Listen, I like Roman Reigns a lot. For all the gripe I, and everybody else, give WWE for his booking, it’s hard to argue that Roman is a genuinely good wrestler. I even like him as a world champ. I was so excited for them to finally get the Roman/Lesnar destiny BS over at Wrestlemania 34. Finally we’d be able to move past the dark cloud hanging over all of RAW, dictating that everything happening would lead to Roman beating Lesnar. It was finally supposed to be over.
Even the story was good, despite the idea of Roman not as a Vince guy being completely ridiculous. But they didn’t pull the trigger. And they didn’t pull it again at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
And now he’s feuding with Jinder Mahal.
Don’t start on heel heat with this. I don’t watch Jinder matches hating him and psyched for him to lose the way I do with Miz and Ciampa or the way I did with Seth Rollins in 2015. I literally stopped watching Smackdown for his title reign, and I’m back for AJ and Shinsuke, but even then, Smackdown’s on thin ice. A good place for him might be the US title picture, but Wrestlemania confirmed that wouldn’t really work either.
You have a bad wrestler people tune out for up against a great wrestler the booking keeps destroying at every opportunity. How is anybody supposed to care about this? If Jinder wins, yawn. If Roman wins, yawn. I get placeholder feuds, I do, but at a point when people are recovering from a major Roman main event – and leaving Backlash over another – this is not the move. In the current state of main roster WWE, it’s hard to say what is the move.
It’s another confirmation of the feeling I’ve had since Mania: there’s no direction in WWE. I don’t mean that just for Roman and Jinder; I mean it for everybody. There isn’t a single storyline in the company that feels like there’s any sort of long-term care. Jinder vs. Roman is just the apex.
There’s no way WWE would have these two main event Money in the Bank. There’s no way. But if they do, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the crowd slowly disintegrate.
Because, come on. It’s a damaged Roman and Jinder Mahal.