Roman Reigns will face Drew McIntyre in a match at WWE Stomping Grounds on Sunday, June 24. The two adversaries are squaring off again in a feud that never seems to end, while the diabolical Shane McMahon sits back and watches it all with a smile on his face.
But the problem is that Roman and Drew are getting lost in the shuffle. They’ve become background noise for Shane, who could actually be on his way to taking over SmackDown Live as the new WWE champion. Whether or not that will actually happen is unknown. But in the meantime, McIntyre versus Reigns is a feud that fans should care about and that is just not the case.
Indeed, this war is not really about Drew and Roman. It’s about Shane and Roman. WWE fans have marveled at just how high the company has elevated Shane McMahon as a performer, not just a corporate authority figure. All of this is obvious to anyone that has followed the product over the past few months. But what is not so obvious is why?
Why would WWE position Shane McMahon as the focus of a rivalry that should be on top of the company? Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre are two of WWE’s heavy hitters, with intensity, charisma and talent to spare. Both men have the ability to main event on any card in the world and it should be a must-see match every time they step into the ring.
But is that the reality of the situation? Is Reigns versus McIntyre really a can’t miss bout for the WWE faithful? Or is this feud falling flat every time the two men lock up? At some point, the idea of Roman versus Drew was perhaps so important and had so much potential, that the actual execution failed to measure up.
There seems to be no good reason why. Maybe it’s because the Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre simply do not have chemistry together in the ring. They seem to be perfect opponents for each other, but that doesn’t appear to be true. But maybe the biggest reason why this feud is not living up to fan expectation is due to the fact that nothing is at stake.
The WWE Championship is not involved. Neither is the United States Championship. In fact, there’s not even a title opportunity on the line. This feud is not about each man setting out to prove he’s the best. In the end, this is about Shane and nothing more.
Rather than move on from this rivalry however, WWE has chosen instead to stay the course. It’s clear that the company is moving toward a Shane versus Roman rematch, which is something that many WWE fans surely do not want to see. So as Stomping Grounds approaches, it’s become obvious that Drew McIntyre is just a roadblock on Roman’s way back to Shane.
But how did it get to this point? Roman Reigns was the top guy in WWE before being forced to leave in 2018. He was under fire from many fans because they didn’t want him in that spot, but he was there all the same. He was the man that WWE wanted on top and he carried himself like the megastar that Vince McMahon has always loved.
However much of the recent conversation happening among WWE fans online is whether or not the company even needs a top guy anymore. The idea of one major star at the forefront leading a locker room full of talents behind him, suddenly seems like an antiquated process. The bulk of WWE’s presentation centers on the overall roster, after all. Fans have always believed that. So maybe that belief has now become reality.
Can WWE succeed with a shared top level system, where no one truly stands out from the rest? Is that a viable business model for the company? Or is it possible that system is the cause of WWE’s problems today, and leads to these issues for Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre?
Rather than create Superstars that people actually want to see, WWE has instead built a roster of talents that all seem to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other. It’s not that Roman Reigns should be hailed as the greatest of all time and as such, he’s light years better than everyone else in the company. But to book him in a spot where he can’t seem to rise up suggests that no one else can rise up either.
It’s a tough situation for fans, many of whom have hated Roman from the moment that WWE first sent him up the ladder. They wanted to see Reigns pushed back down because they felt the company was working much too hard to convince everyone to love him. But now, it’s as if the complete opposite is happening. So what is the truth?
Regardless of how little fanfare Roman Reigns versus Drew McIntyre is receiving, the fact is that this is a solid rivalry. They consistently have good matches and they are fully capable of having the match of the night. It may not be the hottest rivalry in WWE today. But then again, nothing really is. No matter what happens in the rivalry between Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre, the fact is that Shane McMahon is waiting. Whether or not it will make a difference is anyone’s guess.
Time to pick up a new Chairshot shirt!
NXT Minus 6: Too Early To Fantasy Book War Games?
Everyone loves fantasy booking. Right?
The answer is No. It’s not too early.
6. NXT teases us with a Matt Riddle-Arturo Ruas match that went 3 minutes? I know it’s not happening, but those guys deserve a Takeover spot. Kudos to NXT for playing up the mma aspect. Everything from Mauro’s commentary to the ref stoppage made this feel like it should have been in an octagon. If you haven’t already seen it, check out Ruas’ match from the Evolve 10th Anniversary show. Dude is a killer.
