WWE rarely puts on what anybody would consider a perfect show. That’s not a knock on them, of course — such a feat is almost impossible. But last night’s Backlash was so poorly received that people were actually leaving during the night’s main event, Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe.
— Ryan Falcone (@RYANFALCONE) May 7, 2018
Immediately after the match, which was uncharacteristically slow for two talented performers such as Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns, the usual post-three count shot of the crowd showed dozens of people immediately rushing to the exit — a reaction that suggests “thank god it’s over” a lot more than it does “thank god Roman won.”
— WrasslorMonkey (@WrasslorMonkey) May 7, 2018
Roman’s not entirely to blame here — besides an excellent opening bout between Seth Rollins and The Miz, two of WWE’s premier talents at the moment, Backlash was plagued by deflating endings and bizarre pacing. It is difficult to swallow that a singles match with no stakes in the middle of a start-stop feud closed out the show over a WWE Championship match simply because it features Roman Reigns, by the end of this trying event, the last match could have been almost anything and the crowd would have been just as over it.
However, Reigns has had an uphill battle with the fans ever since it became obvious he was the next “guy,” the company-endored hand-picked successor to previous golden boy John Cena, and the way he’s been booked hasn’t done him any favors — especially lately. He’s not even the guy fans love to hate ala Cena; they just don’t want to see him anymore. He’s become a vortex, a void of excitement that actively brings down everything else around him, and it’s entirely due to the way he’s been positioned.
Thankfully, WWE has six weeks to build to what has become a marquee event, Money in the Bank. After three bloated, befuddling shows in a short amount of time with a Superstar Shake-Up in between, here’s hoping stories can get back on track for the pre-SummerSlam summer classic.
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