Roman Reigns is on a collision course with Elias at WWE Money in the Bank on Sunday, May 19. The Big Dog has heat with Elias stemming from an attack on the April 23 edition of SmackDown Live and now the two Superstars will wage war. But where is this going?
Reigns is WWE’s top guy of course, but he’s also now the face of SmackDown Live. This means that he has a new stage with a fresh start. His long tenure on Monday Night Raw is over and he can once again flex his muscles as the company’s No.1 attraction. The fans see what the company wanted with this move. However, the endgame is still unclear.
Roman is in a very odd position right now because he’s not the top titleholder and he’s not in the main event. This is to be expected of course, due to the ebb and flow of a typical WWE storyline. Even John Cena wasn’t always in possession of the primary championship. But in John’s case, he was usually either in the main event, or hovering just around it. However, that’s not currently happening with Roman Reigns.
Of course Roman’s critics feel he’s in a perfect spot right now. They believe that Kofi Kingston has earned the right to be WWE champion and Reigns’ presence should not interfere with that. Maybe Roman should bide his time, as long has he can, in the semi-main event. That allows other Superstars to get the spotlight and also gives Reigns a chance to recharge following his four month hiatus from WWE.
Watch Roman Reigns’ explosive debut on SmackDown Live!
But many would say that Roman versus Elias is a good thing for the latter, but not the former and that may prove to be true. After all, it’s obvious that WWE once again wants to elevate Elias to a top level and the only real way to do that is to rub him up against top talent. It doesn’t get any bigger than Roman Reigns on SmackDown Live, so of course he and Elias are going to mix it up. In a perfect world, it only makes sense.
However, WWE often does not create the perfect world scenario. Elias has had more than one false start and every time it happens, fans go along for the ride. He’s a likable act and more often than not, he can get over on the mic with just one line. But he’s waffled so often at this point that it’s hard for anyone to believe a word he says. His credibility has been all but destroyed and everyone knows that.
So matching him up with Roman is probably not the immediate cure-all that WWE believes it to be. Yes, Elias will get more exposure thanks to this feud. But if he comes out of the other side on the same level as when he went in, what was the point? Anyone that has supported Elias must know by now that when it comes to full commitment from WWE, the company is just not reliable. In the end, the song may remain the same for The Drifter.
Watch Shane McMahon get revenge on Roman!
That brings fans back to The Big Dog. What’s his reason for being in this feud? What does he stand to gain from it all? Is it possible that this new run with Elias is nothing more than a holding pattern for Roman, until the time when WWE intends on booking him for a major championship once again? Is it possible that Roman Reigns is merely just treading water in a boring feud with a predictable outcome? Or is there something more brewing behind the scenes?
The fact is that when it comes to WWE Creative, nothing is for sure. The company changes direction on a dime and that has become more evident with each passing week. Angles are cut short, Superstars act out of character and rivalries fizzle out before they even begin. It happens all the time and when WWE is at its worst, it’s as if everything changes five minutes before the program goes live. If that’s true, then no one would be surprised.
But Roman is the top of the food chain. The company revolved around him at one point, as it does with every top guy that came before him. But his battle with leukemia sidetracked him and WWE was forced to go in other directions. Now that he’s back however, the time will once again come when he resumes his role as the focus of WWE. It’s how the company does business.
So it’s reasonable to assume that this booking with Elias is more than just a short-term distraction. There has to be something more to it and fans certainly see that. But if the point of all this is not to get Elias over as a main event player, then the only scenario left is the one involving The McMahon Family.
Watch Roman accept Elias’s challenge!
This is the part where many fans begin shaking their heads. Why must everything come back to The McMahons? In a company with five programs featuring five full rosters, why does WWE feel the need to book 49-year old Shane McMahon in a physical angle where he’s defending the honor of his 73-year old father, who took a Superman punch from Roman Reigns? But this is the reality of WWE and longtime fans are very aware of that.
Truth be told, this is all about Roman versus The McMahon Family. Fans should not go into shock if Roman loses to Elias at Money in the Bank, because that loss will probably come at the hands of Shane. Fans should also expect that Roman’s heat with The McMahon Family will not be over when Money in the Bank comes to an end. In fact, it’s likely just getting started.
WWE does run a pattern of activity around the top guy and that has been the case since Hulk Hogan in the 1980’s. No, Roman is not the current WWE champion and no, he’s not in the main event right now. But in WWE’s view, the villainous McMahons are the main event. By that logic, Roman Reigns is right where he needs to be.
Fans may not like it and much of it will probably not make sense. But that’s how it goes in WWE and the only thing that anyone can do now is sit back and see how it goes. Roman will eventually get back to the business of running hard atop WWE. Whether or not fans will be ready when it happens, is anyone’s guess.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, boinkstudios.com and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live