5. We got the final opening round match of the Dusty Rhodes Everyman Classic. Bronson Reed is good. He delivered what might be the biggest frog splash I’ve ever seen. There is always a place for athletic big men, but he’s not the story.
4. Dexter Lumas is creepy. The key to wrestling is to crank your personality up to 11. If this creepy thing is any part of Dexter Lumas, I don’t want to be in a room with him. I don’t trust him around my kids. I wonder how many crimes against humanity he’s already committed. Creepy in a way that Bray Wyatt can only hope to be.
3. Tyler Breeze enters the running for Savage Burn of the Year. He looked at Jaxson Ryker and asked “Weren’t you Buddy Murphy?” Brutal. That line alone is worth the return of Prince Pretty.
2. I finally got the moment I was waiting for: an interesting KUSHIDA match. I was ready to send him to 205 in exchange for Akira Tozawa. And if this is Apollo Crews, I will gladly take him back full time in NXT. Stellar matchup and worth watching. 4.4 stars.
1. Oh no, this cannot be happening. They’re turning Keith Lee into Kassius Ohno 2.0? He’s talking about getting passed over for the new guys? And he’s jobbing to Damian Priest next week? Been here a year and zero Takeover matches? The Ridiculous Keith Lee deserves better. THIS…CAN…NOT…BE…HAPPENING!!!
Bonus time: Old school versus new generation. Tyler Breeze heads up a cast of NXT OGs to take on Undisputed Era in (cue William Regal voice) War Games to determine NXT supremacy. Keep Apollo around. Throw in Cesaro and Harper, maybe even Samoa Joe, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a brawl. Either that or Undisputed Era versus the Club. I’m cool with both.
Tiffany’s Takes: WWE NXT (7-17-19)
Who will be the first to challenge Adam Cole for the NXT Championship?
Who will be the first to challenge Adam Cole for the NXT Championship?
Have I ever told anyone that I can’t stand Matt Riddle? I have? Okay. I don’t even know what it is, but he sets my teeth on edge. I will give him props for having a good match with Arturo Ruas, but I’m not sure what they’re doing with his character, except teasing a heel turn after that NASTY beatdown of Ruas. I am here for Killian Dain vs Riddle, that even sounds like fun!
Looks like we are going to Undisputed Era vs Street Profits at some point, but I’m waiting for UE to make a big deal about Street Profits being on the Main Roster for the last couple of weeks.
I love that Mia Yim is learning from everyone’s mistakes in dealing with Shayna Baszler and is going after Baszler’s friends, who are the real reason she’s stayed on top for so long. This feud is going to get nasty in a hurry and I can’t wait!
The next match of the NXT Breakout Tournament had a lot to live up to after two AMAZING matches and one not so amazing. I’m not sure what in the world Australian Strong Styles is, I’m guessing it’s like any ‘Strong Style’ in that it’s pretty hard hitting. I also didn’t know Australia had a Black Forest, it was never on ‘Crocodile Hunter’. I did like this match, however. I can’t say it was as amazing as some of the other matches, but it was really good. Bronson Reed won the match for Australia, so we’ll see what happens in Round 2.
Someone should tell Tyler Breeze that having a beard doesn’t make you a man. I’ve seen teenagers with better facial hair. I did love the little dig at Forgotten Sons, but I don’t think Breeze really wants to pick a fight with Jaxson Ryker, that’s not going to end well.
Well, it looks like we’ll likely get a confrontation between Io Shirai and Candice LeRae next week, unfortunately for Kacy Catanzaro, she’s going to be Shirai’s punching bag before that.
I wasn’t really into KUSHIDA vs Apollo Crews. I’m just not a huge fan of either guy. The match was really good, but I don’ t think anyone really thought Crews was going to beat KUSHIDA, who is getting built into a title contender, but it was a longer match than Crews has been having for most of his WWE run, so there’s that.
I’m still not into Keith Lee, I just don’t get it, but I’m super stoked about the prospect of Lee vs Damian Priest, that promises to be a wild match.
So, it’s officially official, we WILL be getting Adam Cole vs Johnny Gargano III and it sounds like it’s going to be the last one. I did like Gargano comparing his victory tour of trying to inspire young people in Cleveland with Cole’s obnoxious antics at the Gargano restaurant. Also, love the ‘Johnny Badass’ thing, very cool. NXT TakeOver: Toronto II is going to be a wild ride in that Three Stages of Hell match! Thank you, William Regal for booking that!
That’s it for Tiffany’s Belated NXT Takes! Tune in Monday for Monday Night RAW!