JC’s Top Rope Report: Is It Now Or Never For Roman Reigns?

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This past Monday on RAW, Roman Reigns became the #1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He will presumably get his shot at Survivor Series in November. If you listened to the Wrestling Radio Show this past week, we tried talking ourselves out of this scenario. I talked myself into Kevin Owens getting the Title shot, while Matt talked himself into Dolph Ziggler getting it. With Survivor Series being built around The Undertaker this year, we both thought for sure that the WWE would take a chance on the Title match.

But the WWE made the obvious choice and went with Roman Reigns. Hell, they practically spoiled it at the start of RAW when they had Reigns interrupt Seth Rollins and the Authority. The more I think about it, the more I’m less upset with it. What I have liked to see something different? Sure. But I’ve been disappointed with the WWE in this regard before. In 2011 I advocated for John Morrison vs The Miz for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble, but that didn’t happen. Why couldn’t they have taken an outside the box choice? You could have had Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose challenge the New Day for the Tag Titles instead.

Roman Reigns is the next man up for the WWE. John Cena is on hiatus for the next month or two. Randy Orton is injured. The Undertaker will appear at Survivor Series, but we don’t know how often he will appear between now and then. Brock Lesnar isn’t coming back any time soon. It is Roman Reigns turn to take over the reigns (I’ll see myself out) as the new top face in the WWE.

And you have to wonder if this might be the last chance Reigns has in the WWE as the top face. In the build up to Wrestlemania, the fans revolted against him. He was booed out of the building at the Royal Rumble. He was presumably very close to losing his Wrestlemania spot to Daniel Bryan. But the WWE stuck with him. And he surpassed mine and a lot of others expectations in the match. He’s shown steady improvement in the ring over the year. His promo work still leaves a lot to be desired. The problem is that the WWE is trying to make Reigns the next John Cena. When in actuality they should be making Reigns the next Brock Lesnar. The strong silent type who says very little and lets his actions do the talking.

This will now be the second opportunity for Reigns to carry a main event program. The lucky thing for Reigns at Mania is that he had a bunch of other big time matches surrounding him. While he may have The Undertaker at Survivor Series, it is in a feud with the Wyatt Family, a group that has been stagnant for a long time now. Reigns will be the focus of the WWE, and if he falters again, you have to wonder if the WWE goes back to him in the near future. Will the WWE be willing to get another John Cena-like backlash from the fans? The one positive for Reigns is that he seems to get cheered strongly in non-big market towns.

I’ve always wanted Reigns to succeed. The WWE has needed new stars for years and Reigns should be one of them. But if things don’t go well for him in his program for Seth Rollins, he is going to be in need of a major overhaul. There’s three outcomes I can see happening at Survivor Series:

  1. Roman Reigns wins the WWE Championship, clean, over Seth Rollins.
  2. Roman Reigns loses to Seth Rollins due to Dean Ambrose turning on him.
  3. Roman Reigns wins the WWE Championship with the help of the Authority, causing a double turn with Reigns and Rollins.

Scenario 3 is a likely longshot. BUT, the WWE loves controversey at the Survivor Series PPV. We know the history of the show. Plus, Ambrose told Reigns on RAW how close he has been in the past to winning the Title. Maybe to get over the hump, he goes to the Authority for help. And with the added tension with Rollins and The Authority, the possibility is always there. But that would mean the WWE turns their current top face heel, so I doubt it happens.

Scenario 2 seems like the most likely to happen. But I think that might due Reigns the most harm. Among a good handful of fans, Reigns would probably be the least cheered out of all three men. Rollins would stay the heel, and I could see Ambrose turning into a tweener like character. He’s not friends with Reigns anymore but still hates Rollins. Plus, this scenario would set up a Shield Triple Threat rather well down the line. And unless the WWE is really down on Seth Rollins, I doubt Scenario 1 happens.

No matter what scenario plays out, this may be the last chance for Roman Reigns to show he can carry a main event program. He has had almost a year to improve his game. If he can’t step up here, and is then forced into another Wrestlemania program, the fan backlash would likely be even worse than it was at this past year’s Mania. The pieces have fallen into place perfectly for Reigns to be the next top guy in the WWE. And if he doesn’t succeed this time, you have to wonder when it’ll be the next time for him.

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka