I have a horrible feeling it’s all going to be a bit anti-climactic.
The reign of Reigns is about to begin and it feels like it is happening because it has to, not because it’s the culmination of a long journey – which is odd, because that’s exactly what it is. This whole title picture at the moment feels like you could look at it two ways and both probably apply at the same time.
I should say at the outset that there’s a chance this article stems from the bad guts I’ve been left with from eating the sour grapes of the postponing of a feud I was really looking forward to thanks to Rollins’ injury, but even if Reigns had won the title by beating Rollins at Survivor Series, as was rumoured, I think that would have been the wrong decision too.
The reason it’s wrong has nothing to do with Roman Reigns at all. I think he’ll make a perfectly fine champion and a perfectly fine leading face one day, in the kind of WWE vein Randy Orton has flowed through more than John Cena.
But as well as WWE having lifeblood like Reigns and Orton flowing through its veins, there are other key components to its body. There’s its brain, for one – which should be telling everyone concerned that they have to do this in the right way. They are Jack’s watchful eye.
A tournament is a good way to start doing things right, but look at the people in that tournament – Titus, Neville, Barrett, Stardust, Kalisto, Tyler Breeze and Miz don’t deserve to be anywhere near a title shot. I’m not talking about ability or even entertainment value, but if you listen to your head it would have to tell you that particularly Breeze, Kalisto and Miz have done nothing recently to earn a shot at the biggest title going and shouldn’t have been in the mix.
Or, look at it another way. Look at all those new guys exposed to the title picture! Isn’t that great? They can only benefit from the credibility of being part of it and we only benefit from the more stars they expose to the title picture.
That’s what the head tells us, and it’s pretty confusing. That same head should also tell us that Orton, Rusev, Bryan and Cena would have been in that tournament had they not been injured. Would that have made it better?
There’s a plain answer – yes. Because with Orton, Cena and Bryan (if not Rusev) in the tournament, you have three other potential winners. Not knowing who’s going to win is a big, big thing for me when watching wrestling. If something is way too predictable I lose at least part of my interest, so having several potential winners in a tournament is a win for me.
That’s the dilemma facing the WWE with promoting new stars, but it’s all their own fault. They are Jack’s burst appendix.
This is supposed to be the biggest roster they’ve had since the Attitude Era, and I wrote myself that I thought they were doing a really good job of building plenty of future stars, yet none of them seemed like winners to me in that first round of matches on Raw. None of them are banging on the door because they lose so often.
Or, look at it another way. Look at all the guys who are at the start of a push here! Someone wins a surprise match and this tournament could end up not only creating a new champion but also a breakout star in one fell swoop.
It’s both, again. Ryback is part of this tournament and I’m reminded of being one of very few people, at least among those I read and those I watch wrestling with, pleased that Ryback had risen to the main event to challenge Punk as he did in 2013. He was booked as a badass that never lost, so it made sense only the champ could beat him.
That’s all my head, though, not the WWE’s. So let’s focus on my head for a moment, and if I listen closely to it, it says that the best way to have this tournament work is for Roman Reigns not to win at all, but for Ambrose to win in the process of turning heel.
Triple H has foreshadowed this in a way – someone in the next few weeks is going to become Triple H’s “man”, as Roman won’t, and I think that has to be one of Ambrose, Sheamus or Ryback. The torment of having to control the loose cannon that is Ambrose would provide the most entertainment out of those, so maybe you have Ryback there as well as an enforcer.
Yep – the more I think about it, the more I think they both turn very soon indeed, because chief of all of the WWE body parts from a production standpoint is the venting spleen of the top heels.
Without Ambrose and Ryback turning, well…what top heels do they have? When Reigns is champion, who exactly is he going to feud with? Look at the heels involved in the title tournament. Sheamus carries the briefcase – he’s not going to be in a feud for the title outside of that briefcase, although a failed cash in could lead to a feud. Big Show…just please not Big Show vs. Roman again. Please. Owens would have to drop the IC title first, you would think. Barrett? Not going to be title material just yet. Ditto Miz, although perhaps replace ‘yet’ with ‘ever again’ for him. Breeze? Yeah, but not yet, he hasn’t won a match yet. That’s all the heels in that match taken care of except Del Rio, who’s carrying the US title right now.
So it’s an easy thing to solve, you simply fantasy book Wrestlemania.
I am Jack’s overinflated ego.
Spleen, brain and appendix aside, the WWE is a moving set of parts and some of those parts are wrestlers who are always going to be at the big one. No Rock this year, so you’re left with the big questions: who is Brock going to face, who is Cena going to face and who is Undertaker going to face? Answer those three questions and you go a long way to solving how they’re going to answer the Roman Reigns question.
So it becomes very simple from that point. Roman ALMOST beat Brock until Seth interfered. The Beast Incarnate has a stain on his CV in that Roman is a man he hasn’t beat. They’re facing off at Wrestlemania. Roman wins, cementing himself as a top heel and finally giving us a proper ending to that match.
Or, look at it another way. Cena will want Undertaker at Wrestlemania – that WILL be Undertaker’s retirement match, it’s just a question of whether it’s this year or next. I think given Undertaker’s extra appearances and last run with Kane, that it’s this year. That leaves Brock for Reigns.
When the body works perfectly together you barely notice it, and that’s how it should feel heading into Wrestlemania with those two big matches. Roman winning that puts him over big time, or if the experiment between now and then hasn’t worked, then Brock takes it to hand it off to the next attempt.
Fresh faces, fresh legs, because I can’t believe WWE doesn’t have tired feet. It’s been running with the Authority for so long now.
Let me just preface my next comment with the fact I love , Triple H and Stephanie McTriple H – I think they’re great performers, but I’m so bored of the ‘heels in power’ crap that comes with them at the moment – I’m not sure there’s anything else they can do or need to do. They’ve anointed their chosen one, shoved Cena to one side, fended off the Beast Incarnate and even come straight back from being taken out of power, so what else is left?
Trying to control heel Ambrose with Ryback would be one way to go, and it would neatly sidestep into the story they teased with trying to control an ever-increasingly dissenting Rollins, which was going to lead to Rollins vs. Triple H at Wrestlemania.
So where does that leave us? Well, I’ve written on this site before that I think in a lot of big changes are waiting for us with the debut of SmackDown on its new home and (possibly) new day, and I’m sticking by that.
The thing is, I think Roman Reigns winning the title now should feel like more than just filling time until Wrestlemania when he REALLY wins it.
Only a few weeks ago, the WWE probably thought that Rollins vs. Reigns was going to take them through to the Royal Rumble at least, if Reigns won or, perhaps, even if he didn’t. That would have set things up nicely for the Shield triple threat at Wrestlemania.
Or, look at it another way.
So the WWE has vented its spleen into Ambrose and Ryback, the heart is awash with beating joy that two never-before potential champs are in the main event and one of them is going to be champion and the head just doesn’t know where it is or what it thinks. No…no, that’s not anti-climactic at all.
That sounds like being a wrestling fan.
What do you guys think? If not Ambrose as a new champ feud, then who?