Just looking at Roman Reigns for three seconds indicates that he is clearly not over being a former member of The Shield, and then being betrayed by Seth Rollins to bring the group to an end. He still wears the exact same in-ring gear (minus his logo), comes out to the same music and he only recently stopped entering the ring from the crowd.
Justin Timberlake got rid of the frosted tips after leaving NSync. Sooner or later, Reigns is going to have to take notes.
This need for transition also leaks into his storylines, as Rollins remains his only true rival. If he is going to remain one of WWE’s top draws, his sights are sooner or later going to need to be set elsewhere.
This past Raw’s opening segment gave us a glimpse of what that “elsewhere” could possibly be.
Right after Reigns cleared the ring of Kevin Owens and Rollins, he was left to look straight into the eyes of Big Cass, one half of the hottest current act in the WWE along with Enzo Amore. For the first time in a while, WWE gave fans a chance to see “what may be to come”, as the realization that a program involving a feud between Reigns and Big Cass (hopefully he eventually calls himself Colin Cassidy, as “Big Cass” sounds like a guy I’d send to break thumbs over gambling debts) shows significant promise.
First of all, what makes this work is that both men are on completely different areas of the spectrum of fan admiration. Big Cass is beloved because his successful tag team with Amore happened organically based on the combined talents of the two partners rather than needing the machine to get behind them.
Reigns is meant to be a face, but is rejected by the adult fans because he has been consistently force-fed to the WWE Universe despite the obvious opposition against the choice. Clear sides are going to be chosen by the WWE Universe, and the side chosen is going to be that of Big Cass.
This positioning amongst the fans would also set the stage for Reigns to become the heel that is going to make WWE millions of dollars. The profitability of Reigns lies in his heel turn, and eventual run. He is not built to the be the smiling Rob Van Dam that he has been trying to be since devoting himself to a face role, and the fans know it.
Reigns is a Samoan badass, and needs to be allowed to be just that, as it suits him best. Big Cass, who usually seems to be satisfied simply cracking jokes with Amore, is an easy target for someone who needs a head to stand on as he re-approaches the top of the WWE landscape.
Big Cass is going to be bullied by Reigns, who already packs a sense of entitlement due to all that he has already accomplished in his brief career. However, Big Cass has already shown his ability to fight back against any and all opponents. His allegiance with Amore works so well because Big Cass has the ability to clean up the mess Amore leaves with his mouth, meaning that when a fight needs to go down, Cass must be relied up to pull double-duty. This is a role that Reigns is quite versed in, meaning the combination of the brawling styles of both competitors will match up well once they finally get to meet one-on-one.
It’s the styles of both men that really make this matchup the most intriguing. Their similar sizes are an obvious visual aid, but it is the speed that goes along with their brawling style that makes them match up so well.
WWE fans no longer get excited about a Big Show/Mark Henry match because both men move at a snail’s pace, leaving their matches to have all the excitement of an episode of “Antiques Roadshow”. This is not the case with Reigns and Cass; both men are able to utilize both size and speed to make their strikes count in the match, rather than simply relying upon the size of their bodies. The skill sets of both members open the door for a beautiful car wreck for all to enjoy.
Every once in a while, WWE would have larger opponents like The Undertaker, Kevin Nash and others of comparable size squaring up to similar opponents, making the fans believe that maybe, just maybe, someone has finally met their match. This drama was summoned again on Monday night when Big Cass and Reigns locked eyes for the first time. This stare down needs to be more than coincidental, and when it does, there is going to be plenty of money to be made.