Sunday night at payback was a great PPV. There were some great matches on the card that delivered and more so on the night. One of which was the second Sami Zayn match that could be up for Match of the Year – that man Is a genius. However the main event became a 30 minute example of everything good and bad with The Big Dog Roman Reigns.
Let’s start positive. If nothing else then his match against AJ Styles proved he can compete at the main event level. The match was a spectacle and well worthy of a B-Level PPV main event. Some of the spots where executed to perfection and the Phenomenal Forearm through the table had the hairs standing up on my neck. The two restarts where a bit weird but worked well to get Doc, Anderson and the Usos involved and at the same time reiterated the announcement Vinnie Mac had made before. For the first time in a long-long time Reigns looked good and looked like he was getting over, at least in terms of his match building and storytelling. AJ definitely managed to bring out the best in Roman and they both delivered.
Here’s what I didn’t like and talking to some friends it seems a lot of people feel the same way. AJ styles took Roman to the limit. Apart from the Styles Clash, AJ hit Reigns with everything he had. Multiple Forearms, 450’s, the table spot. Even Gallows and Anderson put a beating on him. And yet when it came down to the finish, after two restarts and one hell of a beating, it took one spear to put Styles down. One crappy overused mediocre spear and the Phenomenal One was down for the 1-2-3. This took away from the strong solid match that they had. I know it was intended to make Roman look strong but it just didn’t. I’m not saying it made AJ look weak, this match made him look incredible, but it didn’t do anything for Roman. It just seemed rushed and ever so slightly forced.
The whole ending of the match made me think about the who Roman Reigns situation. Sometimes I genuinely don’t understand why people don’t get him. He has a good, unique look. His character is something we haven’t seen done in a while and if Payback proved anything, he can hang with some of the best in WWE. He can wrestle; he has had some great matches in his career. Plus when he first went solo after The Shield split he actually got over for a couple months. Yet on the other hand I can see why we all get tired of him. He’s been forced down our throats ever since Vince realised Reigns was ever so slightly over. His mic work is completely dyer. And he’s been booked absolutely terribly since day one.
There’s the problem. To me the main issue we have with Reigns is that he has been booked terribly. It’s mainly down to Vince wanting Roman to be “The Guy” immediately. This whole “make Roman look strong” booking is ruining any chance of Roman looking strong, ironically. And it’s not even the fact that he wins a lot, it’s how he wins. Look at Payback. The single spear after AJ had laid a beating onto Reigns made the match that bit sour. Yes we all expected him to win and if I’m honest I’m not bothered by him winning, him having a long and strong reign as champion will do him well, but winning with a single spear was just poor booking. Instead of looking strong and powerful it was just lazy and insulting to fans.
The match deserved a really good, thrilling ending and instead we got a lacklustre cop out. It took something away from what was otherwise a very good PPV. All we can hope for is more of the same at Extreme Rules but with the ending the match deserves. What happens to Roman Reigns after that is another question entirely.
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