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The Reigns In Spain

And now a collection of the Reigns mail I got this morning!

Hey Scott

With everyone chiming in on the whole Roman Reigns thing and the big complaint being that "he's not over", everyone seems to be ignoring the elephant in the room and that's *why* he's not over. If they'd tried this push a year ago when the Shield was the hot new thing then maybe the workrate crowd get pissed but I think the majority of Joe Average fans would've bought it. Since then though, for a guy who the office sees as the "next big thing" Roman's hardly been handled as such. It's odd because he's the one who kept the Shield music and outfit and yet he's the one of the three who's character has changed the most - Rollins was the Thinking One and so it makes sense he'd be the guy to join HHH; Ambrose was the Crazy One with a penchant for overestimating his own abilities sometimes and then Reigns was the Cool One, says fuck-all but smashes everyone he comes up against.

Suddenly now though not only is he saying way too much, he's also having to sell for guys like Kane and Big Show (where in the Shield days Ambrose and Rollins did most of the selling) and trade wins and stuff and so of course he's not going to be as over as he should be. I'd argue in fact this whole push has been dead in the water since he spiked Vickie's coffee and became like every other post-Cena babyface. The whole selling point of Roman Reigns was that he was a badass and a killer, not a cocky smart-mouth. Why should anyone care about him when all he is now is another Dolph, essentially a sub-Cena type? It's another case of failing to see the forest for the trees - when Roman came back the strict instruction should've been to not have him sell, to not have him job, and to crush everyone he came up against while barely saying a word, Goldberg-style. That's how you get a guy like Reigns ready for Lesnar and avoid the mess they're in now. If they'd done that then for sure people would be clamouring to see him face Brock.

Yup.

Next e-mail!

Hey Scott,

During Austin's podcast with Triple H, there was something that HHH said that really caught my attention. He noted that "making someone a good guy is almost the worst thing you can do for them today". It's obvious that WWE deserves a significant amount of the blame when it comes to pushing new guys to the top, but it definitely seems like the heels that they push -- no matter how much they ram those guys down people's throats -- do became main event-level guys. I'm sure a certain part about that is that is the basic storytelling mechanics of professional wrestling, but I look at a guy like Seth Rollins and think it could have been just as easy for him to get "X-Pac heat" instead of being pretty much universally accepted by all segments of the audience in the position that he's in.

With the anti-hero thing still strong with such a big part of the audience, would it have been better for WWE to run with Roman Reigns as a heel (maybe even keeping the Shield together as The Authority's heavies) until the Rumble? Even if he was still just as unprepared as he is right now, it seems like all of that could be disguised -- and, basically, the audience could feel in control of his ascent -- if they had done something along the lines of how they got Batista over with Evolution at the beginning of 2005?

I recognize that it's all still fantasy booking at this point, but is it just the storytelling advantage that heels have that makes it easier to get new guys over when they are in that role? And, at what point does the fault for the backlash and its effect on the storylines heading into WrestleMania actually reside with the jaded audience?

I think it’s because it’s easier to book effective heels and because Vince apparently has no idea how a babyface should act.  You can book a heel to crush the good guys and shit on the local sports team and it nearly always works, but finding a top babyface requires a real organic connection with the audience that is tricky to figure out and navigate at the best of times.  Which is the long way of saying, yes, Reigns absolutely should have been a heel until fans WANTED him to turn.  The key is to do what you want while making fans think THEY wanted it first, ala Rocky in 1998.  Or Batista in 2005. 

With all the talk about how Bryan was apparently still rehabbing his neck until just before he came back, do you think that maybe his falling off the cliff in the last few weeks could lead to him disappearing to rehab it further, and possibly to his retirement? I can't believe how completely the WWE has dropped the ball on him, but then again, they have dropped the ball so completely in the past year, that I don't even watch the new product anymore (except NXT). I keep wondering, maybe Bryan came back to kill the Yes Movement so that he could go away for a while (forever?) without everybody constantly chanting for his surprise return.

Also, on the Dr. Amman lawsuit. I know everybody is saying that the WWE is going after Punk for "getting one over" on them, but what about Colt in all this? There's no WAY Cabana has the money Punk has to fight this lawsuit. Is Punk going to have to pony up for his buddy as well, or is Colt in a world of trouble here?

Punk doesn’t have to, but hopefully he will.  It’s a major dick move on WWE’s part that’s kind of getting lost in the attention over Punk.  They’re basically trying to blackmail him into settling by holding his friend (who doesn’t have the money to fight) hostage.  Then they can be like “You settled, so QED you lied about the injury” and probably sue him for something else.  Because that’s how they roll. 

As for Bryan, I just wish he’d quit doing the fucking headbutt.

Wouldn't it make the most sense for Rusev to beat Cena, and build up Rusev as the unstoppable monster to face Reigns at SummerSlam? Or, since they would screw it up over that timeframe, just bring up the whole "Rusev was screwed in the Rumble" storyline that they quietly ignored, and use that as the impetus for his title shot against Reigns.

