WWE was clearly at a crossroads with one of its top superstars, Roman Reigns. The mega, rocket-up-the-backside style push wasn’t connecting with the fan base, and as a result, Reigns faced vitriol on a weekly basis. Vince put the entirety of the WWE machine behind who they hoped would become John Cena’s successor, and it failed miserably. And then came the Wellness Policy violation that became public two weeks ago.
The failed drug test was labeled an embarrassment, both online by the likes of Jim Ross, and on actual television with Seth Rollins and Stephanie McMahon echoing JR right on RAW. The online audience seemed to be split down the middle. On one hand, some fans thought it couldn’t come at a worse time for Reigns, what with his current position on top of the card and the upcoming triple threat match at Battleground pitting all three former members of The Shield against each other in one of the more anticipated encounters in recent memory.
But there was another portion of the audience that Reigns’ suspension was a blessing in disguise. Sure, he wouldn’t be on tv for any of the Battleground build-up, certainly taking some steam out of the program. But then again, by not being there, he won’t be the target of disdain and the absence gives the WWE the opportunity to come up with something different for the Reigns character for when he returns.
As noted, Reigns’ first night back on WWE TV will be the actual Battleground pay-per-view, notably missing every RAW and Smackdown between now and then, including the pivotal WWE Draft on the first live Tuesday night edition of the blue brand show. His status with the company, and position on the card, has been a major topic of discussion since the news of his suspension broke. Now, multiple sources have told Daily Wrestling News that many within the organization believe he’ll remain a main-event player upon his return. Expectations are that Reigns is a long-shot to win back the WWE Championship in the three-way, but he’ll remain in contention for it in the aftermath.
Roman Reigns is certainly in some degree of hot water at the moment. His failed test was a result of an unidentified amphetamine, not to mention, marijuana. The latter does not carry a suspension, only a fine, but it did bring heat upon the top star from many WWE officials and the amphetamine will almost certainly become public knowledge soon. It is only Reigns’ first violation, and apparently not enough to punish him past dropping the title at Money In The Bank.
The Inquisitr previously reported that Vince McMahon had been planning a redemption storyline for Reigns’ return, and today’s news supports that notion further. The WWE chairman is not ready to give up on the Roman Empire experiment just yet, which is in contrast to a report from over two months ago, suggesting that Vince was at least considering turning the page on the idea of Reigns as the face of the company.
Never before, at least not in recent memory, has there been such prevalent backstage information leaking out about each participant in an upcoming triple threat main event. We reported Saturday how Dean Ambrose had a ton of heat on him for his matches and demeanor behind the curtains. Many within the organization believe Vince and Triple H are riding Seth Rollins too hard since his return from injury. And now the news on Roman Reigns. There are plenty that feel this absence gives the decision-makers the perfect opportunity to bring Roman back as a heel. That way, Vince can still keep him in the main event picture and the reactions will finally match how he’s presented on-screen. But whether they go that route remains up for internal debate.
[Image via WWE]