Apropos to the up and down love we have for the WWE product, I both love and loathe the night after Mania crowd and how it hijacks the show. I feel like WWE needs to do a better job with how they portray the characters they want fans to cheer for. Roman Reigns is out there dying because in some fans eyes, he is “worse than Cena.” That is short for “Generic. blah. Nothing special. The chosen one, and the wrong choice.” The positive energy and love the hardcore fans have for good wrasslin enhances the matches. Most Raws are before absolutely dead crowds that only come to life to cheer and or boo Cena and Reigns, and pop for Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler. Maybe Ambrose.
I don’t like the audience going into business for itself. Putting itself over. Wrasslin fans are very fickle and short sighted creatures. Daniel Bryan has a fucked up neck. He only has so many bumps left in that diminutive frame of his before he goes the way of Edge. Nothing about him BESIDES how over he is with the fans makes him a candidate for being THE man. But, these so called smart fans think somehow he should have been the one to divest Brock Lesnar of the gold. They think he should win the Rumble and main event every year. These same people will complain about WWE’s overreliance on part time talent and how barren the landscape is as far as new stars go. These are the people who chant “same old shit”… while rooting for the same old shit to transpire.
I’ve been seeing a lot of complaints about Seth Rollins AND Roman Reigns “not being ready.” I read a post on WrassleZone yesterday where a fan said it’s weird that Rollins and Reigns are the new main eventers and they cannot see Bryan or Cena being used to put over young talent in the midcard. Again… these faux smart marks don’t understand the nature of the business IS that it’s cyclical. You need to cycle fresh faces in the top and you need steady hands working the middle, because… how was Bad News Barrett and Ziggler and Luke Harper and the like elevating the middle of the card? Spoiler Alert: they weren’t. Fans bitched and pissed and moaned that for many years, every PPV featured either Orton or Cena or both going for or defending a world title. And now WWE is giving new stars a chance and the fans who gripe “same old shit” want to see guys who have been at that level for years but not doing much with it continue to get opportunities to be meh on top.
I can pull out pieces I’ve written on here going back a year about how “Roman Reigns is the new Cena and that’s not good.” It cannot POSSIBLY be good for the bottom line if even half of your audience despises the person that you have positioned as the top guy in the territory. Even if people buy the merch because their kids like him or their girlfriend likes him, it’s not good to HAVE to book in a way that won’t get your shows shitted on. Many speculate that the only reason Rollins cashed in WAS to have Mania not end with fans booing and walking out on the big moment of him celebrating his victory. The problem is twofold: first… the nigga has had zero character development or story as a singles competitor. He’s just a guy with an ugly logo on his flak jacket. He was going to feud with Seth Rollins and I’d imagine he’d have been a part of Team Cena last fall. Those two storylines would have helped some. Then he came back and feuded with the Big Show and had a one off with Bryan. Meh. The other thing is… protecting a babyface too much to “make him look strong” is about as healthy as being the guy who is uncomfortable displaying emotion, who sees crying as weakness. There is an inherent power in healthy expression of emotion. Something about letting your eyes sweat gives you power to move forward past that which that has wounded you. Getting your ass beat is the same exact thing in wrasslin. The days of Hulk Hogan have ended. Fans are no longer moved by a guy who almost never loses, because he just takes the beatings and wins in the end. The thing that made Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock highly lucrative commodities in the late 90s to early 2000s was the fact that we saw them in peril. Stone Cold lost his title to Undertaker AND Kane. The Rock got screwed out the the title by Vince McMahon PERSONALLY at Mania 2000 and X7. There is a reason we don’t use the term ‘monster babyface.’ Because it doesn’t fucking work. There has never been a good movie or book about an imminently beatable villain and an unstoppable hero. That shit isn’t interesting. There is no drama. People like Batman more than Superman because you can actually shoot Batman in the face and kill him. So, if WWE wants fans to like Roman Reigns, he has to be in danger. The situation needs to be impossible. Hopeless. As I’ve written before, him versus Lesnar was that. Suplex city, bitch. No one else on the roster is Lesnar, so they need to use The Authority as a unit to oppress Reigns and JUST maybe, by SummerSlam fans will be more receptive to the idea of him as the hero.
Again, as I’ve previously written, if you watched the main event at Mania and didn’t think Reigns showed something, you’se a motherfuckin hater. If you don’t think Seth Rollins has been well placed as the chickenshit heel all babyfaces must chase, your ass is blind. The fact that so many so called fans are not here for those dudes is exactly why WWE fans are, in fact, not awesome.