Over the past three years, one man has become the most polarizing figures in WWE. A spot previously reserved for 16-time world champion John Cena, the mantle of fans’ love/hate now belongs to Roman Reigns.
If you know me, you know I am a fan of Roman Reigns—both the performer and the character. But you also know that I strive to be “objectively subjective,” and thus I am willing to look at Roman Reigns with an unbiased perspective.
So while it may include some hard news to both hear and type, I give to you The Truth About Roman Reigns.
He wasn’t ready.
As a member of The Shield, Roman Reigns had Seth Rollins an Dean Ambrose to back him up. Given the experience of his partners, that back-up wasn’t just a storyline item, it was something that could save Roman in moments of his own inexperience.
When the group broke up, Roman Reigns was pushed to the moon, including a win at the 2015 Royal Rumble and a WrestleMania 31 main event against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar.
The truth? Despite my campaigning in his favor at the time, Roman Reigns actually wasn’t ready.
WWE knew this, and they used it—and you—to tell a great story. If you go back and watch that match, you’ll see that the overwhelming nature of the situation Roman Reigns was in against Brock was the story of the match. It was an over-matched up-and-comer, who likely shouldn’t have won the Royal Rumble (from a storyline/experience sense), in the ring with a legitimate monster.
The story of Reigns “becoming a man” against Lesnar was told with brilliance, and Seth Rollins’ cash in was the perfect resolution. Once Reigns finally had things figured out, and finally proved he could hang, Seth swoops in and robs him of his title, and more importantly in WWE, his moment.
He knows exactly who he is in the ring.
AJ Styles is the best wrestler in the world for a reason: he does things that no one else can do. If others could do what AJ Styles does, it wouldn’t be special any more.
Roman Reigns isn’t AJ Styles in the ring, and he knows that. WWE knows that. His opponents know that. Roman Reigns is a brawling power wrestler with a chip on his shoulder and a swagger in his step. He doesn’t need to be anything but that to be successful.
Like Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, The Rock, and John Cena before him, Roman Reigns has become a master of simplicity. He doesn’t do a ton in the ring (the guys I listed didn’t either), and he doesn’t have to. He has learned how to give it all meaning. The phrase “less is more” is thrown around inside the wrestling business, but less isn’t automatically more. It becomes “more” when you make every little thing important. That’s Roman Reigns.
He is, in fact, THE GUY.
The Internet Wrestling Community has a hard time with the “It Factor.” It can’t be explained using the nuances of their favorite submission hold, or the finishing sequence to a Tokyo Dome classic. In fact, it doesn’t really pertain to them at all.
You see, we were hooked a long time ago. They don’t need to convince us, we’re already here. The “It Factor” is what cause a casual fan to take notice. It’s the reason they stick around, the reason they buy a t-shirt.
When Roman Reigns enters the arena, people immediately take notice. Same with John Cena, Randy Orton, Triple H, and Brock Lesnar. In the ring, he isn’t as good as Shield brothers Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. But when it comes to that “It Factor,” they can’t compare to Roman Reigns.
Like, it isn’t even close.
He’s the biggest star in the business today.
Roman Reigns nearly slayed The Beast, he conquered Triple H, he retired The Undertaker, and in a few short months he will defeat Brock Lesnar and take his position as a god among men in WWE.
Scratch that—he will take his rightful position as a god among men in WWE.
Why? Because he’s worked his ass off, he has the It Factor, he’s a company guy, and he’s earned his way. Has he been given opportunity by WWE? Yeah, but so has AJ Styles. If WWE wanted to, AJ could have topped out at United States Champion, and no amount of talent would have changed that. If so, Mr. Perfect would be a multi-time world champion. Same with Razor Ramon. But they’re not, and AJ is.
So is Roman Reigns, and his next reign will easily eclipse those that came before it.
The Truth About Roman Reigns? He was thrust in a position that he wasn’t ready for, and that was part of the story. He learned, he grew, and he’s about to take over as the biggest star in the business.
And he deserves it.
AJ’s Controversial? Wrestling Opinions 10.12.21
AJ feels like spouting off about a few wrestling topics that bug him. How controversial are they though?
