Roman Reigns peaked as the tribal leader of SmackDown
It’s now been eight months since the August 28, 2020 episode of Friday night SmackDown. It was the night that Roman Reigns – just back in SummerSlam 2020 – officially aligned with Paul Heyman. The rest, as they say, is history. Since that momentous night, Roman has been on a warpath on SmackDown; the mark which became his “island” with Reigns reigning over said island with the iron fist despotic of the chiefdom. For years, fans have been clamoring to see a Roman Reigns heel. Outside of its initial run with The shield, or Dean ambrose, Seth Rollins and Reigns were antagonists acting in the name of a misperception of justice, it would be necessary to return to a very brief passage in NXT around the turn of the decade to find an earlier example of a Roman Reigns heel. Now, however, he exceeds all expectations – which were already high – and is proving to be an exceptional heel. Let’s take a look at the arguments why Roman Reigns is the best thing in WWE right now.
– Roman Reign (@WWERomanReigns) May 1, 2021
Roman Reigns actually feels like a tribal leader
As we all remember, before becoming a tribal chief, Roman Reigns was the face of society. Since the Shield was broken in mid-2014, Roman Reigns had exposed the torch previously held by Hollywood supporters. John cena. Although he was a dominant and triumphant babyface for six years prior to the turn, there were elements of awkwardness, coupled with poor reservation, that kept Roman from being seen as the Samoan badass that he truly is. Promotions such as the infamous “Suffer succotash, son!” attack by Seth Rollins in an episode of SmackDown and the “Roman and the Beanstalk” story he used Big show damaged babyface reigns before it can start. These were lines better suited to John Cena who for years had been dubbed “Super Cena” during his run as the Face of the Company. It refers to Cena’s image as a daily, neat hero who fights evil around every corner. if Cena was Superman, Roman was Batman; an anti-hero who, while being on the side of the angels, does not act like them.
These days Roman only speaks with an air of serious and legitimate authority unmatched by anyone in WWE. He doesn’t even have to do much of the dirty work in the trash trade anymore. the tribal chief is above that. He has both Paul Heyman and his cousin Jey Uso do that for him. It should be like that. If you hope to speak to a ruler or a king, you do so through his servants; hoping the chieftain / king thinks you worthy enough of his time. If he doesn’t want to entertain you, forget about him. This is what went perfectly throughout the tribal chief’s run, most recently with Cesaro, which Reigns repeatedly ignores the existence of.
He never felt so dominant
Roman Reigns has not been pinned since December 15, 2019, when King Corbin defeated Reigns under questionable circumstances at TLC 2019. Since then, any loss has come in tag team matches where he wasn’t the only one to take the downfall, such as December 4, 2020, when Roman and Jey Uso lost to Kevin owens and Otis, Roman being disqualified for keeping Owens in the Guillotine despite not being the legal man. It was a time of pure domination for Reigns. Roman doesn’t even wrestle every week anymore, which makes his presence in matches all the more special, only adding to the dominant image he has successfully created over the past eight months.
In what you think is counterproductive in making Reigns a dominant heel, he no longer wins clean in every game. Many of his wins – especially against Kevin Owens and more recently against Edge and Daniel Bryan – came with the help of his right arm, Jey Uso. Yet even with that added element of dirt to Reigns’ character, it didn’t take away his dominance. In fact, he only succeeded in making him seem even more invincible. Roman Reigns has built a reputation for nearly a decade of being someone nearly impossible to beat. Now that he too has adopted the same heel tactics long used against him, beating Roman Reigns has become an impossible task. No one on SmackDown currently seems able to beat Reigns and that, in turn, only helped Cesaro; which now feels like a last chance for an underdog hope to end Reigns’ era of domination as tribal chief.
His alliance with Paul Heyman was excellent
Typically, when a wrestler lines up with Paul Heyman, he relinquishes all verbal responsibility. Paul Heyman is usually the one to speak for someone who is unable to do so or who just needs a mouthpiece to cover up their weaknesses on the mic. Brock Lesnar is the best example because, for nearly two decades, Paul Heyman acted as his attorney – with Brock speaking very little during this time. That’s to keep Brock – a notorious introvert who struggles to speak in front of a live audience – from damaging his own undisputed reputation as a beast. With Roman Reigns, the role of Paul Heyman was different; almost diminished. Roman, despite having Heyman in his corner, does much of the talking; with Heyman there to issue threats when Roman senses the opponent beneath him. While having a muted Heyman in your corner almost seems like a waste, it has turned out to be anything but – with this partnership being both a breath of fresh air and, quite simply, excellent.
Roman Reigns’ ability as a speaker has always been underestimated. Roman Reigns’ microphone ability was never the problem – it was the scripts he was working on that were the problem. As covered by the aforementioned “Sufferin ‘Succotash” and “Beanstalk” promos, Roman Reigns suffered from poor creativity. Now that he has more control; is in a role he’s best suited for, and with Paul Heyman to back him up, Roman demonstrates that he literally has all the tools to be one of the great heels of all time.
Roman Reigns keeps his promises
In last week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown, Roman Reigns promised to ban Daniel Bryan from SmackDown. This became the additional stipulation of their WWE Universal Championship match this week; if Daniel Bryan loses, he is banned from SmackDown. Bryan, the white meat babyface that he is, accepted the stipulation – confident to end the tribal chief’s reign of terror. Roman kept his promise to both Daniel Bryan and the WWE Universe by sending the former WWE Champion on several occasions and the future Certified Hall of Famer to pack the Blue Mark he helped lead. since 2016. A heel that can confirm what he says is a rare commodity in WWE – for Roman Reigns, achieving this consistently speaks volumes about Roman and Paul’s confidence in their construction of this character. This current incarnation of Roman Reigns’ Tribal Chief and this era of SmackDown, which he directs, will remain one of the great eras of the blue brand. May this continue for a long time.
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