When Roman Reigns announced that he would be leaving the company later last year it was a gut punch to fans. Yes, Roman had been a polarising character but his second battle against leukemia was real and affected a man and his family. So when Roman returned so quickly the fans were elated to see that he was able to overcome such a life threatening illness.
When Roman made his return to the ring at WrestleMania it appeared as though WWE finally had a babyface that the fans would get right behind. Reigns is solid in-ring. Has a marketable look and the company could (seemingly) finally rely on the ‘WWE Universe’ getting behind him in a noticeable way.
Unfortunately, WWE seems to have already dropped the ball here. When Roman was drafted to Smackdown Live it gave the company an opportunity to have fresh bouts and give Roman a chance to build his stature towards the move to FOX in October. Within a couple of weeks WWE has already decided that Roman needs to be on Monday nights.
The Wild Card Rule
The invention of the ‘wild card’ rule has been very poorly received by fans. It’s understandable that the company made this decision, because of the push back they felt from both NBCUniversal and FOX. Both networks want the top stars on THEIR show, so if Tuesday nights get Roman then USA must feel that their ratings will suffer. So, with the decision to allow Roman to appear on Monday AND Tuesday it almost feels like the company are pushing him front and center once again. There are of course other performers who will be appearing on both shows, but the issue with Roman is that the crowds were beginning to finally get behind him en masse and this could be perceived by fans as another ‘shove down our throats’ move.
Already Getting Booed?
There are reports that Roman was actually booed at the recent WWE UK show in Belfast, Northern Island. Granted this could be an anomaly but it is incredible to see just how quickly after Roman returned that WWE has managed to promote Roman in the way they were doing just a few months ago.
This isn’t just a mistake in their handling of Roman. The company has really struggled to juggle long term booking of their babyface characters over the past couple of years. The rise of Becky Lynch came completely against WWE wishes. Yet when they decided to finally get behind her as a ‘face character they almost derailed the WrestleMania main event. Kofi Kingston had a very lucky break, his rise to the WWE Championship match almost came so quickly that there wasn’t enough time to cause any catastrophic blunders before he entered the ring.
I would love WWE to finally have that next big name that can be promoted in the mainstream. With John Cena now definitively a part-time performer someone needs to step into that role. Roman has a fantastic look, a powerful comeback story and a solid resume in WWE. So why can’t WWE just let things grow organically? Everything feels far too rushed with no look towards the future…which sometimes feels like the next week.
Do you think that WWE has caused issues with bringing Roman back to RAW? Let us know in the comments