Roman Reigns’ return last year had me disappointed. He interjected himself into a plot I really wanted to see the conclusion to, and left The Fiend/Strowman feud on the shelf. Since then, however, Roman has been the absolute best part of the men’s division on the main roster. And he absolutely needs to hold on to that title a long, long time.
It’s been a while since there has been a real substantial and interesting villain in WWE. I actually like Brock Lesnar, but he’s an extremely standard heel — a big boy who likes beating people up. Not much more than that. He’s good when you just need a basic villain but he himself is not interesting. Randy Orton has a bit more depth, but after years of him doing the same schtick, it frankly wears thin. The Fiend can’t really be called a villain at this point and honestly never was from the crowd’s point of view.
Roman Reigns, on the other hand, has been an absolute breath of fresh air since returning and establishing himself. Multiple times I have gotten caught up in the moment and wrapped up in the story. Multiple times I felt myself honestly hating Roman for a brief second before having to remind myself it’s a work. Roman is able to help make the suspension of disbelief a lot easier.
And everything so far has done a great job building Roman’s character, From his first bout with Jey Uso, to the current plot with Adam Pearce. Every angle furthers of Reign’s character, one of the things I thought was absent during a lot of Moxley’s AEW World Championship reign.
For example, even after Jey has lost and Roman moves onto his next match, Jey is still part of the equation. We watched as Jey’s relationship toward Roman changed and he gained respect for the Head of the Table after his match with Daniel Bryan. Then, his match against Drew McIntyre showed that Jey was now willing to come to his aid. Even though Bryan and McIntyre were one-time matches and not part of a larger feud, they helped further Roman’s character.
I especially love the Adam Pearce story the last couple of weeks. It has shown that for all his sense of calm and seemingly calculating nature, Roman is just extremely petty and that he can be taken advantage of. It is superb character building and a possible gun in the first act for how Roman will eventually be brought to his knees.
All this is part of the reason Roman needs to hold the belt for a long time. Of course I really like his character and I want to see more of it, but the main reason why he needs to hold the belt much longer is it’s necessary for his character. His character is the “Head of the Table” — The way he acts, the way he behaves is all centered around his status and him being the champion.
If you take that belt away from him before we get to really know his new character through and through, he runs the risk of being just another delusional heel who thinks he’s better than he actually is. If, say, he loses the belt at WrestleMania, he has proven nothing other than he can hold onto the belt for an average amount of time and then drop it at the excepted time. Nothing there backs up Roman’s current character.
For Roman’s character to not just work now, but to have a lasting impact on how we see his character, he needs to hold it for much longer. Once he does drop it after a long reign, the “powerful titan trying to climb back to the top after being thrown off” story will be a lot more interesting. However, if he drops it in the next couple of months, he simply becomes another guy who thinks he’s good but he’s really not, and we really don’t really need a second Baron Corbin.
So please, WWE, please keep the belt on Roman through WrestleMania, through SummerSlam, through perhaps even all of 2021.The plots around him so far have been the best thing on SmackDown recently. And for me to be interested in his character after he finally does lose the belt, I need to spend a long time getting acquainted with his character while he has it.
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