I know they don't want to job Cena but Reigns is, what, 10 years younger? If they're really going to make Reigns the next big thing, shouldn't that be top priority? Clearly it was when it came to squashing Bryan.

Rusev could still beat Cena.  I mean, it would be a terrible story and go against my theory that they’re booking Cena after watching the Rocky movies in succession, but Rusev still has juice as a heel monster.  But then they’d have to do Rocky V with Reigns as Tommy Gunn, I guess. 

Scott,

With Brock supposedly walking out Monday over "Business Matters", it got me thinking.

His initial run lasted 2 years and he sues the company and wins. He comes back 8 years later for more money and barely has to work. After a couple of missteps he is the strongest booked guy in company and will carry the main title into the biggest show of the year.

What is it about Brock that would make Vince essentially give him the keys to the castle? Especially when it seems he's only loyal to the business of Brock Lesnar. 

Have you SEEN his meaty thighs?  Vince has.  Really though, Vince thought there was money in him, but the end of the PPV era has essentially killed his value as a draw now.  I mean, he already justified his original contract value handily, but basically if you can make money for Vince, he’ll take you back. 

Comments

  1. You'd think the least they could do for Reigns is let him squash guys like Big Show and Kane but I guess that is out of the question.

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  2. Then he shouldn't have been in the Rumble booked as he was. I don't think Bryan is the best choice long term but don't tease him as a possibility when you know he's not. It all goes back to the booking.

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  3. Theberzerker, #HUSSAPPROVEDFebruary 26, 2015 at 9:15 AM

    That's when the ripple officially started yeah, but the waters didn't fully divide forever until WM22.

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  4. "Joe Average" will be Samoa Joe's eventual NXT name.

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  5. He was actually doing really well for me.

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  6. Some quick-and-dirty lawyerin' re: Colt Cabana.

    It was Colt Cabana's podcast, so you can argue that he's the one who at least helped Punk "publish" the allegedly defamatory remarks against the doctor. Thus, he's probably an "indispensible party" under the federal rules,* and the complaint would be subject to dismissal (without prejudice, but it would just slow down the process) if Cabana wasn't sued with Punk. Long story short, if he wasn't sued originally, he probably ends up in the lawsuit in the long run, anyway.

    *note- I don't know where the lawsuit is filed. I can't find it reported anywhere, so the civil procedure rules could differ on this.
    Regardless, I don't really think that they're holding Cabana hostage. By providing Punk a forum to say whatever he wanted about whoever he wanted to say it about, he assumed the risk that Punk would slander someone. Cabana probably should have insurance for that.
    As far as defense of the lawsuit goes: Colt and Punk can appear as Co-Defendants with the same counsel and Punk can foot the bill; Colt can have his own counsel and Punk can have his counsel do the heavy lifting and foot the bigger bill; or Colt can settle with Amman and let the parties duke it out.
    The interesting thing is that defamation is usually really hard to prove because "falsity" is really tough to prove. However, there should be medical records on both sides (Amman when he treated Punk and Punk's post-WWE treatment) that clear up whether Punk was speaking truth pretty quickly. Obviously, WWE feels confident in Amman's position.

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  7. Diesel was way too fast. He went from upper mid-card heel to the main event babyface champion in about a week.

    Then they killed his cool character.

    But then again, Reigns is almost the same. Cool heel, kind of badass. Turns face, loses the edge, terrible promos. Only difference is that this one took longer.

    WWE has a horrible track record of taking midcard heels that get extremely hot and they turn them face, and then once they hit the main event they kill whatever it is they made them so popular and they become parodies of themselves. Happened to the best of them too...Rock...Austin....Cena....

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  8. I think your time line is accurate. That Chicago crowd for mania 22 was pretty firmly in hhh's corner.

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  9. This dude is even more obsessed with Reigns than Vince

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  10. That's one of those things that would have helped him in this situation he's in.

    If he had murdered Big Show and Kane, it wouldn't hurt those guys at all, but it would really have helped him look competent.

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  11. Yay for actual lawyers stepping in to clarify! Thanks!

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  12. Occasionally you capture lightning in a bottle. Goldberg didn't get crazy reactions his first month or so but was slowly catching fire because they stuck with it. He also wasn't booked like a geek which is Reigns main problem.

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  13. Agreed, but u would've kept him out of the Rumble and just did the big match with Lesnar. Bryan gets destroyed, Reigns does the save, and NOW you have a situation where Bryan can naturally get the crowd to cheer Reigns against Lesnar.

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  14. and that tag match was even promoted as the "second main event" right from the start.

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  15. I don't think match quality is the biggest issue, that's the matches not feeling special and important.

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  16. although one could argue Bret NEVER got that "spot" in the first place. in his supposed "thank you!"-reign he was beaten up by Diesel in the midcard, took a seat back to Undertaker fighting his doppelgänger and lost the title at the Survivor Series. and during his 1995 reign he wasn't THE top guy either, Michaels was. the WWF never really went "all out" with Hart (like they tried with Luger).

