The long-predicted superman push of Roman Reigns appears to be upon us, and whether you believe in the former Shield enforcer’s credentials as the future face of WWE, or question his all-round ability to be “the guy”, it will certainly make for interesting viewing over the next year or so. It is these two contrasting viewpoints that appear to cover the majority of ground when it comes to the subject of Reigns’ potential, with few voices preaching indifference during his meteoric charge to the top.
At a time when WWE fans had been long-starved of a truly great stable they finally received one in the form of The Shield. A trio of talented yet diverse individuals clad all in black riot gear suddenly set about dismantling the company’s big names one by one. Their all for one attitude made them masters of the numbers game, and for a while it seemed even The Avengers might find themselves isolated before one by one being subjected to triple powerbombs by the ruthless Hounds of Justice. Then they were finally defeated and slowly the cracks began to show. A split was inevitable. Except it wasn’t. Suddenly they were stronger than ever. Epic encounters with The Wyatt Family and Evolution followed and produced some incredible matches. And then “plan B” came in to effect. It was all over. With two shots of a steel chair that so many WWE fans felt to the base of their spine just as much as Ambrose and Reigns, Seth Rollins brought the curtain down on The Shield.
Shocked as anyone, I was also a little bit skeptical. They had seemed a force rejuvenated. Was Rollins the right choice as the breakout heel? What would become of Ambrose who many felt was the natural choice for such a moment? Were they all ready for singles careers?
As the weeks and months have rolled by the answer to that last question is undoubtedly “YES!”. Seth Rollins with his well-earned arrogance, having rose to prominence in those last few months of The Shield, now backed up by The Authority and a briefcase seemingly guaranteeing future main event status, was the right choice. Dean Ambrose has benefited as much if not more from the decision and now occupies an anti-hero role which feels like the Steve Austin of 1997 as he went on to redefine what it meant to be a WWE superstar.
Their feud has all the promise of a classic waiting only now for the matches to send it flying into that category. Both men now enter to new music, walk down the ramp, and wear brand new attires which seem to suit perfectly their new fine-tuned personas. They are both familiar and yet feel fresh at the same time.
Reigns, by contrast, has none of this. He still enters through the crowd, he still wears the riot gear, he still has The Shield’s music; he is still The Shield for all intents and purposes. Even the numbers game appears to have remained in his favor as he systematically plowed through 7 of the company’s top guys at Money in the Bank.
Don’t get me wrong I am a big fan of Roman Reigns and want to see him reach his full potential in WWE. Believe that. He is exciting to watch, convincing as a specimen, and has developed a decent arsenal of signature moves throughout his time in The Shield. He is main event material without a doubt. But it’s difficult to see how this lack of change isn’t going to eventually stifle his development somewhat. Maybe this sort of talk is premature and WWE has plans for him in waiting to well and truly break out of The Shield. At the moment, however, he appears to still be flying the flag for them, clinging on to the past when his former partners have moved on – like X-Pac still doing the DX shtick after Triple H had evolved almost beyond recollection into The Game and The Cerebral Assassin.
The future is bright for all three former Hounds of Justice but I, for one, would like to see Reign’s persona given that same breath of fresh of air we are experiencing with both Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose.
What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised.