On the surface, it didn’t seem like the WWE needed to even hint at a third person joining the Kevin Owens-Seth Rollins feud over the Universal Championship. But per WWE’s need to turn everything into a more complicated slop than it needs to be, Roman Reigns now has a chance to fight himself into the title match at Clash of Champions.
All he needs to do is whoop on Owens next Monday, and bang — he will be joining what would have otherwise been a match riddled with potential to be a 5-star bout.
Why is it that the WWE feels the need to do this? Why this crazy reliance upon Reigns during these big moments?
Save for a potential storyline in which Reigns literally needs to be involved in this for it to happen, there’s really no obvious reason for him to be in this match. Owens is brand-spanking new into his title run, so it is not as if the WWE is going to crown its third ever Universal Champion in just over a month’s time.
But there is a bit more it to this.
If Reigns loses, then all is solved. Owens gets a pretty massive rub that is getting by the former Shield member’s brooding face, and the Internet Wrestling Community gets to jump and down in glee as if Christina Ricci showed up at their house to profess her undying love for them.
Now, if Roman Superman Punches his way through Owens to get the win, more positives actually come out of this. We get that extremely polarizing figure in the main event at Clash of Champions, that potential 5-star match becomes a near guaranteed match of the year candidate, and he’s unlikely to win the gold for the reasons already stated.
This still doesn’t answer the reason as to why he’s involved, but I simply wanted to point out that it isn’t all frown faces, thunderstorms and Pauly Shore movies.
In actuality, we should be somewhat — timidly, it is worth noting — applauding the WWE for doing this. The move to put Reigns in a match with Owens, with a chance to participate in the title match at stake, gives us good reason to watch Monday Night Raw next week. Otherwise, we’d go through our regular weekly build to yet another championship match.
This decision does, however, highlight a few negatives. Mostly the fact that the WWE is incredibly reliant upon Reigns to “boost” everything on the show.
It’s as if the WWE doesn’t yet trust Owens being a standalone champion. That he’s incapable of carrying a straightforward feud on his own without a little extra something-something from the IWC’s most loathed figure.
Reigns is similar to John Cena in that regard. Everyone swears to the moon and back that they hate both, but everything the two are involved in tend to be better because of them — even if the “better” is only the live crowd furiously booing one man and cheering their brains out for the other, which is kind of the point of pro wrestling.
Still, the fact that the WWE goes to this Reigns well so often is worrisome. At some point Vince McMahon and crew have to realize that the main event of Raw can function without him. That, sure, if there’s a legit reason for him to be involved in a main event story, then it is all good, but to force him down our throats at the main event scene to simply provide that boost is doing a disservice to the other talent in the company and Reigns himself.
Instead of letting things organically happen, the WWE continues to hurl Reigns down our throat week after week. While I’ve grown to appreciate what he brings to the table (big match feel, his matches tend to be excellent, etc.) the use of him in every major angle is why everyone has X-Pac heat for him.
Anyway, let’s not entirely jump the gun on Reigns just yet. He can easily just help put on a good match on Raw and lose. Or he can win, and help put on a good match at Clash of Champions but still lose. He’s not going to win the gold, which is what everyone seems most worried about, so get a cup of tea and chill.
The worries aren’t with that. It’s with the WWE’s feeling of need to have Reigns close to all things important.