When you're a part of the show, it takes a little while to get around to reviewing it.
But Steve Austin, torn rotator cuff and all, has made it back to the Broken Skull Ranch, fired up the WWE Network and got his buddy Court Bauer from MLW Radio on the line to talk WrestleMania 32 for his latest podcast, because he's a professional.
And the Hall of Famer has an interesting take on the main event:
It was way too long. That match should have been 15 minutes. I mean, from bell to bell, 15 minutes, and, that being said, all the bells and whistles and action that needed to happen within that 15 minutes. And just, this is a deal where, okay, if it's Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels and you're out there, hey, give them 30 [minutes] because they can go 30 [minutes]. But here's a case, and Triple H can go any amount of time you want him to go.
But what needed to happen on this, just to make Roman, because if you're going to let Roman go over clean in the middle of the ring, shine him up like a million bucks. Let him bounce Triple H all over kingdom come. Finally, let Triple H just get a frog's hair of heat on him. And then boom, big finish, bam, 1-2-3. Make an impact with that match. Make an impact with the finish. And make a statement for the kid!
It's about getting this kid over and at least within the confines of the 20 x 20, being the ring, and then you've got all the other things to deal with, whether it's people resent him or this, that, or they think he [has] been pushed too hard too soon. You're trying to make Roman Reigns. I don't think you make him in a 28-minute chess match. This match needed to be all about excitement, explosion, and testosterone out of Roman and that's how I think they should have booked it.
Making Roman Reigns work this long exposed more holes in his game than we've already known that exist.
Now the pull quote a lot of sites, and Roman critics, are going to run with is the close about "holes in his game". But, I don't think Austin is saying Reigns can't work. Rather, putting him in a match booked like the Triple H one in Texas illustrates the lack of connection he has with certain fans, who won't follow him through that kind of story - especially against the guy with the cool entrance who's responsible for your favorite "indy".
If anything, Stone Cold is talking about holes in Reigns' character. And the "chess match" doesn't play to the elements of the Big Dog gimmick that have resonated with fans, like when he kicks the crap out of people. Which is why Austin calls for "explosion".
My read on this quote is more an indictment of Triple H, who has more say in how that bout was constructed and gets more out of a 28 minute match than the guy he (eventually) put over.
What's your take, Cagesiders?
H/T: Wrestling Inc for transcription