When Roman Reigns announced he’d kicked leukaemia’s ass for the second time last week on Raw, he received one of the most positive crowd reactions I have ever heard in WWE. Hell, even the dead crowd from Lafayette, Louisiana probably would’ve shown some interest in Roman’s update. As strange as it is to call cancer this, the Big Dog’s battle with leukaemia was in some way a blessing in disguise, as after years of being booed, Reigns finally has the crowd on his side. All he has to do now is keep them there.
The WWE Universe’s reaction to the whole situation proves the hatred was being directed towards the character of Roman Reigns and not the man who plays him. In a world where Vince McMahon just loves to muddle things up though, the Big Dog could soon find himself back on the receiving end of the crowd’s jeers, ruining the only good thing to come out of his illness. With this in mind, I would like to offer Vinnie Mac a little advice from a fan’s perspective on how he should treat Roman Reigns going forward.
1. Let Him Retrain At The Performance Center
Roman looked damn good when he and Seth Rollins saved Dean Ambrose from a beatdown at the hands of McIntyre, Lashley, Corbin and Elias, but the crowd won’t pop forever at the sight of Superman Punches and Spears. The Big Dog is probably gonna have some degree of ring rust, so a short stint at the Performance Center will help him get back into the swing of things properly.
Another complaint often fired at RR is his move pool is pretty shallow. Now would be a great time for Reigns to show he can do more than four or five moves. At the PC, he’d have the best coaches around to teach him a few things. Imagine if Roman busted out an overhead suplex, a wicked backbreaker or even a middle rope aerial manoeuvre. That’ll certainly get the crowd’s attention. And while he’s learning some new moves…
2. Give Him A Second Finisher
The Spear is an awesome and devastating move, but how many times have we seen Roman Reigns pick up victories with it? 500? 1000? I don’t know, I lost count and interest. What we need to see from Roman is another finisher that continues to show off his strength and power, but one that dozens of other WWE superstars haven’t used. My humble suggestion is the Torture Rack.
The Big Dog doesn’t have a submission move in his arsenal, so this would definitely be something different. What’s more, it’s one of the submissions that looks a lot better when executed by a muscular wrestler. To just hoist a guy onto your shoulders like he’s nothing and attempt to rip him in half is no mean feat, but if anyone can do it (and do it with style), it’s Roman Reigns. He can always hit the Spear in big matches and to pop the crowd, but a little break from the obvious move wouldn’t go amiss.
3. Don’t Randomly Slap A Championship On Him
It seems like Vince McMahon always wants Roman Reigns to be holding, or at least fighting for, a championship in WWE, and absolutely nothing could make us want to boo the man more. He doesn’t need the Intercontinental Title, he doesn’t need a run as US Champ, so if he’s not gunning for the Universal Championship, Reigns should be out of the title scene.
Instead of having him chase straps all day everyday, Vince could give the Big Dog a meaningful storyline. I know that’s easier said than done on Raw, but they should at least have a go. Maybe after WrestleMania, he could stop Bobby Lashley from destroying Lio Rush (which is something I see the former IC Champ doing), maybe he and Drew McIntyre could fight over who is the toughest. Better yet, maybe Reigns could get Lacey Evans to f’ing do something. My suggestions here might not be great, but they’re better than seeing Roman chase gold on a continuous basis.
4. Let Joe Anoa’i Come To The Forefront
One of the main reasons we were so solidly behind Roman Reigns after his leukaemia announcement in October was because we could connect and relate to Joe Anoa’i. He went from being the unbeatable Big Dog who shrugged his shoulders to criticism, to being the everyday man with thoughts, feelings and vulnerability. It’s this side of Roman, the man he really is, that we need to see when he steps into a WWE ring.
Let’s be honest, Reigns doesn’t cut the best promo in the world, but his two cancer statements on Raw were so real and genuine because they were about him as a person. Take the script away from him and let him speak from the heart. This can transfer into his ring work with a few well-placed losses to desperate, hard-working guys looking to grab the proverbial brass ring. We’ve seen the man behind the WWE superstar, and we liked him. It only makes sense to keep building from there.
Whether Vince McMahon takes anyone’s advice on this or not, it’s great to see Roman Reigns back and in remission. We may not always agree with his character’s push, but the man will always have our love and adoration.
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