This past Monday night on Raw, the world got to see a different side of Roman Reigns that was softer and more outspoken. Reigns has been pushed beyond all limits by WWE, even though there has been criticism about his promos and how they aren’t getting better. Still, is Vince McMahon slowly killing his career the way he almost killed that of legend Shawn Michaels?
Former WWE, WCW, and TNA writer Vince Russo did a piece for WrestleZone, where he talks about Vince McMahon’s interference with Reigns and how it could totally backfire.
During the interview on this past Monday’s Raw, in which he was confronted by Brock Lesnar, Reigns was fed the questions and answers, per Wrestling Inc. Still, it was a look at Reigns that we hadn’t really been able to see before.
Since his return from injury, Reigns has been giving a lot more promos in the ring and he’s referenced everyone from Superman to Sylvester the Cat. It’s been revealed that those promos are the work of one Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
The incredibly negative reaction that Reigns got from the Royal Rumble crowd in Philadelphia is said to be because the way he has been built over the past three months. With that, the blame is said to be placed on McMahon.
The city of Philly just tipped over the Roman Reigns bandwagon and set it on fire.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) January 26, 2015
Russo compares the current treatment of Reigns to that of Shawn Michaels some two decades ago.
“Vince had me script every cheesecake, pathetic, baby face promo that I could muster, put them in a teleprompter and stand there and make sure that Shawn read every word just as it was written. There was ZERO improvising – none. And the promos absolutely sucked. One was worse than the other, and I knew it … and Shawn knew it.”
At the time, Michaels wasn’t the “Heartbreak Kid,” and the entertainer and wrestler he turned into. He was thrilled to have WWE (WWF at the time) relying on him to take the lead and steer them into the future. With that, Michaels did what he was told and read the awful promos as he was instructed. That’s exactly what Roman Reigns is doing right now. Russo says that Vince McMahon wanted to sell a certain image to the fans, and it was one that Shawn Michaels wasn’t. No matter what, McMahon was going to feed that character to the fans, whether they liked it or not. Now, he’s doing the same with Roman Reigns. Once Triple H and Chyna got married — and the fans were a bit different back then — Michaels was able to change his character. He became more of who he really was and the rest is history, so to speak.
It appears as if McMahon is doing the exact same thing with Reigns now, but things may be a tad more difficult to get out of the funk he’s in now. Combined with the Internet, the wrestling fans of today are a bit more brutal.
The matter wasn’t helped by the fact that WWE was trying to make Roman Reigns their top babyface by having him win the Royal Rumble, but it was done in one of the most opinionated wrestling cities in the world — Philly.
That ECW crowd ate him alive, and it began after the early elimination of Daniel Bryan. From that point on, the crowd did nothing but boo virtually everything that happened and then totally rained down on it when Reigns won.
— Justin Credible (@PJPOLACO) January 26, 2015
Even with all of his wrestling knowledge, Vince McMahon believes the wrestling fans of today will just accept Roman Reigns as whatever he wants to mold him into. Today’s fans are a different breed, and Roman Reigns is nowhere near that of Shawn Michaels in the ring or on the mic — even HBK from 20 years ago.
If Vince doesn’t let Roman Reigns be Roman Reigns, then his career could be over before it even truly gets started.
[Images via WWE]