The introduction to Roman Reigns into the WWE was quickly met with criticism as fans have immediately depicted him as the weak link of The Shield. His detractors were adamant in pointing out his look as the main reason he was chosen as a member of The Shield over the likes of the indy favored Kassius Ohno. The lack of in ring experience was already a tough hill to climb for the Pensacola native, not to mention his inexperience in verbal warfare. In spite of the immediate negative presumptions, fans were willing to accept Reigns as one part of the beloved act that was The Shield. Many were convinced that the rumors of Reigns being groomed as a long term main eventer were true, but that didn’t mean they’d let it come to fruition without making some noise.
Reigns’ run as a singles star appeared forced as the learning curve was still in process for the entire world to see. His struggle to perform on a live mic under the bright lights were laughed at and cited as reasons why Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were better suited for the role of “The Guy.” His run as champion will more than likely be regarded as the direction the company decided to go in rather than the people’s choice and the perception on Reigns is bound to worsen following his recent wellness policy violation.
For the next 30 days the WWE has nothing but time to figure out how they are going to handle their top star’s suspension. Seeing as he is still scheduled for Battleground, it already appears that they are going the wrong way about it. If Reigns is allowed to keep his spot on the card, a wrong message is being sent to the locker room as no special treatment was offered to Konnor or Adam Rose in their recent violations.
The company was quick (well, maybe not that quick) in disclosing Reigns’ violation, which offers them an opportunity to make an example out of him. This doesn’t mean that they have to paint Reigns as a bad guy, instead as a human who made a mistake and now has to face the music. His return will likely be met with boos as he only provided his detractors with more ammunition, so why not blur the lines between fiction and reality?
Stripping Reigns of his world title on live television would have made for an interesting storyline as fans would be instantly drawn in only to have the polarizing star pulled out of their sight while he serves his suspension. There is no such thing as bad press and with TMZ Sports’ constant involvement in WWE’s activities, it’d be refreshing to see them use Reigns’ poor timing as an opportunity to add more elements to the Reigns character. Offering someone like Rollins the material to attack Reigns’ morals would allow fans to eventually feel sorry for him and begin to resonate with the fallen star. Let’s not forget the successful angles used by the company involving Jeff Hardy and Eddie Guerrero and their battles with substance abuse.