The Shield Days and The Big Dog’s Yard
Ever since Roman Reigns left The Shield and started wrestling as a single’s competitor, there has been much discontent from the fans getting tired of seeing Roman pushed as a top star. There were complaints about his relation to The Rock being one of the reasons he got a big push. Many also complained about how Vince McMahon didn’t listen to the fans.
Some fans even speculated that Roman’s leave of absence because of his leukemia was a storyline, which was absurd. Many of the WWE Universe said they did not want to see Roman on TV and in the title picture all the time. I loved seeing Roman on my TV screen, so I would always tell them to speak for themselves. However, my slight bias for him was able to admit that things sometimes did seem a bit stale.
During the Covid-19 era of wrestling, the last time Roman had appeared on any WWE programming was on an episode of Smackdown on March 28th. Roman’s last match during the beginning of this was on Smackdown on February 28th against Baron Corbin. He had skipped WrestleMania and work because of Covid-19 concerns, and while I was sad about it, I understood that health was more important than wrestling at that point.
A New and Improved Roman Reigns
Roman finally made his return at the end of SummerSlam after a match between Bray “The Fiend” Wyatt and Braun Strowman. Bray had won the WWE Universal title. However, his celebration was short-lived as Roman came out and gave The Fiend a spear. Then Roman speared Braun as well at ringside and then delivered some massive chair shots. Roman then proceeded to go back inside of the ring to do more damage to The Fiend. Before the end of the segment, WWE showed Roman standing over him with the Universal title in his hands. I was in the ThunderDome for the first time that night. I damn near fell out of my chair seeing Roman back in all his glory sporting a new attitude.
With Roman’s new attitude came an alliance with Paul Heyman, something I was genuinely shocked to see. While with Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman has almost a boisterous, slightly egotistical attitude in his approach as his mouthpiece. However, with Roman it was quite a sight to see that Paul was demure, seeming slightly afraid, about how he approached talking about Roman and his alliance.
The Tribal Chief
At PayBack PPV, Roman won the Universal Title back. It was a title he never lost from The Fiend. He delayed signing the contract for the match at WWE Payback PPV until the very last minute. Actually after the match had already started as any true heel would do in that situation. Roman got his title back by spearing Braun Strowman.
At Clash of Champions PPV, Roman defeated Jey Uso, his cousin. Roman’s heelwork shining throughout the match. That match between him and Jey Uso was emotional and brutal. Very reminiscent of Rocky IV vibes where Jimmy Uso had to throw in the towel much like Rocky had to do for Apollo Creed against Ivan Drago. In the very next episode of Smackdown, he was supposed to be celebrated as the tribal chief at a ceremony, but Roman would not celebrate since Jey did not acknowledge him.
After this, he fought Jey Uso again in the Hell in a Cell PPV. This match made him come into his own and solidified him as the Tribal Chief. He used emotion and then proceeded to hurt Jimmy to force Jey to quit in their Hell in a Cell “I Quit” match. At the end of the match, the elders of his family, one of which was Roman’s father, came out to acknowledge him. Not only was he the Tribal Chief, but he was also the head of the family and the head of the table. The feud between the two is arguably the best work both Roman and Jey have done in their respective careers.
As much as I also love the WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, Roman proved to be the better champion at Survivor Series PPV. He put Drew to the test and won their match against each other.
Head of the Table
Ever since Roman teamed up with Paul Heyman, Roman comes out to talk his crap and taunt the other superstars. Then he has Heyman and Jey Uso do some of his dirty work. Roman has shined being the heel that the rest of the WWE universe has been craving for over the last few years.
Roman pretends to be the good guy saying he does all of these things for his family. However, it would seem that is a bit of a stretch. He even claimed to be doing it for other wrestlers’ families, such as Kevin Owens. It is clear to us, the viewer, that he embraces his new role. Even at times coming off as a kind of anti-hero if you will. Now, all Roman needs to do is to change his gear and get a new theme song. Even with the only change being Roman wrestling without his shirt, I’m excited to see what Paul Heyman and Roman can do together in the future as a top heel.
The Future for Roman Reigns
I have no idea what 2021 will bring for Roman Reigns, but as he seems to be one of the best things happening in WWE. I’m sure he’ll knock me out of my seat much as he did when he returned during SummerSlam. Rest assured, this is still his yard. Now to add that extra cherry on top, he is also the head of the table.