Samoa Joe is back in WWE and his first target is Roman Reigns. This may have come as something of a surprise to many fans, as the two men have clashed in the past. Could it be that from a creative standpoint, Joe just didn’t have anything else to do?
The easy answer is no. The Submission Specialist is right back in the thick of things and more importantly, he’s already back on the main event scene. He is right where his fans want him to be and he’s also right where he deserves to be. But he’s not alone this time; he brought the truth with him.
Joe’s promo on the April 9 edition of Monday Night Raw was cool, it was crisp and it was calculating. He spoke with the arrogant swagger of a career criminal that’s never been caught. He stared at Reigns as if he could see right through him and judging from his words, that’s precisely the case.
Samoa Joe essentially said what every fan was thinking at that point: Roman Reigns cannot win the big one. Yes Roman is tough and yes he fights his heart out but every time he gets close to the top, he falls short. That is what happened at WrestleMania 34 and Roman’s critics are likely still celebrating his loss.
WrestleMania was supposed to be Reigns’ night. Even his haters agreed that the storyline leading him to April 8 was logically going to end with a victory over Brock Lesnar. Everyone knew it. That was the only move that made sense. But when it didn’t happen, fans were left wondering why.
Here is Samoa Joe’s return on April 9:
Why would WWE’s top guy fight for three years to once again share the same air with Lesnar in a WrestleMania ring, only to lose? Roman’s journey took him through every major opponent the company could throw at him and he beat them all. The only remaining demon was Lesnar and Reigns was ready to exorcise him on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
But Lesnar continues to haunt Reigns and The Big Dog is left standing in The Beast Incarnate’s shadow once again. Was Reigns’ Mania loss a statement by WWE? Was it the company’s outright admission that Reigns’ status as the most hated babyface on the roster was not being ignored?
Many fans have always assumed that WWE continued to book Reigns as the top protagonist out of ignorance or possibly even arrogance. Vince McMahon wanted Roman in that spot and it wasn’t possible he could be wrong. The fans were wrong to hate Reigns. This was all their fault. Right?
So maybe Roman’s loss at WrestleMania was an acknowledgment of the chinks in his armor. The company knows he’s fighting an uphill battle. WWE has run nearly every play available to get Reigns over as the No.1 babyface yet he continues to get hate. Of course McMahon can hear the boos. Of course WWE knows the truth. But knowing and reacting have not always been the company’s strong suit, at least not when it comes to Reigns.
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