WWE Superstar Cycle of Life; Why Roman Reigns Will Fail

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John Cena and Roman Reigns

Don’t get too excited Roman Reigns haters, this article isn’t a Roman-bashing session. This article is about something WWE creative and Vince McMahon has forgotten about; The WWE Superstar Cycle of Life. In the last several years we’ve seen superstars fail to rise to the status of modern-day legend. Why is that? Well, people could spend all day listing reasons, but the biggest reason is that wrestlers aren’t going through what I call the Cycle of Life for a WWE superstar. Most people know how the cycle of life works for a wrestler. It's crucial to developing long-term wrestlers who fans are invested in. In the last several years, WWE has mostly stopped the cycle and it's the reason we don't have many wrestlers in this generation who we consider being future legends. 

Here’s how it works: A wrestler starts their career as a babyface, eventually the crowd will get bored of that wrestler as a babyface and start to turn on them. Once this happens the creative team turns that wrestler into a heel. That will get a negative reaction from the marks and the smart fans will be happy with the change in character. If the wrestler does well as a heel the chances are they'll start to get over with the fans as a bad guy so they'll be modified into a "tweener" (someone who acts like a face and a heel. An anti-hero if you will.) There is also the possibility that said wrestler will be turned full blown face depending on the reaction. In short the cycle goes something like this: face--> heel --> tweener/face. Rinse, lather, repeat. Now not every single wrestler has to follow this formula, some guys are better suited as a career heel and, very rarely, a guy can spend his whole career as a babyface without needing to turn heel. The key is listening to fan reactions and adjusting accordingly.

Lately, though, WWE has been ignoring the cycle, and, more importantly, ignoring the fans. John Cena is the biggest example of fans begging for character development and never getting it. I could argue the same for Dolph Ziggler, Stardust, Cesaro, Big Show (hahaha just kidding), and now Roman Reigns. WWE isn't looking at the long term anymore and it's killing this generation of wrestlers. Currently, WWE has without question their most talented roster ever. Yet, most of their talent are being completely wasted.

A huge problem in WWE right now is that they either have guys that are "reliable veterans," guys like Kane, Big Show, Mark Henry. Then you have your top main eventers; John Cena, Seth Rollins, Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, and Triple H. The problem is of those five top tier main eventers, three are part-timers. Now let's look at guys who could have or should be a top tier talent at this very moment. Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro. All of these guys are capable of being main event talent right now but only Roman Reigns has been WWE Champion. The majority of the roster are either older talent that is helping to draw viewers but are passed their prime, or mid-carders. There are very few who are in the main event category and even less who are considered a full-time main eventer.

This leads me to this year's main event at WrestleMania 32, Roman Reigns vs. Triple H. This match has disaster written all over it. WWE is trying to pull a "John Cena" with Roman Reigns and have him stay babyface even when the crowd is turning on him. Make no mistake, the crowd IS turning on Roman. When Triple H attacked Reigns, bloodying him and breaking his nose, the crowd cheered Triple H and booed any attempt to fight back from Reigns. When Roman faced Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar at Fast Lane, Roman received the only boos of the match. If Roman goes over at WrestleMania, and most people believe he will, it's going to end with Roman getting booed out of the arena. It really is a shame, too, because Roman is a great superstar! He deserves to have his time to shine, but he won't get it because of the WWE's refusal to turn him into a heel. Without any growth as a character, Roman is bound to travel down the same route as Cena, but because the fans are already sick of the Cena-style booking, they'll reject him faster. Roman is just the right guy, in the right place, with the wrong booking. WWE had their emergency eject button they could have pressed at Road Block, by having Dean Ambrose win the WWE Championship. They could have used this as a chance to turn Roman heel going into WrestleMania and salvage things, but they stubbornly stuck to their guns just like always. Once again we're faced with the possibility of Roman getting massive heat when he's supposed to get a huge pop, only, this time, it's the main event of WrestleMania.

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