I sat with my computer opened thinking about what to write about the Superstar Shake-Up that occurred this week on WWE programming.
There was nothing to write. At least nothing positive. The whole thing felt kinda flat and a little unclear.
I mean, did guys just decide on their own, “Hey, I’m going to Raw” or “I don’t like Mondays, I’m going to Smackdown”?
There wasn’t a draft. It didn’t appear there were trades. Though on Smackdown the announcers made references to, “Shane McMahon negotiating all week” as it pertains to the women’s division. It just seems like guys up and left.
Owens showing up on Smackdown with a tight shave and a blue tied suit was a nice touch but it was far from the most memorable moment of the week. That occurred during the marathon of patience that was Monday Night Raw.
In the middle of a show, that had a completely dead crowd on Long Island, we were “treated” to a sit-down interview with Roman Reigns.
I can’t figure out what they’re doing with Roman.
I thought the “This is my yard now” promo from the night after Wrestlemania was flawless. He played to that hostile crowd perfectly. Unfortunately, the Raw after Mania has a very unique crowd made up of hardcore fans from all over the world. Not every city was going to react, and play into the story, the way that that crowd did.
At the same time, WWE had to know Reigns would effectively be a “bad guy” after beating, and apparently ending the career, of the beloved Undertaker.
How do you get behind a guy who retires the Undertaker? He was already booed more then cheered so that may have eliminated the last few cheers the guy was getting.
It appeared, at least from the brief sit-down Reigns did with Michael Cole, that Roman is still very much positioned as a “fan favorite” or a “good guy.” As I’ve said before, I really like Roman Reigns. His matches are good, his look is incredible, he looks like a legit badass.
I just don’t know what they want him to be. He’s not John Cena. He can’t be John Cena. The boo-cheer thing only works for him.
As Reigns was speaking about moving on from Wrestlemania and the Undertaker he was attacked by Braun Strowman. He was absolutely destroyed by Strowman. He was picked up and launched in the air, crashing through a couple of tables.
After being smashed by a giant crate, Reigns was put on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance. Here’s were it got good. The crowd began cheering Reigns demise and erupted when Strowman pulled Reigns out of the ambulance and continued his assault.
This moment brought back memories of Steve Austin and Bret Hart in April of 1997. Strowman then launched Reigns and the stretcher off some back stage ledge before walking off. Braun Strowman had the entire crowd chanting, “Thank You Strowman.”
Just when you thought it was over, Reigns was loaded in the ambulance, Strowman returned, and deadlifted the ambulance before turning it on his side. Again, the crowd erupts in applause.
Braun Strowman may have accidentally just become the most popular guy in the WWE Universe.
It’s interesting looking back and seeing how ineffectively they’ve “booked” Roman Reigns over the last two years and how the crowd has reacted while watching how they’ve “booked” Braun Strowman and how the crowd has reacted to him.
WWE has a decision to make here. Theres a PPV at the end of the month most thought would be headlined by Reigns versus Strowman (my guess, in a stretcher match), but the angle this past Monday was so effective, keeping Reigns off TV for an extended period of time my be whats best for Reigns, Strowman, and the company.