Roman Reigns took part in the WWE pay-per-view Extreme Rules in a match against four other wrestlers for the chance to face Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire for the Universal Championship. Instead of any of the former world champions winning the match, it was Samoa Joe that walked out as the No. 1 contender.
The time is now for the WWE to build up Samoa Joe to make fans care about him fighting Brock Lesnar. On Monday Night Raw this week, Paul Heyman came out and called Samoa Joe the “worst case scenario” because Samoa Joe is not an underdog and he doesn’t fear Brock Lesnar. Heyman also said that Samoa Joe is the one person who can hurt Brock Lesnar more than any other challenger.
After Paul Heyman talked to Samoa Joe, the No. 1 contender then told Paul Heyman that he was going to hurt him very badly. He described everything that was about to happen to Heyman and told Paul to describe it to Brock Lesnar. Joe locked in the Kokina Clutch and knocked out Heyman.
Samoa Joe is one of the most successful champions in professional wrestling history. He held the Ring of Honor Championship longer than any other champion in the company’s history. He holds the longest undefeated streak in Impact Wrestling history. He was the first wrestler to ever hold the NXT Championship on two different occasions.
The WWE has to do something to push Samoa Joe because he is not Roman Reigns. ProWrestling.Net reported that the one time that he was in the main event on Monday Night Raw, they averaged a 2.2 rating. That match was against Roman Reigns.
While fans like to point at Roman Reigns and claim that no one wants him in the main events, they can point to matches like the one with Samoa Joe. However, when Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman were feuding the ratings spiked. That is because fans bought into Braun Strowman as a legitimate contender.
Roman Reigns remains one of the most searched for WWE superstars on Google. Out of all five of the wrestlers in the Extreme Rules five-way match for the No. 1 contender to Brock Lesnar and his WWE Universal Championship, Samoa Joe was the least searched for wrestler. Roman Reigns was No. 1 on the list, followed by Finn Balor, and Seth Rollins.
Roman Reigns also dominates the list of most-watched videos on YouTube when it comes to WWE superstars moments and matches. Even the 10-minute moment where fans booed Roman Reigns the night after WrestleMania 33 has over 1.6 million views, and Roman only said a few words at the end of the promo.
It was pretty common knowledge that Roman Reigns was not going to win at Extreme Rules. The WWE wants to save his match with Brock Lesnar for WrestleMania 34, where the two men can fight for the WWE Universal Championship, as well as the bragging rights since Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar were the only two men to beat The Undertaker at a WrestleMania.
However, the WWE is searching for a way to turn their ratings’ slump around for Monday Night Raw. The company is suffering from their worst ratings since 1996, and that was the year that WCW almost put the WWE out of business.
The WWE is not pushing Roman Reigns against Brock Lesnar right now as a result. This is smart for long-term thinking, but the company has to figure out what to do to get their ratings back up right now.
Samoa Joe won’t beat Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire and fans know that. Brock Lesnar is going to fight Braun Strowman likely at SummerSlam, so why should fans watch the Samoa Joe title build? Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar will draw viewers, and that includes the fans that want to see Roman lose and the ones that love to watch Roman Reigns win.
[Featured Image by WWE]