Roman Reigns, the bruiser or the enforcer of the Shield, is one of breakout stars this year in the WWE. He’s evolved from simply the “Big Man” of the Shield, to what appears to be the cool, silent, badass Leader of the Shield. When he first started, he was seen as the weak link of the Shield by many fans (mostly internet fans, the IWC [Internet Wrestling Community]) when compared to teammates Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Ambrose was often praised for his crazy, almost joker-like character when in FCW and for a short stint in the independent circuit (also known as ‘the indies’), and Rollins was praised for his in-ring prowess, in-ring style, and athleticism he displayed also in FCW and in the indies (where he was known as Tyler Black). Reigns was just…that new guy that wasn’t Kassius Ohno AKA Chris Hero (who many wanted to be the third member of the shield).
In many of the IWC’s minds, Reigns was simply too green (inexperienced), not good on the mic, “probably” sucked in the ring and was simply leeching off of Ambrose and Rollins. But regardless, Reigns remained a big part of the Shield, delivering the saving ‘Spear’ when they needed it and being the base, the main member involved, in the patented Triple Powerbomb. So Shield debuted and began competing against big names such as Ryback (at the time), John Cena, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Big Show, and yes (or should I say Yes!) Daniel Bryan himself. During this time, Shield was mostly victorious, but more importantly, Reigns was both improving and PROVING himself in the ring, at least as part of a team. However, some still doubted Reigns in one on one matches and some straggling skeptics still do.
Then Reigns was given more time, more one on one matches (Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, CM Punk), and more lines in Shield promos. Eventually, due to his sheer intensity, his presence, and his execution of his moves, Reigns got over. The biggest moment, the turning point, was in Survivor Series where Reigns beasted and singlehandedly eliminated 4 men on the opposing team to win the match (He tied the record for Survivor Series btw). I believe that people saw in Reigns what they saw in Goldberg and Lesnar and others like them, simply put, the “It Factor”.
He began getting chants, even as a heel, when the Shield came out. He began getting hyped by the IWC as the next best thing, and as the next face of the WWE. He began getting nicknames (like Roman g*****n Reigns, Roman f*****g Reigns, The Beast, etc.), and more importantly he started becoming peoples’ favorite member of the Shield, and even one of their favorite members of the entire roster.
Maybe it’s because of his football background, but the way Roman Reigns delivered the spear was amazing, the best since Goldberg or Rhino in my opinion. That, in addition to the way he emphasized his moves, the way he posed like a cocky heel, his underrated strength (see his match as Leakee where he double samoan dropped his two teammates, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in their triple threat match) the way he roared like an unleashed monster, that awesome Leaping Dropkick (delivered to an opponent who is laying under the bottom rope by Reigns from outside the ring), and of course, his earth-shattering Superman Punch, won the fans over. And WWE either noticed, or accelerated whatever plans they had for pushing him, because soon after he became the focus of the Shield.
It mainly started as normal stables do; the bigger guy is the enforcer and thus looks better against big stars and whatnot. Then it evolved to Reigns looking like the leader at certain times (the first Wyatt/Shield facedown and pretty much ever since), beating big names (CM Punk, Mark Henry) where his teammates couldn’t, and his record-breaking performance at the Royal Rumble where he broke Kane’s elimination record of 11 (Roman had 12) and was one of the final two along with Batista. Reigns would continue to look like he was on a higher level, again leading the Shield against the Wyatts and looking like the most impressive member (despite their loss), physically overpowering John Cena when trapped in the STF, and leading them in the backstage skits and promos.
Overall, Roman Reigns has the look, the presence, the physical charisma to be a star, and WWE sees that. He also has been rapidly improving and has a repertoire of visually impressive moves, a style that exudes intensity and beastliness, and he’s pretty decent on the mic (IMO his silent but badass delivery fits him), and fans see that.
I believe Roman will Reign and that he does in fact have next. He has the backing of WWE clearly, he has the connections (being the Rock’s cousin), he has the look, he has the skills, and he has the fan support. The Era of Justice will come. Believe in that.
Copyright © WarWithWords 2014