Reigns vs. Triple H: Wrestlemania Preview…

Fans booing Roman Reigns during Wrestlemania season: a tradition unlike any other.
Heading into WWE’s biggest event of the year, fans are upset yet again because Roman Reigns went over and looks to be the favorite for the WWE WHC.
Are fans justified or is this an overreaction? In fairness, many fans are probably thrilled at the prospect of Reigns becoming the WWE WHC. In staged Twitter “trash talk” last night, Reigns received more Retweets and Favorites than Triple H, despite the fact that The Game has more Twitter followers than him.
Twitter analytics aren’t a fair measure you say? Fine, well if you check WWE.com for top selling t-shirts, Reigns sits at #4 only behind AJ Styles, New Day and Daniel Bryan. Clearly the WWE universe stretches beyond Reddit’s Squared Circle and rabid PPV audiences.
With all of that being said, fans booing a designated face following a live event (again) and online threats of canceling WWE Network subscriptions cannot be ignored. I’m not necessarily opposed or in favor of Reigns winning at Mania. I just want it to be done well.
The way Fastlane’s main event transpired was not intelligent booking. Reigns cannot continue to be booked like a superhero. Him absorbing multiple chair shots only to instantaneously spear and pin Ambrose is absurd. Or is it?
Duh-duh-duh-duhhhhh. Duh-duh-duh-duhhhhh. You miss that song, don’t you? John Cena has made a living off of being the hated goody two shoes of the IWC. He is the Michael Jordan of overcoming the odds. Now Roman looks to be the second coming.
I think WWE is just fine with that. WWE has made a killing at the box office with Cena as their poster boy. It seems they view Reigns in the same light and there’s really no good reason not to.
Just because crowds don’t concede with Reigns’ push attempts doesn’t mean WWE should give in. I think it would be insecure of WWE to make all decisions based off audience reactions. At the same time, WWE has turned characters based on unwanted receptions in the past (The Rock, Charlotte, King Barrett).
Roman is different. The joy and hope he inspires in kids and casual fans is legitimate. The hatred and annoyance he generates from seasoned audience members is also legitimate. I think WWE Corporate likes the extremes in which he is perceived.
Nonetheless, I think the road to Fastlane was mishandled. Reigns was passionless in his new chase of the WWE WHC. Shouldn’t he have been more emotionally distraught with being the deliberate #1 entrant in the Royal Rumble, being ambushed in the middle of the match, and with his arch-nemesis Triple H inserting himself in the most ideal spot in the Rumble?
Reigns also didn’t have to overcome many odds to get a rematch for his belt. The night after losing the WWE WHC at Royal Rumble, he was immediately given a #1 contender’s match. His victory at Fastlane couldn’t have been more obvious either.
The Mania main event and WWE WHC for that matter must be handled with care. Roman Reigns has won and lost the WWE WHC twice since November’s Survivor Series. The hot potato with the belt is hindering its value in my opinion.
At the same time, if Triple H remains champion after Wrestlemania, the WWE WHC will continue to waste away on a part timer.
If Roman Reigns beats HHH clean, it’ll be another nail in the coffin for fans. The only way face Reigns will ultimately get over with the fans is if there is a stipulation at Mania that’ll put an end to the only thing fans hate more than Reigns’ push attempts: the termination of The Authority.
If Reigns picks up the victory over Triple H and Shane McMahon defeats The Undertaker, we could see a total shift in power when Wrestlemania is over.

Kevin D’Hooge

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