Craig Wilson, Brian Damage, Russ Morgan & Jamie Lithgow
Last weekend at the Survivor Series, Sheamus cashed in his MiTB contract to win the WWE title moments after Roman Reigns had defeated former Shield teammate Dean Ambrose to get his hands on the vacant gold. Today we ask if Reigns has been Lex Luger-ed with the company perhaps not trusting him at the top or is it a ploy to get him sympathy from the fanbase? .
Craig: Poor Roman Reigns. Not content with putting a rocket on his back that turns the fans against him, the WWE also pull the rug out from under him when he finally gets his hands on the gold.
So, is it due to not trusting him or is there more to it? Is it a case of Vince McMahon looking at Reigns and, like Luger before him, realising that there’s something missing and going with someone else?
For me the most noticeable parts of Sunday’s main event were the fans being solidly behind Ambrose and caring more for Sheamus’ cash in pin than they did for Reigns’ initial one.
Is the ball burst, so to speak for Reigns, or is this just an attempt to get him sympathy from the fans, however unlikely that is?
Brian: Simply put…it is the latter choice. The WWE wants you to feel sympathy for Roman Reigns…they want to give fans a reason to cheer for him as a babyface. To be honest, it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. Fans aren’t stupid…they know what they like and what they don’t like. The majority of fans just don’t like Roman Reigns right now.
Instead of Vince McMahon exhausted all of his efforts for Reigns to be loved…he should have gone to the old Rocky Maivia book and turn Roman heel. Is he as charismatic as his cousin? No…but a heel turn with the potential of a big face turn down the road would have done wonders.
Russ: Not overly sure he has been Luger’ed so to speak, well Lex never got his hands on the World title. Better having Reigns chase it. He needs a mouthpiece I feel.
Jamie: It’s hard to build sympathy for a guy who can stand still and have Dean Ambrose literally bounce off him. In this match we saw a tiny glimpse of the monster powerhouse Reigns could be. But instead, he’ll continue to be the illogical underdog, just like Lex Luger. Newsflash, America is not an underdog and neither are large, powerful, athletic men.
Yes, he needs a mouthpiece and yes he should turn heel. Why is this man not a member of The Authority? He could leave them next year and be a babyface that people might actually support.
Brian: I agree wholeheartedly with everyone’s take so far…Reigns is not suited as the underdog like Daniel Bryan was. People know that Reigns is the “chosen child” to take over John Cena’s throne as the top babyface.
Unlike Lex Luger who didn’t get over as the top face of the company back in the 90’s…..we must remember that Luger wasn’t an original WWF guy…he was a WCW refugee…so it was much easier to cut bait when it wasn’t working. Roman Reigns on the other hand has always been Vince’s guy born and bred in the WWE.
Russ: Agree, Luger seemed to have the rug totally pulled from under him. Not that it was all WWE’s fault. Lex’s push wasn’t a total disaster, but it wasn’t the success it was hoped to be.
Reigns will probably win the belt back at Wrestlemania, but expect a few swerves in the mean time though.
Craig: I don’t doubt that Reigns will win the gold but beating Sheamus is hardly great shakes considering how much of a mid card nonentity he was before the title win at Survivor Series.
The jist of the sermon is spot on. Reigns isn’t suited to the underdog role that the WWE are casting him in. It’s difficult not to have a little sympathy for him though as creative aren’t make it at all easy for him.
Brian: Great point about Sheamus being a nonentity….but in all honesty…would it have been any better for him if he beat Seth Rollins for the title? Would fans get behind him in that particular scenario? I doubt it. Roman Reigns…right now…to me…is akin to Diesel during the new generation era. He’s got the look and the size and while business is way down..why not give him a go as the top babyface? Much like Diesel…fans aren’t going to fill arenas to see him.
Jamie: That is a good point. Like with Diesel, WWE have taken a punt on him – and fair play to them for that – but it hasn’t really worked as well as hoped. Reigns has had a run at the top of the card as a babyface, giving him the title would just prolong the mediocrity and prevent WWE from trying someone else in that position who might work out better. I’m not advocating flipping between heel and babyface and pushing any and every wrestler on a whim, but Survivor Series seemed like the perfect opportunity to shuffle deck and rebrand Reigns as an Authority endorsed heel to feud with Dean Ambrose.
I will say this though, from watching Raw, fans are starting to get behind him in his feud with Sheamus. The fact that fans will not accept a four time champion as credible – only in WWE, eh? – might actually do Reigns a favour. That said, the Raw rating was a record low, so if a tree falls in the woods…
Craig: Thing is with Sheamus; he became champion at a time when he was freezing cold. No way is he dropping the gold any time soon or it’ll destroy whatever credibility remains. He’ll be champion till WrestleMania. That gives the WWE months to build him up but can they do that with Reigns in the way. It’s tricky. Think a lot of us wanted a heel to leave Survivor Series with the title. I didn’t expect it to be Sheamus…
Jamie: Indeed, Sheamus has come from absolutely nowhere and now we’re supposed to buy him as Champion?! I would be willing to give almost any other performer the benefit of the doubt, but it’s Sheamus. He’s been WWE or WHC three times before, and he wasn’t particularly memorable then so why will now be any different? If he holds the title until Wrestlemania that means he will be headlining the bloody thing! I think he’ll drop it to Reigns on an episode of Raw between now and the Rumble. I mean, come on, they need to inject some life into that show at some point!
I’ll give Reigns this, I’d rather him than Sheamus. I’d at least be interested to see where WWE go with Reigns as Champion heading into Wrestlemania season, but I absolutely would not care about what happens with Sheamus.
Russ: I totally expected Sheamus to cash in and win the title. I agree with the fact that he is cold with the fans right now and his little thing with Barrett might breed some contempt short-term. I also agree it would be bad for all concerned for Sheamus to lose the title between now and Mania, there must be plans going forward now he has seemingly aligned himself with Triple H.
Reigns will be in the hunt no doubt and I fully expect him to win the Rumble.
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.