Rumors online say that Vince McMahon is genuinely pissed at Roman Reigns for his wellness violation, and maybe rightfully so. When you are pushed for the better part of two years, you cannot blemish your career by using drugs during what could be considered the “peak” of your push. This might be an instance where Reigns gets pushed to the back of the line and has to eat shit for the rest of the year. Vince holds grudges. After Battleground, Reigns might need to work his way back into the chairman’s good graces. Creatively, he may have flat-lined at WrestleMania. But there is still light at the end of the tunnel. Here are three ways that Roman Reigns could return to action and make a big impact.
1. One Man Army
If and when he has his first appearance on Smackdown, he needs to take a stand. He needs to be angry about his suspension and the way Seth Rollins has ridiculed him. And it needs to show through aggressive actions. Perhaps he puts Commissioner Shane McMahon through a table? Then Shane kicks him off the show. But the next week he does the same to Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and she kicks him off Raw. If they still want Reigns to “be the guy” the best way to do that is have him become a viable heel. Right now he isn’t, not by a long shot. Maybe they set up a match between Reigns and Shane at SummerSlam with Steph as the special guest referee and the stipulation being if Reigns wins he gets to choose which show he goes to. He wins and we spend a few weeks and maybe another pay-per-view trying to figure out what to make of him. Make it seem he is above the lottery system. Hell, don’t even include him in the lottery draft. Keep selling it and let Shane and Steph argue over who gets him because they don’t want a “drug user” on their roster. Make his gimmick special without forcing us all to watch him carry the World Heavyweight Championship yet again.
2. Sierra. Hotel. India. Echo. Lima. Delta. Shield.
A month isn’t a whole lot of time to do this, but setting up a reunion for The Shield to take on The Wyatt Family or The New Day (or both) at SummerSlam could be fun. The problem this leaves is who does the world title go to? There aren’t a lot of options, and it would include someone dropping the title on Raw and Smackdown; although, possible selling point for an “anything can happen on a live Smackdown!” angle. Now would actually be the perfect time to bring back The Shield because the brand split and lottery is going to cause tension and there will certainly be some injustices visited to many guys. The Hounds of Justice could return once more to set things straight. This seems like more of a slow-burner program for 2017. But WWE has been known to push storylines too soon or too fast, so it’s quite possible they pull off some sort of shenanigans after the Battleground triple-threat blowoff match.
3. The Real Roman Empire
One thing’s for sure: Roman Reigns messed up big time. He needs to come back focused and serious. That means coming down the ramp and making a direct line to whatever guy has pissed him off. No more crowd work. No more smirks. No more screaming, fist-cocking, rope whipping. He needs to be stone-faced. He should be stoic and serious, and just look like the badass monster that he has been sold as for most of the year, but hasn’t quite yet delivered on. Reigns needs to go heel, for so many reasons. The best impact he can make is to protect Ambrose as champion, but pull-off a double turn with Rollins during the Battleground match. Ambrose leaves as champ and we set up heel Reigns versus babyface Rollins at SummerSlam. Dean gets a new opponent for the “summer Mania” and we are all the better off for it. A Roman Centurion would never carry or conduct themselves in the way Reigns has the past few months. Now might be the time to retool Reigns towards heel heat, as opposed to just letting him get booed for no reason every time he comes to the ring.
Other obvious options include winning the World Heavyweight Championship or Vince being really petty and sending him back to NXT, which isn’t really the worst thing that could happen. Probably the worst thing to come of Reigns returning is we have a wishy-washy match at Battleground and then have to watch another triple threat at SummerSlam, which is just as boring as it sounds and not even worth the $9.99 Network subscription. What do our readers think? Where does Roman Reigns fit into the current roster and impending brand split? Let us know in the comments below.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker