Has the WWE found the magic formula for Roman Reigns?

Joshua Waddles
Staff Writer

WWE’s creative team saved Jason Jordan from obscurity last night. RAW general manager and WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle revealed last night that Jordan was his long-lost son.

They aren’t actually related. But although some might feel that this angle was a little bit soap opera, the moment did provide a little bit of a shake up and, I think, served as sort of a thematic intermission for the three-hour show.

Rollins, Ambrose and The Miztourage

Ambrose still shows a strong distrust for Rollins, who betrayed The Shield a few years back and basically broke up a brotherhood. The Miztourage (The Miz, Curtis Axle and Bo Dallas) looked strong to the crowd when they beat Rollins and Ambrose down.

The WWE is defiantly building up hype for a reunification of The Shield, but we’re still going to have to wait while Roman Reigns (the third member of The Shield) finishes his feud with Braun Strowman and wraps things up with his attempt to go after The Universal Title.

But the timing of a Shield reunion couldn’t be better. Roman Reigns has done the impossible: he’s gotten the fans to forgive him for retiring The Undertaker.

Bayley and Alexa Bliss

Bayley pilled the RAW Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss, after a distraction from Sasha Banks. Banks rushed in to attack Nia Jax, who was distracting Bayley and seemed ready to interfere with the match.

Since Banks and Bayley both hold victories over Bliss, these two are going to fight next week to decide who will be the number one contender.

Bayley and Banks are both former RAW Women’s Champions. Nia Jax, though physically dominant against everyone the WWE puts in the ring with her, has yet to hold the belt. There’s no way that Jax doesn’t get that belt eventually, but WWE Creative has other plans at the moment. This is probably why Jax is inexplicably now an ally of Alexa Bliss, the current champion.

I hope this alliance results in a storyline where Jax realizes she’s been manipulated by Bliss. That would be a great storyline and will give Jax character depth. Right now she’s a wrecking machine but doesn’t have much personality. If Bliss did something incredibly mean to her and Jax showed a hurt reaction, Jax will end up surfing on a wave of fan support that takes her to the top of not only the RAW Women’s roster, but the top ranks of the WWE in general.

Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Big Show

I don’t know how much of the credit goes to WWE Creative and how much goes to the wrestlers acting the story out, but whoever decided to set up Enzo Amore as a broken hearted underdog really got it right.

Enzo stood up and flat out admitted that he’s taken a lot of losses and he gave his point of view. “You win some, you lose some.”

Then someone in the crowd shouted, “You ain’t won any!”

But Amore said exactly the right thing with his line “You knock me down nine times, I get up 10.”

Many fans might have been expecting him to win the feud with Big Cass and that expectation could have damaged his credibility with the fans when it didn’t happen. But he got out and basically told us what to expect, and that’s going to help him look even better to the fans even if he loses.

Now after Big Cass showed up, Big Show came out. Big Show is in the best shape of his career and that’s probably because he wants to look great before he retires. I was thinking that Braun Strowman would retire him (the tradition is that retiring wrestlers lose their last match to a newer wrestler to help get them over with the fans.) But Braun Strowman doesn’t need any help getting over. With this new feud, there’s a good chance that Big Cass will end up retiring The Big Show.

Finn Balor and Elias Samson

I like how this match ended. Finn Balor isn’t really in a position to eat a pin and Elias Samson needs to get over as a heel (bad guy), so Samson smacked Balor over the head with his guitar and got disqualified.

Samson technically lost, but a DQ loss is forgiven easier with the fans. When it’s done right, it almost doesn’t even count.

Then the lights went out and Bray Wyatt issued a challenge to Balor. Even though there’s so much they can do with Baylor and Wyatt’s gimmicks, I almost don’t want to see this feud because I don’t want to see either of them lose.

Neither of them is really in a good position to eat a pin. Balor has been sort of put on the back burner after he returned from injury and Wyatt, although he soundly won the feud against Seth Rollins, has a reputation for losing at the worst possible moment.

Basically, he keeps getting tackled at the ten-yard line.

But on the other hand, this could be a very good feud. And if the feud is good enough, it sometimes doesn’t matter who loses. Both wrestlers come out looking great, as is the case with Reigns and Strowman.

Reigns, Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman

WWE has finally found the magic formula for getting Roman Reigns over with the fans. After Reigns retired The Undertaker at WrestleMania, I didn’t think I’d live to see the day when he got the electrifying, positive reaction that he got last night.

The feud against Braun Strowman was an exhibition of pure brutality, and the fans loved every single minute of it. This feud began right after Reigns retired The Undertaker, and while Strowman beat the tar out of Reigns back stage, fans started chanting “You deserve it!” as Strowman slammed Reigns against the walls.

Fans may not have had high hopes for Strowman either, at that point. He’d been squashing smaller wrestlers before then and I, like many fans, expected that he was just going to eat the pin in the WWE’s repeated attempts to make Reigns look stronger. But he didn’t; he won. And he won clean, which is huge. And these matches were so physical, and so vicious, that these wrestlers managed to get each other over with the fans.

The match between Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns ended exactly how everyone knew it would, with Strowman interfering. But the fans still loved it. Even when it was just Reigns and Joe in the ring, the fans were on their feet and cheering.

Joe is also a physically dominant monster of a man, so I’m beginning to see a pattern here and I think WWE Creative sees it too. Put Reigns in the most physical, brutal matches they can and don’t make him a superman. If the fans know there’s a possibility Reigns could lose, even lose clean, they’ll get behind him.

Most of them.


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