldn't any of these guys carry the moniker of Universal Champion? (Ok. Maybe not Mojo. Great in the ring but I'm not 100% sure he wouldn't slip up and pull an Iron Sheik on a hot mic.) There's always a guy up front though. We had these same arguments in the 80's with Hogan, the 90's with HHH, the 2000s with Cena, and now Reigns.
- Limited Moves
In my opinion, there are a number of superstars who have more in-ring skill than Reigns. I am not going to suggest him pedigree or tombstone people just to quench my nostalgia thirst but is it too much to ask for more than the standard 3-moves of doom? (Again, see John Cena, cirque basically forever) As a fan of WWE and pro-wrestling, I say this in the nicest way possible...'I'm bored!' It wasn't any fun back then and it's not any fun now. He get's beat up, makes a come back, Samoan Drop, Spear, Super Man Punch - Michael Cole goes nuts.
- Limited on the Mic
He's not great on the mic. There I said it. Not that I wouldn't love to have a sit down conversation with Reigns over a steak dinner, face to face, in person, relaxed, having a conversation, maybe some wine, some smooth jazz -- Sorry, Where was I? -- The prewritten promos now that require him to memorize lines and regurgitate something someone else wrote always come off as bland and poorly memorized. Remember when he came out the night after beating Taker at Mania to nothing but profanities and jeers? And every time he tried to talk, he got booed out of the building? For two minutes he let the crowd and fan-boys chant and yell at him but in the end made his point more than clear with just a simple 'This is my yard now." That's all you need with him. He's huge, intimidating. Let his giant, awesome, perfect muscles do the talking. It's not like there is a shortage of good talkers around. Kevin Owens, the Miz, Chris Jericho, Triple H, the Rock and Elias are all great. True, you shouldn't have to lean on other people all the time, especially with Legends, but if someone - especially your top guy - has problems with it then why force it? WWE Universe are smarter now (thanks a lot, internet) and they don't like unrehearsed, poorly written scripts.
Well. I don't.
- Sour Super Fans don't help either
Roman's a badass. I see him more as an enforcer character than should be handing out lessons to the big guys in the WWE - the Lesnars, the Lashleys, the Big Shows. He's 6'3", 270 lbs. It's intimidating, a guy that size but being WWE's chosen one has forced him to take on some of WWE's biggest names instead of just their largest competitors and since he rarely loses that has led to some upset fans. Big wins against AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, Rusev, and Bray Wyatt caused a considerable amount of public outcry from the always vocal pro-wrestling internet community and many soured on Reigns early on as the guy who can't be beat and will be the next one 'pushed to the moon'. It's always worth noting people who use the term "pushed to the moon" in a condescending way are never annoying and always the life of the party.
To summarize, I think most are just experiencing Roman fatigue. We're being fed the same meal, day in and day out and the older fans are bored with it. The insurmountable odds always becoming, somehow, surmountable and all he had to do was the same thing he's done in every match since coming to the main roster. Samoan drop, spear, super man punch - like he forgot that has always been the winning combo. It's not all Roman's fault either though. Instead of letting him be his quiet, menacing self they want him to crack jokes and talk a tough game. Do you see the size of those arms? He doesn't really need to tell anyone he could beat their face in. We can see it. Also - maybe just give him a day off here and there. Truth is we all like Roman and it'd be a lot more boring without him. I like him. I also like my parents and I don't really have to see them every day either though.