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  17. and rightfully so!

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  18. Wow, Test is a really good comparison for Reigns I hadn't thought of. About equal on the mic, about equal in the ring (with Test having more of an offense), similar size.

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  19. I still don't think him toppling those obstacles would have gone over as huge as it did if he didn't topple them through great wrestling, though. If he had the same personality but wrestled like Curtis Axel, it probably wouldn't have worked so well.

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  20. Canceling your source for good wrestling (old shows, NXT) because you don't like the wrestling available without the network (current product) would be cutting off your nose to spite your face. It tells me people still want to watch wrestling but not be stuck with the current product.

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  21. Bret Hart's ringwork stayed fantastic until late in his WCW run.

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  22. Don't the two guys have the same number of significant injuries? 1?

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  23. Maybe. Although that's not Dave's argument (which I'm still interested to hear the basis for), that all or most of these signup a were to explicitly support Daniel Bryan.

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  24. I was replying more to the Meltzer quote.

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  25. Totally agree. The Daniel Bryan vs Authority/holding a good man down storyline worked both kayfabe and real world...and it felt unfair, both ways, when Triple H and Steph called DBry merely a B+ player AND he was actually being held back by Vince & Dunn from carrying the company...when it was obvious that he was the most entertaining wrestler on the roster.

    You tell me that Adam Rose is a B+ player and being held back real world...and I don't think the Rosebud Movement becomes a thing. (B+ player? Why is Triple H pushing Adam Rose down our throats like that?)

    ...and I say that as someone who still thinks that the Adam Rose character could have worked.

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  26. Does Vince have any more daughters that Reigns can almost marry?

    Grand daughters?

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  27. Well, technically Santa Clara but it's in the 49ers stadium. It's drawing in the bay area.

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  28. They both got support at Fast Lane. Bryan got more, which is why I said that he's more popular. Are we just going to cherry pick sides of the crowd to support arguments now?

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  29. I don't disagree with anything in this comment. I think Bryan is definitely more deserving of the Lesnar match. I'm disagreeing with the silly notion that Bryan's time as a main eventer is done.

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  30. What makes you think they're close to burying Bryan for good? Because he lost clean to the heir apparent and is going to be in a midcard match at 'Mania?

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  31. Going over Cena clean, being screwed out of the title and then being protected like crazy in every single loss (except for the Rumble match against Wyatt) for months is your idea of "insurmountable obstacles"?

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  32. Storyline insurmountable obstacles.

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  33. I'll take it by your silence in response to my question below that you came to agree with my original statement above. =)

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  34. There should have been an "Edge clause" added years ago - officially change the rule to 24-hours notice or something.

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  35. I wish it was in SF, because then it wouldn't take me 2 goddamn hours to get there...if I'm going in the first place.


    I'm a Bay resident...should I go to Mania despite how disappointing this year has been?

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  36. I disagree. Self righteous liberals (which hipsters are an exaggerated form of) are much worse

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  37. that would actually be amazing.have this reigns/bryan buddy system continue to mania, then after lesnar destroys reigns like apollo creed, db saves the day. Obviously wont happen though.

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  38. The comments about DB being B+ player were a shoot. He will never be cosmetically what the company is looking for so they will refuse to get behind him and push him to the moon as the face of the company. They have a visual image that the top guy has and DB is far from it.

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  39. DB doesnt want to tell anyone ever to fuck off. Hes not a prick in real life and nice to just about everyone. He;'s even said hes just happy to be a wrestler and part of the show. Put him in opening match for years and DB would be content. Its the IWC that has the fuck off type anger, not him

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  40. the guy the company never wants to really back and get behind, who they just use as a placeholder until they find their next supposed top guy they want to run with. and when that guy fails, back to DB/Bret temporarily

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  41. Sigh, it's not really about anyone being mean or a prick or whatever- I was just pointing out that the financial impetus was the main reason he stays around- I mean, it's the main reason he bothers with the 'E at all, isn't it? give what we know of his preferred wrestling style, working some sort of Ring of Honor/NJPW combo schedule would probably be more up his alley, but, you know, cash money.

    All I was saying was that punk had a decade with the company, 3 years as a top guy/top merch seller. Bryan's had about a year or so in that position. even if he wanted to leave, and I'm not saying he does, it doesn't make financial sense.

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  42. so DB would rather not be in WWE but just sucks it up because hes just doing it for the money? sighhhhhh whats your source?

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  43. So, the part where I said "and I'm not saying he does" went straight by you?

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  44. you're not saying he does but yet you spent a whole paragraph saying it. so why even say it in the first place if you just admit you are talking out of your ass?

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  45. it was hypothetical- someone compared him derisively to Punk, I was saying that, even if he shared Punk's feelings (WHILE NOT SAYING THAT HE DID), he wasn't in the same scenario. then you went nuts about it, for reasons I cannot fathom.

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  46. pointing out your lack of logic is not going 'nuts'. You can dismiss it in any terminology you want to make yourself feel better

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