As Eric Bischoff, President of WCW once said, Controversy Creates Cash…no I’m serious; it’s even the title of a book that he did. Everyone has their hot takes on professional wrestling and some are always wide eyed and kind of shocking to some. There are some of us that will have same opinions or chastise me on a show or an article maybe but hey, don’t hate the player, hate The Game.
Maybe there are some that the readers at home agree with or you want to also be the one to chastise me, @PhenomenalAJB on Twitter. This one is going to be fun!
#1- There are more things than just WWE/AEW and are better majority of the time
There are many people that will rant, rave and complain that the mainstream product is so bland and boring and the classic, “Who even watches this trash?” Whether you love the flippy dippy do’s like I don’t or long drawn out storylines that peter out very quickly because fans aren’t invested in a story or character. To those people, I will say something very bold, very confusing and very… very controversial…
THERE ARE OTHER COMPANIES YOU CAN WATCH ON VARIOUS PLATFORMS IN VARIOUS MEANS ON YOUR OWN TIME!
I don’t know how and I don’t know why that this is even a topic. “TNA has been dead for years” No it hasn’t. Pay $1 USD for Impact Plus on YouTube so you can watch it without commercials at 8:30 Eastern. “Two hours is too long!” NWA and MLW both go for an hour on their respective YouTube Channels as well and if you want to watch, you can hop in at any time. Everyone has something for everyone and you might find your new favorite wrestler in a matter of minutes into an episode. I would never have known who Eli Drake (now LA Knight on SmackDown Live), Alexander Hammerstone or even in the early stages of TNA Impact, AJ Styles, was! You can watch more than what is broadcasted on your TV. Is it easier? Of course but, there is so much more than just the popular option.
#2- Belt Collecting now is just redundant and moronic
Back in 1996, Ultimo Dragon famously has a picture of him holding TEN championships looking like an amazing superstar with amazing defenses. What people don’t know is, that was because eight championship belts were united in a tournament called “The J-Crown Championship” with the adage of ‘All or Nothing’. He lost them one by one but, it was to show that he was the best Junior Heavyweight (or Cruiserweight/Light Heavyweight) out of everyone in various promotions.
People after that really haven’t belt collected other than unifying championships to a grand caliber… then Austin Aries showed up. Aries kind of revised the gimmick and brought it back to light. Newer fans might have thought this was cool but older fans kind of groaned and grumbled. I was one of them but, nothing is original in anything anymore so it’s a fresher concept at the time back in 2018. He did surpass Ultimo with ELEVEN championships but it seemed everyone started doing it to an extent after. Matt Cardona, after being released from WWE, started doing it, getting up to six championships before dropping them. As of right now, not necessarily solo belt collecting, The Bloodline has a stranglehold of the World Championships for both Singles and Tag Teams, we had Becky Two Belts, Bayley wanted Dos Straps but nothing makes this worse than Kenny Omega’s stint as a belt collector.
I am not and will never be a Kenny Omega fan. I don’t see the appeal, I don’t see the amazement or anything like that out of him. I’m impressed he did three 35+ Minute IWGP Championship matches against Okada because that takes a lot of stamina to do so but, that’s about it. When he won the AEW Championship, alright. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with that since he helped build the company up. The Triple A Megas Championship… nothing too wrong here. I hate that he had five defenses in two years but he vacated it due to his injuries. It wasn’t until Don Callis and Omega popped into Impact and made the Hogan Era of TNA look like a dream… okay ALMOST but still. Kenny defeats Rich Swann and Moose in two different matches and has everyone else carry the belts while holding the AEW Championship. I understand heel tactics and mentality but at one point in an interview about going for the Impact Championship, he compared it to a common Comic Book and the AEW Championship as Superman Issue #1. I understand trying to be a heel in this story but you boost your clout, not rain on what you are going after. Heel or Face, belt collecting has just been a cluster within itself in the past four years and it honestly needs to stop.
#3- Overuse of Certain Moves
This one is a more recent problem that I have seen and no, I wish EC3 paid me to say this but it is true and very annoying to even bring up but here I am, wishing for Carter money and a fifth Rum & Coke…
Stop. Overusing. Moves. Because you think. They were cool.
