Tha Sports Junkies 101

TSJ 101 Opinion: Thoughts From The Chubby Guy XXXVIII: Roman Reigns’ An Empire


TSJ 101 Opinion: Thoughts From The Chubby Guy XXXVIII: Roman Reigns’ An Empire

Good morning, dear readers, it’s a lovely day for a good read, and yours truly, wrestling writer/opinion columnist Gregory Black is here to bring you another edition of your favorite read with your morning coffee or afternoon tea, TFTCG.

Now, if you have been living under a rock (and if you have, you must have an awesome internet plan, which you absolutely MUST share with me), then you know that WrestleMania 32 is coming up this Sunday, and with all of the big matches set for that event, there is no other match so heavily anticipated as the World Heavyweight Championship match scheduled between the reigning champion, WWE COO Triple H against former champion Roman Reigns.

Now, for those who watch from time to time, you would obviously know that Reigns is set to become the face of the company, much to the chagrin of the WWE Universe. Now, interestingly enough, the fans (at least a good part of them) seem to take issue with Reigns being picked as the new face of the company, and, well, why not? He’s got a look, he’s definitely athletic, he’s got some of the tools to complete the all around package.

So, why do the fans hate him so?

Well, for that, you have to look back to a few years ago, when Daniel Bryan was still wrestling in the company and The Shield was the new big thing in the company. From 2012 to 2014, The Shield dominated the ranks of the WWE, putting the roster and the WWE Universe on notice. At the time of their debut, the fans were enamoured by the three NXT standouts, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Reigns. Ambrose being the wild card, Rollins being the team’s daredevil, Reigns was seen as the powerhouse of the squad, rounding out the threat that the team brought to the WWE main roster.

The “Hounds of Justice”, as they would often refer to themselves, were considered a heavy threat to the roster, their first major attack being on Ryback during the 3-way WWE Championship match featuring then champion CM Punk defending against John Cena and Ryback. The Shield put Ryback through the announce table, cementing their spot in infamy, with an act that would become one of their staples throughout their run.

As their time in the company rolled on, they would run through their fare share of big names, attacking the likes of John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Kane, Ric Flair, Randy Orton, and the like. And while they were made to be the “heels” (bad guys in wrestling), the fan base took to their actions in a mostly positive light, cheering them on as they would virtually dismantle anyone who crossed their sights. The team were considered vigilantes, sometimes hired guns, working for “The Authority” from time to time, and would even go on to earning gold, with Ambrose winning the United States Championship, while Rollins and Reigns won the Tag Team Championship. But, the good times would eventually come to a shocking, screeching halt on June 2nd, 2014, when on the post-Payback RAW, Triple H would confront The Shield, after Batista quit the WWE again, Trips would go on to tell The Shield that he had a “Plan B” in destroying the team.

That plan was convincing Seth Rollins to turn on his Shield brothers, and join him and The Authority. Of course, this would be the catalyst that would make the three former teammates into the future cornerstones of the company that they have (or still are) to become. During that time, Rollins would become first the “Money in the Bank” winner, then, at WrestleMania 31, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, cashing in during the tail end of the Brock Lesnar/Roman Reigns title match, in which Rollins would wind up pinning Reigns, after Reigns essentially saved Rollins from receiving an F5 from Lesnar, spearing “The Beast Incarnate” out of the match, then getting a Curb Stomp from Rollins for the pinfall.

The feud would catapult both superstars’ careers, as Rollins would have a phenomenal run with the championship, until injury would stop him in his tracks.

Oh wait, I’ve kind of lost track as to why the fans don’t really like Reigns. My apologies, dear readers, I’m watching some old school WCW while typing this article, heh, sorry about that.

Well, for that explanation, we actually have to go back to 2014, the Royal Rumble match up, the fans had grown pretty bored of the typical choices that the company was making in pushing certain talent, especially when it came to the likes of John Cena and Randy Orton. So, when the Rumble came about, the fans wanted to see Daniel Bryan, who had amassed an almost Hogan-esque following with the WWE Universe, and was heavily favoured to win the Rumble and return to the WWE Championship scene. But…That didn’t happen, Bryan would be eliminated, leaving the match to be showered in boos. The only bright spots being whenever a member of The Shield entered the match. Needless to say, the fans were being set up for a Batista win, in which the fans were completely against, and once Reigns entered the match, the fans would rally behind the Samoan powerhouse, as he would fight, scratch and claw his way to being one of the final two men in the ring, along with Batista.

Fans were ecstatic, as their second choice to win it all fought hard, standing toe to toe with the former WWE Champion, but, as much as he fought, his fight was for naught, as he would eventually get eliminated, with the fans showing their complete disdain towards Batista’s victory. From there, Reigns would gain momentum with the fans, inevitably being in the good graces of the WWE Universe. But, one year later, it would be different, as the WWE would finally give Reigns the push the fans wanted in the first place…Only, this time around, the fans didn’t care for him. You see, the ‘E decided to push Reigns in the same fashion that they pushed John Cena, as the super face, as a superhero, of sorts, that whenever evil reared it’s ugly head, here came Reigns to face it head on. To be honest, it had the same effect as the John Cena push…The fans started to hate him.

