Craig Wilson, Brian Damage & Jamie Lithgow
On Sunday the WWE finally booked Roman Reigns properly making him look like a bona fida superstar and the next night crowned him wwe champion. So, has the WWE finally pressed the reset button? Is it too little too late? That’s the topic of this latest Sunday Sermon.
Craig: Be seated for this, I’ve more optimism about the WWE product now than I’ve had for a long long time. Reigns came out of TLC looking dominating and the WWE perhaps rightly cashed in on this.
A brave move but finally Reigns is being booked the way we have wanted him to be. A silent, brooding champion that destroys those put in front of him rather than cutting promos about tattertots.
Surely this bodes well for 2016. Could 2016 be the year of Roman Reigns being taken seriously as the man at the top of the mountain?
Am I right or is this misplaced optimism?
Brian: I think he is on the right path…but I’m not 100% convinced yet. I absolutely agree that having him the silent, brooding character works best for Reigns. Will they continue using him that way? I have my doubts. It is rather amazing that one or two nights of smart booking can almost erase a year’s worth of misguided booking.
The key is to keep the mic far away from him and just let him be a violent, agressive competitor very similar to Brock Lesnar. Will he win over all fans that way? Probably not…but I can almost bet that’ll win over more fans than not.
Craig: I absolutely agree. He won’t win over every fan it’s the best bet and almost certainly the best option for Reigns. A microphone out of his hand is crucial. What that means long term is anyone’s guess. Can you be a top main event talent without mic skills? Possibly not but in the short-term the WWE can get away with it and can always broadcast prerecorded clips when, and if, they need to hear from him.
Is it just going to be Sheamus that continues to challenge him or do we expect the WWE have someone else step up to the plate? Who now wins the Rumble? Brock? Cena?
Jamie: For the first time since his Shield days I actually care about the plight of Roman Reigns. Not only is it amazing what two well booked appearances can do, I find it amazing that WWE spent over a year presenting him as the most vanilla, bland babyface imaginable. Even more amazing is that WWE clearly wanted him to come across as a take no prisoners ass-kicker – due the way JBL and Michael Cole constantly described him – but only actually booked him to lose his shit and destroy everyone this past week. JBL has been calling the Reigns a “hot head” for the last year, with no evidence of such characteristics until last Sunday.
Right now I think momentum is the key. I agree, he’s still not perfect – what’s with all the male genitals references? – and will not be universally loved, but who is these days? For me he has to face Triple H at the Royal Rumble. This match is ready to happen right now, so book it asap before fans start losing interest. I don’t think this match can wait until ‘Mania. Also, if done right, Reigns could hit the road to Wrestlemania looking like a serious player who could pose a threat to the Wrestlemania big guns like John Cena, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker.
Craig: I think you’re right on Reigns vs. Triple H at Rumble. It’s not like you’d anticipate either would be in the elimination match anyway.
You’re also right on finally the WWE getting booking him spot on. They must be scratching their heads wondering why they didn’t do it like this from the outset.
Ultimately, though, they are there now and, unless there’s a huge swerve on Raw, we’re going to go into 2016 with a strong Reigns on top of the mountain.
If we’re talking Triple H at Rumble and pondering who wins Rumble, I assume we’re thinking it’s mid card mediocrity for Sheamus then?
Jamie: I’ve never been that high on Sheamus so I don’t want to sound biased, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that he’ll be a mid-card ‘also ran’ by the time the Rumble comes around. Money in the Bank cash-ins are rarely convincing title wins and despite copious amounts of help he lost the belt after just 3 weeks. How can we take a guy like that seriously now?
Getting back to Craig’s point about who wins the Rumble, if we discount Sheamus and hope/assume Reigns vs. Triple H gets booked, who else is left? I want to be optimistic and hope WWE are pressing the reset button, but I think John Cena will win it. The winner of the Rumble will headline Wrestlemania, and there is nobody else on the active roster even remotely close to that level right now. I really hope we see a new winner of the Rumble – which discounts every healthy big name WWE can currently call upon – but realistically I don’t see it. The fairytale would be Daniel Bryan returning as a surprise entrant and winning, but I’m not sure that’s realistic.
Brian: First off, to answer your question about main event talent not really talking on the mic…Goldberg immediately comes to mind. It can be done…but the WWE needs to do it with him saying very little…just enough to get his points across and that’s it!
As for his next challenge…I suspect Sheamus will get his rematch at the Royal Rumble. As for who winds the Rumble…it’ll obviously be a heel to contend with Reigns at Wrestlemania. Kevin Owens would be perfect in this role. He’s a great heel and if he won the Rumble…I seriously doubt fans would riot like they almost did the past two Rumble’s with Batista and Reigns winning respectively.
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.