It's Time to End Roman's Reign

10/29/2023 6:15 PM

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It's Time to End Roman's Reign

It's Time to End Roman's Reign

October 29, 2023 6:15 PM
It's Time to End Roman's Reign
WWE News

Reigns' Streak is Meaningless and Tired

It's time to end Roman's reign as Undisputed Championship. Enough is enough and there are so many reasons why his run as champ has passed its expiration date. Roman Reigns is set to defend the Undisputed Championship at Crown Jewel but a recent report indicates he won’t be working at Survivor Series. This makes it likely he won’t defend the belt until The Royal Rumble, another ridiculous time without a title defense. Let's explore why it’s time to end Roman’s reign.

Roman Reigns has been world champion for nearly three-and-a-half years and so far, there appears to be no end in sight for his title reign. Is this good for business? As we’ll see, there are many reasons why it’s bad for the WWE and its Superstars.

An Early Success

Has Roman’s current run as champion been a complete failure? No, but the longer it’s gone on, the more harm its done to the WWE and its wrestlers than any benefits it created for Roman and The Bloodline.

Roman’s initial heel turn was well-received and well-executed as he aligned himself with Paul Heyman and eventually coerced his cousins Jey and Jimmy Uso into aligning with him. Roman’s first year as champion was an example of how to rehabilitate a group of wrestlers through a strong storyline. Not only did Roman get a much-needed coat of fresh paint, but so did The Usos.

The Bloodline’s success was obvious from crowd reactions, ticket sales, and merchandise sales. The WWE had clearly made the right choice in turning Roman heel and giving him a solid run as champion. It invested time in putting him over and things paid off, as Roman became a better talker and to a lesser extent, a better wrestler.

Is Roman Reigns a Draw Without a Championship?

Roman Reigns is enjoying a huge push but how would he do without his world championship? Would he still be the major draw fans think he is? If not, why is the WWE keeping the belt on him? What’s the WWE’s endgame and why is it essential that Roman keep the belt around his waist, even as his appearances become rarer.

As much as the WWE is building Reigns up as the greatest wrestler in the modern era, it’s a baseless claim. As we’ll see, Roman has done little to fulfill the traditional roles of a world champion. The WWE can boast about all his many accolades (most of which are a work) but if he doesn’t fulfill a champion’s role, his laurels are meaningless.

The WWE Loses Its Perspective

However, as Reigns continued his run with the Universal Championship, the WWE began to lose sight of what a world champion’s role is—to sell tickets, increase ratings, build up a championship’s prestige, and to put over opponents. You can argue that Reigns moved the needle with tickets and ratings but he’s done little to elevate the world championship or his opponents. Let’s look at some examples.

Ratings and Merchandise

When it comes to ticket sales and ratings, the conventional wisdom is that Roman has helped raise ratings SmackDown and the WWE’s PLEs. Some Roman supporters believe he was instrumental in the WWE’s record revenue. His merchandise has sold well and at one point, Bloodline merchandise was a top seller. However, just how much has Roman increased the ratings and ticket sales? The WWE has had a strong product for the last year-and-a-half

As for the WWE’s overall revenue, how much of the WWE’s success is due to the demand for live events after the pandemic and the overall success of the WWE over the last year-and-a-half? As fans have seen, Roman’s limited schedule means he rarely appears at house shows and his PLE schedule is much more limited. If Roman plays such a big role in the WWE's success, why is the WWE doing so well when he doesn’t appear?

Roman’s Failure to Elevate the Championship

A long run with a championship is a good way to elevate both a wrestler and the title. Where things fell apart was when the WWE had Roman unify his Universal Championship with the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 38. It was classic hot-shot booking and the end result was that the WWE deprived the fans on RAW of seeing world championship matches. SmackDown fans fared little better after Roman negotiated an even more limited schedule.

While fans have heard about possible scenarios for Roman dropping his title (or splitting the Universal and WWE Championship), nothing came about. Instead, the WWE had to create a new world championship in order to give fans on RAW a chance to see a world champion. This was unnecessary and it devalued the new championship as it looked like a consolation prize for RAW. We can see Roman hasn’t elevated the championship so what about elevating opponents?

Roman’s Failure to Put Over Opponents

One of the traditional roles of a world’s champion was to elevate his opponents, either by losing to them or making them look strong in defeat. Can fans think of many (or any for that matter) wrestlers Roman has elevated during his long reign? He’s certainly buried wrestlers such as when he pinned both Edge and Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 37. Have any of Roman’s opponents emerged looking stronger than before they wrestled him?

Does the WWE have any plans for who will take the belt off him? It’s hard to believe as the company has had many good opportunities for a wrestler to dethrone him. It’s understandable that the WWE wanted to elevate Reigns by giving him a lengthy championship but after he unified the WWE’s two world titles, the promotion should have chosen an opponent to dethrone him, whether it was Drew McIntyre at Clash at the Castle, Sami Zayn at Elimination Chamber, or Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania 39.

The WWE is Treading on Thin Ice

Even if the WWE finally picks a winner, it will probably be at WrestleMania. If so, the WWE is pushing its luck. One of the biggest dangers with Reigns’ extended championship is the chance he’ll get injured or have a relapse of his leukemia. If Reigns is incapacitated for a lengthy period, how will the WWE handle things? What if he can’t return to wrestling? The WWE will have ruined the opportunity for Roman to pass the torch, simply because it thought a long reign is all that’s necessary to establish a legacy.

Roman Reigns Title Reign is Meaningless

Roman Reigns’ title reign has become meaningless due to its longevity and Reigns’ inability to fulfill any of the roles of a world champion. The WWE can keep the title around his waist for the next five years and he’ll still pale in comparison to the many champions who preceded him.

Roman’s Reign Has Become Convoluted

We’ve already examined the many reasons why Roman’s reign needs to end but there’s another. One of the biggest reasons Reigns should drop the title is that his matches have become convoluted. Reigns is a fearsome-looking opponent and he’s been depicted that way ever since he debuted with The Shield. However, the way he retains his title defies believability. As WrestleLamia has pointed out many times, his matches are predictable thanks to Roman relying on the same bag of tricks—low blows, referee bumps, and of course, outside interference from The Bloodline. Here, the problem is that the WWE doesn’t know how to think outside the box, which is why Roman’s matches have become predictable.

Making the Right Decision

The WWE has the chance to solve its Roman Reigns problem by putting the belt on LA Knight at Crown Jewel. As unlikely as that seems, it would give Roman time off and give the WWE time to determine Roman’s next role in the WWE. However, it’s unlikely to happen and the longer Roman wears the belt, the less it will mean when he finally drops it. Do you agree with this take or should Roman keep the belt indefinitely?