DISCLAIMER – The Eternal Optimist, aka Dave Fenichel, is a worthless bag of d*cks with an annoyingly optimistic viewpoint on the world of wrestling. Join in on the conversation below or follow him on Twitter @FFFightLeague. You’ve been forewarned.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: How Would YOU Book a Roman Reigns Heel Turn?
It’s Summerslam week baby! Being The Eternal Optimist, I’m beyond excited for the show. I think the card is both extremely deep and very well booked this year.
Most, if not all of the angst seems to surround the main event. Even I have to admit that it has a “same old, same old” feel to it. I’ve been attempting to dig into the rationale behind all of the Roman hate, and it appears to boil down to one thing.
The WWE is attempting to put a square peg in a round hole.
Allow me to elaborate. Most of the feedback that I have gotten from disgruntled wrestling fans stems from the idea that the WWE continues to shove the same babyface Roman Reigns character down our throats week after week, month after month. He’s not well-suited for it, and it isn’t working.
When I ask what the WWE could do to resolve the problem, the overwhelming answer I receive is that the WWE should turn Roman heel. Don’t take my word on it. Check out this parody video that my man DalyxmanVX (@DalyxmanVX1 on Twitter) put together. I really think that it touches on why the majority of the diehard wrestling fans feel the way they do about Reigns:
So a heel turn solves all of the problems eh? Roman’s character will finally match his personality you say? The diehards will finally get behind Roman once he turns heel you claim? I don’t see it happening for reasons that I’ve beaten to death in previous columns, but I’ll play along, assume that Roman Reigns turns heel and joins Paul Heyman this Sunday at Summerslam.
With that in mind, it’s time to take a deeper dive into what the wrestling world looks like post a Roman Reigns heel turn. Without further ado:
The Eternal Optimist Presents – Be Careful What You Wish For – What Happens If Roman Reigns Turns Heel?
The Demon Becomes a Sacrificial Lamb.
If the WWE decides to turn Roman heel, you can bet your last dollar that they are going to want to throw everything that they have behind it. With that said, you can GUARANTEE that Roman is going to be made to look like a world beater right out of the gate.
The easiest way for the WWE to accomplish that is to book him against a beloved wrestler that he can absolutely demolish. Enter Finn Balor. The WWE isn’t going to want to burn one of their big baby face stars for this role. Finn is both popular and expendable. The WWE has NO long term plans to make him a main event player.
The WWE can temporarily bump him up to the main event by playing up to the fact that he never got a title shot for the belt he never lost. It’s window dressing. It’s an excuse for him to get rolled like a joint.
I don’t have a problem with this. I’m not a Finn Balor guy. He might be the apple of the eye of many-a-female wrestling fan on Twitter, but he’s a glorified circus midget to me. I suspect that the majority of my readers feel otherwise and would NOT enjoy this outcome. Unfortunately, it’s the most likely reality of a Roman Reigns heel turn. I would expect Finn to be whamboozled and sent back down to the mid-card for good.
All Roads Lead Back to Brock Lesnar.
This is going to be the most difficult pill for people to swallow. If Roman turns heel at Summerslam and aligns himself with Paul Heyman, what is the ultimate end game?
It’s a Brock Lesnar redemption story. Think about that. Brock Lesnar gets screwed in the abovementioned scenario. The idea that he’d be leaving the WWE for good in favor of a full-time UFC return is fool’s gold. There is exactly ONE fight out there for him that is a money maker, and he’ll get that out of the way in January when he squares off with Daniel Cormier. He’s going to get smashed and he’ll likely remember just how easy he has it with the WWE.
So what does that mean? He’ll return just in time for Wrestlemania season. This should be the scariest thought for all of you that support a Roman heel turn. When he returns, it’ll be as a face to chase down Roman and get his revenge on he and Heyman.
The end result? ANOTHER Brock Lesnar v Roman Reigns match to headline Wrestlemania 35. Let that sink in for a while. Are you sure you still want a Roman heel turn?
The Remaining Members of The Shield Are Collateral Damage.
The hits just keep on coming! If the only logical end game is Lesnar v Reigns at Wrestlemania again, the WWE is going to be tasked with finding reasonable feuds for Roman to fill the space in between. After he smashes Balor, the options are not as vast as you would think. Bobby Lashley? Been there done that. Braun Strowman? The WWE hasn’t spent all this time building him up to throw it away on an off-brand PPV.
The only two legitimate challengers are Roman’s shield brethren, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. This is what everyone wants, right? Not so fast. Instead of being permanent fixtures in the main event scene, Rollins and Ambrose will be placeholders to kill time until Lesnar comes back into the picture.
Sure, Reigns v Rollins, Reigns v Ambrose, and The Shield Triple Threat make for great PPV main events, but is that really the role that you want Rollins and Ambrose to fill? This doesn’t lead to Seth Rollins ascending to claim the number one baby face spot on Raw. This doesn’t lead to the much-desired Dean Ambrose main event heel run. This once again puts both men in a familiar position, as second banana to Roman Reigns. How are you feeling about this heel turn now?
Braun Strowman Stuck In Limbo Again.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. If Roman Reigns turns heel at Summerslam, where does Braun Strowman fit into the mix? Many of you have advocated for a Roman heel turn to be followed by a Strowman cash in. That doesn’t make any sense and there is NO chance of that happening. The Reigns heel turn is a massive event and the WWE isn’t going to do anything to potentially overshadow it or render it less consequential.
Braun doesn’t cash in at Summerslam if Roman turns heel. For the reasons I mentioned above, he’s not going to be wasted in a placeholder feud between Summerslam and Wrestlemania. So what does that mean? He’s stuck for at least another six months.
His main event push is long overdue. Braun’s time is now. It’s almost impossible to keep an act hot for any significant length of time without pulling the trigger. The WWE has done a reasonably good job with Braun over the past six months, but it hasn’t been without its challenges. I just don’t have the confidence that they can pull off another half year of Braun idling without killing his heat. Do you?
A Roman Reigns’ heel turn sounds great on paper, but allow me to recap.
Finn Balor – Dead.
Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose – Dead.
Braun Strowman – Stuck in limbo – could end up dead.
Brock Lesnar – Better than ever and headlining Wrestlemania against Roman Reigns AGAIN!
Be careful what you wish for. A Roman heel turn would be an unmitigated disaster.
That’s a wrap kids. Thank you for reading. Agree or disagree? Sound off below!