Every Monday afternoon I sit in my studio doing prep-work for my weekly podcast. We are a new podcast so hard work is required to get better as we grow. I research trivia from wrestling’s past and present, I read articles (dirt sheets) from several sights, and I put together my production notes and edit new audio segments. It is quite the process, but how do I love it.
One particular Monday I sit back and read an article about Roman Reigns and the non-stop boos he has been getting from crowd after crowd. Reading about how the WWE is piping in cheers and drowning out boos from live audiences for their over pushed “Superstar”. In this particular article I read a line, and I am paraphrasing but it was about how he is a great in-ring worker and commands an arena with his promos.
“WHAT?!!! Are you serious?!!!” comes flying out of my unbelievably shocked face. “Who is writing this, a 12 year old mark fan?” I continue, “What pro wrestling writer worth their strips is actually writing this? Is there another Roman Reigns out there I haven’t seen?”
The fact is… NO! Roman Reigns is not a great in-ring worker and NO! He does not command a crowd on the mic. Yes, Roman has had epic matches but only because of the stature of his opponents. While he should be battling mid-card talent to develop his style he has been thrust into top card status. Look at his matches for a second; Samoan Drop, a few punches here and there, Turnbuckle close lines, Apron drop kick (was cool once), Superman Punch and then a Spear. If you’re lucky you get one suplex. Honestly, anyone could come off the streets and perform that stellar list of in-ring moves. Obviously physical ability would be needed by technical ability optional.
Have you been watching Roman during promos? Charisma level is about a 3 at best. When the crowd actually allows him to talk there is no passion in his words. He is more like an old dog growling away a stray cat in the back yard with no real intention of actually attacking.
Look, I don’t hate Roman Reigns. On a real life level he seems like a great human being. He appears to be a great father and a genuinely nice guy. I actually feel bad for him when he gets booed out of a building because it is not his fault. So whose fault is it? Vince McMahon and the yes men that surrounds him. Roman was yanked out of developmental and forced to the top of the card. He just simply hasn’t developed; he hasn’t had the chance to mature as a professional wrestler. Oops, I said Professional Wrestler.
I understand the WWE is the gold standard and that Vince has taken this industry to heights it never imagined before him, but does that give him the right to corrupt what Professional Wrestling is? Why do fans love the NXT talent and the Indy stars that show up on the main roster? Simply because they are Professional Wrestlers that have earned their due through hard work and years of learning the ropes (full pun intended).
My point is “anyone but you Roman”. Anyone but you at this particular moment is what I should say. I truly believe his career will not have longevity with such a fast, unearned push so early. Let him dabble in the mid-cards for a while. Have a run as IC champ to pad his resume like many before him. Allow him to truly learn the craft in and out of the squared circle. Teach him to be a professional wrestler not just a “Superstar” or “Sports Entertainer”. I want to like Roman but as long as he is pushed on me as “The Guy” (finger in mouth) I will continue to boo with the rest of the Smarks and boo birds.