Roman Reigns is the anointed one, to hear wrestling fans tell it.
And in their defense, they’ve been getting this information from some pretty reliable sources, namely Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Meltzer has always had his finger on the pulse of the industry.
He’s a well-respected insider with plenty of sources from within the WWE, and those sources are saying yes, Vince McMahon and Triple H plan on making Roman Reigns “their guy” — the man to beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 for distinction as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
We’re not here to question the validity of these rumors, but we will say that if WWE pursues this story path, they’d better have an alternative.
Reigns mic skills are always in question, but lately, his ring work has fallen under closer scrutiny as well, and with good reason. Beyond the Superman punch and the spear, he doesn’t have a lot going for him, and it’s hard to buy either one of those taking a guy of Lesnar’s size, strength and genuine wrestling ability out.
(For a closer look at the awfulness of Roman Reigns’ offense, Bleacher Report has an in-depth analysis.)
Beyond his two finishers, the only thing that Reigns can do really well inside of a ring is take a beating. He definitely sold a good one in the RAW episodes leading into his match with Randy Orton at SummerSlam.
And the biggest pop from that pay-per-view match with Orton was when the Viper connected with an RKO on Reigns from out of nowhere. He sold that, too, but the fact that fans erupted in cheers when it happened should tell WWE that there aren’t many people excited about the possibility of a Roman Reigns WrestleMania moment, especially one against Brock Lesnar, a man they’re starting to cheer.
So if not Roman Reigns, then who should beat Brock?
For starters, why do we have to take the belt off Lesnar at all, at least any time soon? Why not see where this building fan support for him and mouthpiece Paul Heyman leads?
We’ve had the anti-hero in Stone Cold Steve Austin. We’ve had the All-American Face in Hulk Hogan. Why not try going with a villain that people cheer. A man who doesn’t change a thing about his act based on support of the fans? Brock Lesnar could pull this off, and it would be completely unique.
But if you must dethrone the Beast Incarnate, why not go with a guy like Dean Ambrose? While Ambrose couldn’t beat Brock in a straight-up fight, his wrestling persona is the type that would stop at nothing to win.
He takes the kind of risks that a normal human being would have to take to beat a guy like Brock Lesnar.
While we know the WWE doesn’t much care what their fans want — see their plans to bury Daniel Bryan shortly after giving him the belt — it would be nice if they’d veer from the Roman Reigns path. Following his lackluster performance at SummerSlam, the character needs a lot more work before he’s ready to carry the company.