At the 2015 Royal Rumble, Roman Reigns won the Royal Rumble match with the Rock by his side. The Philadelphia crowd continued to boo the former WWE champion out of the building. It was a just reaction to another letdown of a Rumble match. The year before, Batista came back to the WWE and won the Rumble match. If it weren’t for CM Punk leaving and the world getting behind Daniel Bryan, Batista and Randy Orton was the scheduled main event for the WWE title.
As a fan base, not many wanted to see that match. Luckily, Bryan was there to captivate the WWE Universe and push the WWE to put him in the main event instead. The same situation took place last year at WrestleMania 31. WWE officials were all-in on Roman Reigns walking away the WWE World Heavyweight champion in Levi’s Stadium.
Fans voiced their extreme displeasure for that following the events of the Royal Rumble, so they had Seth Rollins cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase to capture the belt. Two years in a row, officials heard the response of WWE fans. If Reigns was a heel, it’d be no problem. However, they want him to be a top babyface, and that heat just couldn’t work in this context.
WWE fans thought Reigns had turned a new leaf at WWE TLC. He lost to Sheamus and then turned into the man every wrestling fans wants him to be, a Samoan wrestling machine. Reigns destroyed everything in his path, including Triple H. According to Cageside Seats and Xpac, Triple H almost didn’t get beaten down by Roman Reigns at TLC.
“[WWE] did wonders in a two-day period between the last pay-per-view and I was here in Philly when Roman won the title in the exact building in Royal Rumble that they booed him out of the building. And I might get heat for this, but him beating the hell out of Hunter, that almost didn’t happen. Hunter had to fight really hard to get that to happen and they tried to put an edge on Roman. And it did work.”
It absolutely worked. Reigns was favored by the fans, and they even cheered for him the following night on WWE Raw when he finally won the WWE title. For Reigns, it was a long time coming. The hard work and dedication to getting better every night showed that it was paying off. He’s still not the greatest worker or talker, but he’s steadily improving.
Inside the article, it also says that the booking of Reigns post-TLC comes down to Vince McMahon. Clearly, Triple H understands how to book him, but McMahon may not. He needs to be a man that destroys everything in his path and flat-out doesn’t care. Jim Ross spoke with SI.com about how he would’ve book Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble.
“It was executed poorly. There should have been medical staff trying to help him and he could have pushed them away, refusing a ride to the trainer’s room. But the damn story was not told. And I’m not lashing out at anyone, because I don’t know if that was by design or not.
“In hindsight, instead of sprinting and running to do anything, Reigns should have walked very deliberately and used his facial expressions to tell a great story. But we have the luxury of re-booking something we’ve already seen. I understand the intent of the storyline, but we never got a medical update on Reigns.”
Booking Roman Reigns isn’t rocket science, which is why HHH knew exactly what to do with him at TLC and the night after. It appears that McMahon has the pulse on Reigns’ booking moving forward. Then again, WWE hasn’t pushed him nearly as strong the last two weeks. Instead, the focus is on Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar. Is the WWE changing plans again?
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