Instead of writing a full opinion piece, I’d like to use this Wednesday Wrap Around to go more in depth from Monday’s booking. This past week’s Raw was arguably the most historic edition we’ve seen in quite sometime, and the hype is still fresh. For the most part, the booking was excellent. The best part of Monday was arguably the video that surfaced earlier in the day of Lesnar attacking Ambrose. The WWE kept the momentum going throughout the night. Except the finish of their flagship program was questionable. Was it exciting? Yes, but it didn’t contribute to the overall story they’ve planned.
Parking Lot Video
The WWE loves to toot their own horn in regards to their social media presence. Since I follow them on every social media outlet, I know how active they are. However, it wasn’t until yesterday that they actually used social media to their strength. Frankly, I really don’t care about the “listicles” they promote, or the different surveys they want me to partake in. Their social media accounts should be used to push more on screen feuds. That way I’m given more reasons to tune in on Monday/Thursday night. Not only does this create excitement among hardcore fans, but it’s a brilliant way to get casual fans more involved. I’m pretty sure this would drive more traffic towards them online as well.
What happened between Lesnar and Ambrose on Monday afternoon was a thing of beauty. I was actually at the mall when I received the update on my phone. Once I saw the video, I was silently marking out in the food court. I couldn’t wait to get home and see what came from that video, as I knew this was a must watch edition of Raw. It was effective to release that earlier, along with showing it right when the show started. That footage had me more excited than I’ve been in years to watch Raw .Every now and then, it doesn’t hurt to give an angle away online. What made the situation better was the fact that it was recorded on a cell phone. That aspect alone made this ambush from feel real. As fans, we’re always willing to suspend our disbelief, and this was a perfect way of engaging everybody’s inner mark.
I’m not saying that the WWE should always have ambush angles recorded on cell phones. In fact, that would be over kill. They released something similar of Dash & Dawson attacking Enzo & Cass outside of the Performance Center (on Tuesday), and it didn’t do much for me. However, I recommend that the WWE books more angles away from TV and in public. Does anybody remember when CM Punk showed up to Comic Con to confront Triple H (directly after MITB 2011)? Well if you do, you know that it got fans excited for what came next. Never had we had so much access to the product, so it should be used to keep our attention.
Triple H/Roman Reigns Double Turn?
I’ll be the first to admit that this angle was fun to watch on Raw. There’s not much that can top a high energy beat down to conclude the show. Triple H looked great in his delivery, while Roman looked just as good selling. Everything about this was executed perfectly in terms of fitting the narrative, except the fan reaction. Reigns has been cheered and jeered throughout the year. Normally, he’s wrestling other fan favourites, which has made his push difficult. Triple H has not been a main roster fan favourite in quite some time, and for him to be cheered over Reigns on Monday is worrisome. If I’m part of the booking staff, I’d be losing a lot sleep. They almost had Roman over at the end of 2015. He managed to generate massive pops from crowds in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia (two venues that normally go against him), but the company failed to keep that momentum going. There’s a way to get him over, except the WWE is insistent on getting him over another way.
As we approach Wrestlemania 32, the booking staff is running out of options. It also doesn’t help that their next few episodes of Raw are being held in “smarky” towns. Can Roman truly afford to be jeered all the way into Mania? That can eventually affect the way his current fan base views him. Sooner or later that negative reaction can become infectious. It may be a small segment of the crowd that disproves of how his booking has been, but it’s that segment that’s paying to attend Wrestlemania. Why ruin Reigns’ big moment with a sea of hate on April 3rd? Roman isn’t anything like John Cena, so his character is more vulnerable to negative reactions. At this point, I think it’s time to do a double turn. The fans want to boo him, so give them a kayfabe-esque reason, but as a heel.
If not a double turn, then just a semi-heel turn for Roman. Hunter is still aligned with the Authority, so it would be awkward to see him as a full fledged babyface while his wife is a despicable heel. There’s nothing stopping him from being a “tweener” .At the end of the day, there should be a genuine reaction at the end of every Wrestlemania.
Please feel free to leave your thoughts on these two topics!