wrestling / Columns

Why Roman Reigns Must Beat Undertaker at WrestleMania 33

March 17, 2017 | Posted by Andrew Hughes

On April 2nd, 2017, Roman Reigns and the Undertaker will lock horns to see who’s “yard” it really is. After Reigns eliminated the Undertaker at the Royal Rumble in January, the writing was on the wall for a clash between the two bruisers at the show of shows. With the Undertaker seemingly on the decline the past few years, it seems fitting to give the fans one last signature “Deadman” victory at WrestleMania over the most hated man on the roster in Roman Reigns.

The WWE should avoid doing this at all costs.

The WWE looked to create three bona fide stars with the Shield. Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are all former WWE champs and have largely anchored their respective shows in the past year. Still, no one would put them at the level of Triple H or the Undertaker. The reason for that is simple: these guys don’t come off as the most intimidating guys on the roster like the others.

While in the Shield, Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose were legit badasses that beat everyone in their path. They defeated two former world champions and the hottest act in the company in their debut when they defeated Team Hell No and Ryback at TLC 2012. They beat another three former world champs in their first WrestleMania when they took down Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show at WrestleMania 29. They absolutely dominated Evolution every time they faced off during Batista’s return in 2014.

Since then? All three have been scripted to be corny, light-hearted baby-faces or in Rollins’ case, a guy who was nurtured by Triple H and the Authority. Gone were the “Hounds of Justice.” In their place was “suffering succotash,” “sparkle-crotch,” and a “lunatic” who is more likely to dish out a punchline than a punch.

In the case of Reigns though, he has been largely dominant. To most fans, he has been too dominant. Reigns’ booking has been akin to John Cena since the Shield’s breakup; he makes a comeback, hits the signature moves (flying clothesline, superman punch) and spears some sucker before picking up a predictable win. The fans have reacted to him just as they did with Cena, booing him out of the building every chance they get. But the kids and ladies love him and he moves merchandise, so Reigns doing his thing is ultimately good for the product.

What would be even better for the product would be Roman Reigns destroying the Undertaker at WrestleMania. Reigns is hated by fans in a way most bad guys aren’t. Fans genuinely dislike Reigns, due to the misconception he is a bad worker (he isn’t) and perhaps due to jealousy (as previously mentioned, the women love him). Absolutely decimating the deadman at HIS show would be the ultimate icing on the Roman Reigns hate-cake.

A heel Reigns has been done before and it worked extremely well. The Shield were bad guys during arguably his peak moment of fan-love, the Royal Rumble 2014. Back then he was the ass-kicking silent muscle of the group, and it clicked in every way possible. He was a bad-ass. Then after the split he was given the keys to the castle and the fans rejected it. Of course, the WWE went through with it anyway and that is why Reigns was viciously booed when he confronted the Undertaker at the Allstate Arena in Chicago a few weeks ago.

The WWE should embrace the hate and turn Reigns into a cocky ass-kicker. We saw a hint of it this past Monday when Shawn Michaels unexpectedly hit the ring and told Reigns to be wary of the Deadman’s abilities. Reigns brashly retorted that he was gonna be the guy that would retire the Undertaker and didn’t want to hear it from the guy the Undertaker retired. WWE needs to continue down this road with Reigns and have him back up his claims.

The destruction of the Undertaker should begin a slow build heel turn for Reigns. Dean Ambrose could be drafted to Raw and the Shield could reunite briefly before Reigns absolutely destroys Rollins and Ambrose before claiming that he didn’t need the Shield nearly as much as they needed him. He could go on to tout his victories against Triple H and the Undertaker at the past two WrestleMania’s before beating the ever-loving hell out of Ambrose and Rollins to further cement his status as THE bad guy in the WWE.

Finally the payoff could be an absolute demolition of either Goldberg or Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. Bad Roman Reigns would be booed, as would be intended, and he would have heat the likes of which the WWE has never seen. The WWE would have their guy and he would be the baddest guy of them all.

And it would all start with retiring the Undertaker at WrestleMania. If WWE wants Reigns to truly be the face that runs the place, he needs to have a cocky smirk and the accomplishment of retiring one of the greatest wrestlers to ever lace a pair of boots at WrestleMania. Roman Reigns MUST beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania.

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