Roman Reigns: Raw Potato
For the better part of a year, Roman Reigns has been the “future” of the WWE. They’ve tried every single thing they can to get this man over: from aligning him with popular faces (Ambrose, Usos), to having him defeat top heels in the Big show and The Wyatt’s, on down to Vince writing his every cringeworthy promo filled with nursery rhymes and jokes about tater tots. WWE sees the money in Roman Reigns that many of us do, but the problem is simply that he is not ready. Much like a potato, Reigns has the potential to become any of a number of great things in this industry, but the WWE insists on feeding him to us raw.
Between Reigns winning the rumble, defeating Daniel Bryan, and winning the championship tournament, the WWE expected for the fans to accept Reigns as their top guy and cheer his successful conquests. What was unexpected, though, was the amount of backlash that they’d face for their decisions. You see, no one likes being told what to like, yet the WWE insists that the fans must like Reigns. While other fan favorites such as Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose, Tyler Breeze, and Bray Wyatt float aimlessly around the card, talent that managed to get themselves over such as Zack Ryder, Damien Sandow, Cesaro, and Neville are all forcibly pushed down the ladder and seemingly out of our minds. While the fans demand fries, chips, or mashed potatoes, WWE creative decides to instead feed the fans the raw potato that they just do not want.
This problem isn’t exclusive to Roman Reigns either. Other RAW potatoes currently being fed to the fans include:
WWE Champion Sheamus: A man who was portrayed a bully of a babyface, incedently got Daniel Bryan over by defeating him at Wrestlemania, and recently returned with a silly haircut and beard style. The fans have pushed back against Sheamus’ incessant top-tier run since his initial leap to the main roster in 2009.
United States Champion Alberto Del Rio: The hero who fought back against systemic racism in WWE and got fired for it. The man who sued the company for violating his rights. The man who conquered and revitalized the Mexican Lucha Libre market and was a top star between AAA and Lucha Underground. The man who promised the Mexican people that he would never sell them out. The man who beat John Cena in under 8 minutes with a super kick.
Also the man who has done fucking fuck all since coming back to the company after going against every single thing that could have made him a huge babyface upon his return.
John Cena: The man that the crowd has wanted as a heel for damn near 10 years. The guy who got booed for main eventing Wrestlemania 29. The guy who gets booed in his own home state of Massachusetts. He’s a merchandising machine, but no matter how many sprinkles you throw on him, John Cena is one seriously vanilla “entertainer”
Big show: Joke. Serious. Heel. Face. Absolutely nothing about the big show is ever consistent or entertaining, yet for 15 years WWE has maintained the belief that major storylines and programs should revolve around or (at least) involve the Big show.
Authority: Over 2 years of domination over all the top faces and absolutely no one has come out looking strong against them. Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, and Dean Ambrose have all looked like fools stepping up to the authority. No one goes over them and no one is ever allowed to embarrass or marginalize them. The Authority is everything Mr. Mcmahon wasn’t and the fans are sick of eating this crap.
While the WWE creative and management staff continues to force the fans to listen to 20-minute opening monologues and show-closing promos about potatoes, the fans are stuck with the options to either eat the raw potato or starve. Sometimes, you just gotta say: ‘fuck the chef’ and eat what you want. As a fan, I am more disheartened and disconnected from the product than I’ve ever been. I spend my Monday nights watching football, Netflix, HBO, or old episodes of Family Feud on my DVR. While WWE keep telling me to just eat the potato and like it, I will continue to find other products to satiate my hunger.