This is actually a tough article to write. I’ve already seen Memes on the ‘net popping up in droves, talking about the fact that this occurred, and the one that had me shaking my head was in reference to in one day, a man has granted more wishes than John Cena has in a lifetime.
Roman Reigns, the former world heavyweight champion, was suspended for thirty days for a WWE wellness policy violation. Now before the villagers grab for the pitchforks, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he popped for Steroids or anything malicious. It could be something as simple as an expired prescription or cold medicine. I don’t know the ins and outs of the wellness policy and I know that I’ve heard some legitimate things along with some nonsensical ones like what happened a few years ago with Rey Mysterio. I’m not the judge or the jury, I’m simply writing an article on something that The Scrum Sports broke on twitter as soon as it hit the ‘net.
People get suspended for this all the time. You think Viktor of the Ascension was competing in singles action because of his radiant drawing ability like Big Cass? No. His partner got popped, and he had to fend off the wolves who have allowed him to get a grand look at the lights on Superstars, as many journeymen without a story line will.
Where this is truly bad news stems from the fact that the timing couldn’t be worse. The fact of the matter is that the Battleground Shield triple threat main event is not in jeopardy. The suspension will end before that event takes place and I’m sure Roman will be there cocking the fist and spearing the masses.
Reigns hasn’t exactly “clicked” with members of the WWE Universe. He is already having a difficult time relating to the masses and he doesn’t come off as a sympathetic babyface because the fact of the matter is, he’s a good looking dude built like Adonis who is hard to feel sorry for. The “you can’t wrestle” chants are absurd. I’m just as much of an insider and a smark as many and I find that chant laughable. I can’t even think of a match that Reigns has been involved with that I haven’t enjoyed. Bookers are often maligned and rightfully so, but whoever has booked him with names like AJ Styles, Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose among others, knew what they were doing because he’s delivered very enjoyable matches.
However, they have written poor promos for him. The “Tater Tots” one was cringe-worthy. Everybody knows that he is “the guy” as he so often tells us and he is Vince McMahon’s “chosen one” if you will. That is only part of the reason he has heat. If he turned heel and cut heel promos, we would be looking at Reigns like we looked at “The Rock” after he went from being a pineapple hair-cutted baby kisser, to the man who presented Faarooq with a framed portrait of himself instead of a gold watch.
The problem with the suspension is that it couldn’t have come at a worse time. The WWE draft will take place on the first live Smackdown in a few short weeks and you know that Reigns was going to be a cornerstone of a premiere brand, more then likely Raw. He would continue to figure prominently in main event story lines and even after the suspension, he still might. Truth be told though, he’s probably lost even more respect in the eyes of the fans who were already against him as they have new heroes and villains to rally behind. Can you even imagine the chorus of boos that is going to be showered down upon the Pensacola native upon his return?
Dean Ambrose is the world champion. Seth Rollins just returned early from a crushing injury. AJ Styles and John Cena are involved in a volatile program that continues to excite. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are entertaining fans across the globe, and we still have the main roster debuts of Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura and others to look forward too! Not to mention the imminent return of “The Viper” Randy Orton and other stars who are poised to make a play for the main event. Cesaro is continuing to do what he does best, The Miz along with his lovely wife, is set to return from filming the fifth installment of the Marine series. Chris Jericho is still having us all “drink it in” and there are heavy rumors that WWE has reached out to a great many from the old guard including names like Goldberg, Kurt Angle, Carlito, Shelton Benjamin and Rey Mysterio.
It is obviously expected that Reigns will not walk out of Battleground as the world champion because of declining merchandise sales and low live attendance turn outs, and this was all before the suspension.
As I stated earlier, this couldn’t have come at a worse time for the company, and more importantly, Roman Reigns. Vince McMahon is surely eating humble pie behind the scenes and it just gives guys like Triple H more ammo as it relates to organically allowing stars to “get over” and find themselves in the main event picture without being shoved down everyone’s throats.
Does this kill “the guy”? Does he hand in the keys to the kingdom? Will his return see a crucial heel turn that brings those fans back to him? I suppose we’ll find out in thirty days time. But mark my words, if AJ Styles was worried about being “buried” by the fifteen time world heavyweight champion, John Cena, if they bring back Reigns as a babyface, John Cena won’t have to bring the shovel to the arena, every fan of the sport will do it for him.
Roman is a man trying to feed his family like so many sports entertainers. Let’s just hope that this mistake can be rectified and success isn’t something that Reigns doesn’t ever get to enjoy again. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s just how people come back from them that really, truly shows the measure of their worth.
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