There's been a bit of “controversy” lately about the Royal Rumble, people are seemingly upset that Roman Reigns won and is headed to WrestleMania to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. We all know that Daniel Bryan was the crowd favorite, and I can honestly say that I would have loved to see the ultimate David and Goliath battle between Bryan and Lesnar. Then again, part of me thinks that Reigns could actually do well in a matchup with Lesnar as well, and I can't say that I actually had any issues with him winning the Rumble in general. Sure, it should have been booked much better, but after his performance last year you just knew he would either win or he would face a last second screw job to lose the match. The biggest problem is that the way the match actually wound up going, WWE has essentially Batistized Reigns. The intention was that he would win and move forward as the obvious babyface, unfortunately the fan favorite was eliminated far too early and with no real story setup from his elimination, making the crowd turn on the obvious winner.
If things had been done correctly, Reigns could have come out with acceptance from the crowd, instead he was basically written to a point of just hanging out in the ring most of his time in there and tossing out a person here or there. A big deal is being made of his eliminating six people, but last I checked Bray Wyatt also eliminated six people, with Daniel Bryan being one of said six. With the booking of Show and Kane as the dominant team tearing apart people once they got in the ring together, I would have saved the Bryan elimination for that part of the match. Say Bryan gets on a role, he's going all over the ring kicking people, taking them down left and right, he starts to run into the corner for a double drop kick and eats a KO punch, Kane then picks him up and chokeslams him for good measure, as Big Show and Kane pick his lifeless body up and try to drop him over the top Reigns comes running in an attempt to make the save, but he's a second too late. This way he tried to save the fan favorite, who faced insurmountable odds and was eliminated by two giants. Reigns could then go on a tear and go on a rash of eliminations, maybe even reaching double digits before Kane and Show are able to team up on him again. He's beaten down by the twin towers for a bit, but he makes his comeback and eliminates them to finally win the Rumble. This could have kept him face, alas, someone in WWE had another idea.
Now that everything has unfolded the way it has, WWE is seemingly scrambling to save face due to the crowd reaction to Reigns getting the win. The only real issue I see is that they're still playing Reigns as a face, when the crowd is continually pushing him heel. Does this sound familiar at all? Remember a year ago, Batista (who said he HAD to be a heel upon returning) was being pushed as a face, but the crowd wasn't going for the ride? Yeah, now we're seeing it all over again. The fans were dying for Bryan to win, so barring Ambrose or Ziggler winning they were going to either turn on whatever babyface won or pan whatever heel won the match. Reigns was the darling last year when Bryan wasn't in the match so what's changed in the year since then? Two very important things, one being that Bryan missed most of the year and had to give up a championship that the fans had helped propel him into due to a terrible injury. The only logical move from the perspective of the fans was that Bryan should win the Rumble and go after his title once again. Number two was the realization that the plan was to turn Reigns into the next John Cena. The biggest problem with number two, Cena is an incredibly polarizing figure because he's too “goody goody” in his role and has zero edge to his character. The crowd has turned on Reigns, so it would only make sense to push him full heel, but apparently that's not going to happen.
The crowd reaction to Reigns now reminds me of a little something from the past, something involving a certain cousin of his who became one of the biggest names in the history of the business. You see, before there was The Rock, there was Rocky Maivia. He was an over the top, smiley faced good guy who was being fed heavily to the fans, and they absolutely hated it. The crowds started the infamous “Die, Rocky, Die” chants, including signs. This is a young man who was supposed to be a fan favorite, who wasn't playing the “bad guy” in any way shape or form, yet crowds were so against him that they weren't just booing him, they were wishing death upon him. Once Rocky was turned heel and allowed to be “himself cranked up to 11” The Rock was born, and the rest is history. This is the same move I think WWE should take with Roman Reigns. He's already making controversial comments about how his critics are essentially idiots, why would you not take this and run with a full on heel character? Let Reigns open up, let him loose on the Universe and allow him to piss everyone off, before The Rock as a heel nobody thought he has a “talker,” but once he was left to run wide open he proved everyone wrong, and I think Reigns has the same inside himself. As much as I want one last Rock and Triple H match at WrestleMania, if done right you could sell next year on The Rock versus Reigns. You want to turn him heel, strip the Royal Rumble from him and “piss him off” setting him off on every babyface in the company and having him obliterate someone like Dolph Ziggler at WrestleMania as a result. Bryan takes the title off Lesnar, who leaves, and he feuds with Rollins all summer, exchanging championship reign once or twice before Reigns finally gets his shot.
SummerSlam I would have Reigns take on one of the Usos after “taking out” the other, and beats them handily, maybe continuing a two on one feud up through Survivor Series with them. At Survivor Series he could face both of them in a last man standing match, where he destroys them, and in a post match interview he says that he's the most dominant member of his family, nobody compares, not Yoko, not Afa and Sika, not even The Rock. It's his time, he's tired of being ducked, it's time for Roman to Reign supreme over the WWE Universe. He challenges for the title at TLC but gets DQ'd and goes overboard on the babyface champion, whoever it is at that time. He goes out on the first Raw of 2016, saying how he demands a rematch, but he's told thanks to his actions he can never have a another title match. He gets pissed, goes on a rampage, and says how this isn't over, he'll get his shot. Later in the night there's some big tag match, Reigns interrupts and takes down all six people then tosses each one out over the top rope, grabs a mic and says he's entering the Royal Rumble, he's winning it, and come WrestleMania he's taking that damn title and putting it where it belongs, around his waist and NOBODY will stand in his way. The Rock comes back the following week to accept his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, thanking the fans and talking about being “The Great One,” Reigns comes out, runs him down on the mic, they square off, Reigns starts to back off, when The Rock turns he attacks and beats him down, standing over his cousin's prone body.
Over the following weeks Roman Reigns goes off on how he's eliminated The Rock, how he's now The Great One, bragging about his actions. He's put into the Rumble at number one, and true to his word he's eliminating person after person, dropping at least the first 14 people to come out to face him over the top rope, then as the clock ticks down, entering at number 16 the building goes nuts, because The Rock is back. He gets in the ring, the two men go back and forth with one another over the 90 seconds they have before the next entrant comes down, the Rock hits his punches until Reigns is stuck on the ropes, the Rock charges him with a clothesline and both men role out over the top rope to the floor as number 17 makes their way to the ring. Rock and Reigns battle all over the arena the rest of the night with cut-ins here and there before Reigns makes his cowardly escape once The Rock starts getting the upper hand. Reigns challenges the Rumble winner (let's say Bryan) at FastLane next year, saying he would have won if not for The Rock and demanding the title shot be on the line. The Rock costs Reigns this match as well, leading to the cousins facing off in Dallas in The Rock's presumed retirement match after he goes into the Hall of Fame the night before, giving his cousin the rub that could send him into the stratosphere, with a hug and hand shake after a hard fought battle between the two men. I think this could work well on so many levels, but hey, what do I know right? I'm just some dude who has applied for WWE Creative, whose application will never get a second look.