I think we can all agree that Roman Reigns -- the man who would be king -- has struggled to get over since his return from injury. Not to suggest he was blowing the doors off the arenas prior to his untimely departure, but after hearing the crowd's reaction during his recent match with Big Show, I'd say it's time to take Creative to DEFCON 4.
Simply put, they need increased intelligence.
Over the last few weeks, live crowds have become decreasingly receptive to the big man's push as the next big face, and the boards have lit up with varying critiques. I've seen a lot of Reigns isn't ready remarks, suggesting that perhaps he's too green to stand alone, or too limited on the stick to shout down the brass ring.
I'm not sure I'm on board with that assessment.
If anything, it's WWE who isn't ready. There's a reason he was handpicked to carry the torch in 2015. Reigns was positively electric as the muscle of The Shield and did everything right. He didn't say much outside of a few toe-curling baby girls and worked each match like a pro.
And that's just it.
WWE took everything that made him a star and threw it right into the back of a garbage truck, in the same way Vince McMahon disposed of Eric Bischoff back in 2005 (sans trial). Remember when Reigns was being airlifted to the arena via London helicopter?
Or spearing the entire locker room?
Reigns was over because he had an edge. In addition to being mysterious, he had that look like he would bust you in half, whether you were a face or a heel, just because he could. Then he went into the Good Guy Shop for a makeover and (gasp) emerged with canned promos that usually end with him doing that fist thing, where it looks like he's circumcising his forearm.
Keep it PG, brah.
Being a skilled talker is not something you can teach. It's either there or it's not, so this idea that a little seasoning will turn him into "The Great One" is a fantasy. But that's okay, because he doesn't need to detonate weekly pipe bombs to get over.
I don't remember The Undertaker or Batista winning any Slammys for their mic skills.
Anything below CM Punk and above Zeus is good enough for me, because the key to success for any performer is accentuating the positives. Reigns looks like a bad motherfucker, and he wrestles like one too, which is what made him such a formidable addition to The Shield.
Which brings us to Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.
All you need to know about their ability to get over can be summed up by their headlining spot atop a major pay-per-view (PPV) card, one that also featured a Cell match between WWE veterans -- and locker room top dogs -- Randy Orton and John Cena.
And oh by the way, they stole the show.
The advantage they had over Reigns was their license to build upon the foundation laid in The Shield. Ambrose took the "lunatic" shtick and spun it into gold, while Rollins simply cranked the asshole dial from four to eleven. The only thing Reigns got to carry over was his vest and that slap-happy crowd entrance.
The rest of him comes straight from chapter one of Babyfacing for Dummies.
Based on his previous body of work, I'm convinced that Reigns is "ready" ... but is WWE? Judging by the way they've (re)packaged him, I'd say it's Creative who needs a few more months under the lamps.