If I had a shot for every time a Canadian Destroyer, Superkick, Suicide Dive, Avalanche (Insert High Spot here), Dual Dropkick spots where they cancel each other out or opposing members do back to back high spots on the prone partner spot… I would not have written this article due to death… even if it was water, I would have died due to drowning. They don’t look cool anymore when everyone does it. It’s bland. When Petey Williams wrestled in his last return to Impact, the Destroyer looked very… stale. Superkicks are the new DDT apparently (another Finisher turned common everyday move) and most people that do dives mess it up in some way shape or form whether it’s their feet get caught in the ropes, they didn’t get a full launch or they overshoot it. Having your own move special to you is difficult now but different wrestlers do their own styles or the pay homage to a family member or a wrestler that they interact with or ask permission… or asked to stop.
How’d you feel if you watched WCW and WWF in 1997 and saw DDP do the Diamond Cutter and HHH did the Pedigree Pandemonium and say they do the same move? That is exactly what happened too if Dallas didn’t ask Hunter to stop using it. We might not have the RKO out of nowhere or an iconic move that seldom bigger names use today.
That’s my list. I said before if you agree with my list and if you don’t and want to throw hate my way… @PCTunney is the hate mail account so enjoy!
AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.
With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.
1. Johnny Gargano
Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?
WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.
2. James Storm
This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.
Watch your Money and your Alcohol.
Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”
3. Big Cass
Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.
Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.
4. Bronson Reed
The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.
Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?
5. Bray Wyatt
And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.
To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.
– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!
Chairshot Radio: Hockey Talk
After nearly a month away, Dave and Patrick return to talk some hockey. They review the week that was in...
Down The Wire: Fickell Rhules
The brothers Wortz return to spice up your earballs with some brotherly love for the holidays!
Cook’s 2022 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 13
It's lucky week 13 as Steve Cook's path to a winning record continues! Can Cook keep the streak going with...
Down The Wire: NFL No Cap Recap Week 12
Tom and Dave are back, with no cap, to break down all the action from week 12 in the NFL.
Down The Wire: World Cup, Turkey Day Lineup
The brothers Wortz are back to talk World Cup, their Turkey Day lineup and Zach Wilson.
Bandwagon Nerds #160: Changes Bob Iger Style
Patrick O’Dowd, PC Tunney, and Rey Cash revisit the leadership changes at Disney and how Bob Iger has already made...
Andrew’s Judgmental Album Reviews: Halestorm – Back From The Dead (2022)
So the JAR is checking the pulse on Halestorm's Back From The Dead, from earlier in the year. Are they...
Mitchell’s Hyrule Puro-Resu News Report! (12/1/22)
Get ready for New Year's Eve!
New Force Order – A Star Wars Podcast: Rip Don Winkle
Is Yoda legitimately dyslexic? That and many more hard hitting questions answered on this edition of New Force Order!
Chairshot Radio The 5×5: Disney Park Attractions
The 5×5 is back this week on Chairshot Radio. Fresh from his vacation at Disneyworld, Patrick O’Dowd welcomes David Ungar...
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (12/6/22)
Let's get Wild... Cards!
Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (12/6/22)
Atlantic City gets Dark!
Mitchell’s NJPW WTL X Super Jr. Tag Results & Report! (12/5/22)
The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but do they squat? Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi are the bad boys of NJPW, but...
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (12/5/22)
Who will be The Ones?
Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (12/5/22)
Indianapolis gets Elevated!
Mitchell’s NJPW WTL X Super Jr. Tag Results & Report! (12/4/22)
Can Catch 2/2 get 2 more points?
Mitchell’s NJPW WTL X Super Jr. Tag Results & Report! (12/3/22)
Is World Tag League tranquilo?
(NOAH) NOAH NEWSLETTER VOL.192 ~ 30TH NOVEMBER 2022
NOAH ends November with some big announcements! Returns, new debuts and surprising challenges!
DWI Podcast #351: How Silky Are You
This week we discuss War Games and Roman's hatred for red pants!
Mitchell’s NJPW WTL X Super Jr. Tag Results & Report! (12/2/22)
Another MASSIVE combined card!