Their dislike for him wasn’t exactly without merit, you see, while being a part of The Shield, the two main people doing the talking for the team were Ambrose and Rollins, with Reigns playing the role of the enforcer/muscle of the group. Sure, he had his input in their promos, but, for the most part, he was really their intimidation factor, the rounding off of the team where Rollins provided attack by air, Ambrose provided the unpredictability, and Reigns, well, the strength needed to take down powerful opponents. His mic skills weren’t exactly his strong point. And once he became a singles competitor, the flaws of Reigns started to show, his limited arsenal, his even more limited mic skills, he proved that he wasn’t the golden ticket that the fans (and the WWE) had hoped he was. It led to the fans eventually saying “anyone but Reigns”. And the promotion capitalized on that notion, using it in storyline as a means to make Reigns seem more “human”, as he showed disappointment towards the fans saying as such.

Reigns would use this as motivation in his steady chase for the WWE Championship, for which he would finally, FINALLY win the WWE Championship, beating Ambrose at the end of a championship tourney at Survivor Series to determine the new champion after Rollins had to relinquish the title following his unfortunate injury. The celebration was short lived, as Sheamus, who had won the Money in the Bank in 2015, cashed in during the celebration, defeating Reigns to become champion. And, while half of the fans were happy to finally see Reigns win the championship, the other half were just as happy to see him lose it, although Sheamus was not their choice to win it. It would be less than a month before Reigns would get his championship back, winning it on a December edition of Monday Night Raw. With Reigns’ victory over Sheamus on Raw, it seemed that the fans were starting to finally unite behind Reigns, just as the WWE wished for, however, once January of this year came, Reigns was back in the hot seat, as Vince McMahon would force Reigns to defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble, but, not in a singles match.

He would defend the title in the Rumble match itself, facing off against 29 other Superstars on the roster. He would lose the championship, being eliminated by Triple H, who would go on to winning the match and the title. With Triple H winning it, you would think the WWE Universe would be up in arms, crying foul for Triple H’s victory, but, they…cheered. Of course, the IWC (Internet Wrestling Community, for those of you who don’t know what the IWC is) were the ones complaining about Triple H winning the title, although, they weren’t exactly angry that Reigns lost it, it would appear that the “anyone but Reigns” notion had reared it’s ugly head once again, with fans cheering Triple H, and throwing shade at Reigns again. And there could be no further proof of this than on the Raw after Fastlane, when Trips attacked Reigns, much to the delight of the fans.

Now, I know what some of you (the ones who don’t really keep up with wrestling like that) are probably thinking by this point: Isn’t this Triple H guy the bad guy? Isn’t Roman supposed to be the good guy?

Well, that’s the thing about wrestling fans, they are about as unpredictable as the weather in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow”, and their effect is, or can be, just as damaging as such, especially when they choose more to chastise the product, than to give it a chance. And that is okay, because the fans are the ones who do pay to see these performers perform, however, take into consideration the motivation of the company, and the ingenious fashion they have decided to utilize in order to rally the fans back behind Reigns. Take a person who the fans have a weird love/hate for, give him a title, then rob him of said title, and put him back in the chase, but, put him up against a man with the credentials to catapult the first guy into the hearts of the fans. This is basically what is happening with Reigns facing Triple H at WrestleMania this Sunday, and the hopeful outcome is that Reigns will win the hearts of the fans, win or lose.

If it pans out, kudos to the WWE for a plan well scouted and thought of, if it doesn’t? Well, Reigns is already picked to be the new face of the company, and if the rumoured heel turn happens post-Mania, then he would be following in his cousin’s (The Rock) footsteps. For a long while, many industry insiders have said that Reigns could benefit from a heel turn, as it worked out in his cousin’s favour so many years ago, so, it is possible that it could also work in his favour. But, only time will tell if that is the route that the company chooses, any way you look at it, they are preparing for one hell of a ride out of Reigns.

And that is only to be determined by you guys, the fans.

So, to those who will get to see the big event on Sunday, I wish you guys have a great time, because I’ll more than likely be missing it again this year, work…at night…yay…

But, I digress, that is the beauty of professional wrestling, the athleticism, the roar of the crowd, the telling of a great story, so, to you, the fans, I say this: just enjoy the show, these athletes (because to me, anyone who chooses to step between those ropes and risk life and limb to entertain the fans is an athlete to me) put their hearts and souls into providing you a great time and a great show. Show them some appreciation, and don’t over analyse the product, because when you do, it no longer becomes enjoyable. In the end, it’s all just a show, and there for your entertainment.

And with that, I must take my leave, dear readers, I actually have to be up in, JESUS CHRIST, another hour and a half!! Today is my Mother’s 54th brithday, and I would like to take this time to wish my Mom a very Happy Birthday. Love you, Mom!!

Dear readers, I thank you, for taking your time in reading not only my articles and opinion pieces, but, also in reading the awesome stories this incredible writing team provides for all of you here, exclusively on This is Gregory Black, wishing all of you a wonderful and safe day, an easy end to your work week, and a relaxing weekend ahead. Have a great day, ladies and gentlemen.

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Photo by Tiffany Windham, via Flickr.