Wrestler of the Day – October 26: Roman Reigns

Today is the big dog himself: Roman Reigns.

This is about Reigns so no full Shield matches.

Reigns started as Roman Leakee in FCW in late 2010. We’ll pick things up at some point in June 2011 on FCW TV.

Big E. Langston/Calvin Raines/Alexander Rusev vs. Bo Rotundo/Leakee/Richie Steamboat

Raines is a big guy and Langston’s FCW Tag Team Championship partner. FCW Champion Rotundo is now known as Bo Dallas and Leakee is Roman Reigns. Rusev and Richie get things going with Steamboat going after Alexander’s huge calves. Rusev easily throws him away and scores with a shoulder but it’s quickly off to Bo and then Leakee (pronounced Lay Ah Key) to stay on the arm. Alexander easily runs over Leakee before it’s off to Langston for more power offense as we take a break.

Back with Raines running over Leakee for two and putting on something resembling a seated full nelson. Leakee comes back with a sunset flip before running over for the tag to Steamboat. Richie cleans house for a bit until Rusev slams him off the top with ease. Back to Langston who stomps away and hits a spinning belly to belly for two. Rusev comes in again for a bearhug and an overhead belly to belly.

A double tag brings in Raines vs. Steamboat and Ricky is caught in an abdominal stretch. Back to Langston who isn’t hurt by Steamboat chops but a kick to the face has some more effect. The hot tag brings in Bo to clean house as everything breaks down. Bo and Langston are left alone in the ring and a spear is enough to pin Big E.

Rating: B-. I liked this a lot more than I expected to. They followed the six man formula very well here and the whole thing worked quite well. These guys knew how to work together and everything flowed well. That being said, I need to pick better matches the next time I do one of these things. Langston is now 0-3.

Another FCW match that might headline Wrestlemania someday. From January 12, 2012.

Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins

Reigns is known as Leakee here but that looks better as a title. The winner gets a title shot next week. Ambrose stops to look at William Regal, who he’s been having a long feud with at this point. We’ll get there eventually. Leakee pulls Dean down as Regal talks about how glad he is that his children don’t have evil in their eyes. Rollins gets double teamed but Leakee slams both of their faces into the mat to take over.

Now it’s Leakee getting double teamed as we take a break. Back with Leakee still being double teamed as Regal talks about how great it is for he and Ambrose to be evil but he’s trying to control his hatred. Ambrose rolls Rollins up for two before getting sent to the floor. Leakee knocks Rollins out of the air for two but Ambrose takes Leakee down into the Regal Stretch as part of an obsession with getting a rematch.

Leakee makes the ropes but Rollins springboards in with a clothesline to Dean. The low superkick sends Leakee to the floor but Dean counters another attempt into a wheelbarrow slam for two. Ambrose misses a knee trembler (Regal’s finisher) and Rollins hammers away, only to miss the curb stomp.

Instead he dives through the ropes to take out Leakee before heading back inside to slug it out with Dean. Regal admits that he knows Ambrose will be the end of him as Ambrose turns Rollins inside out with a clothesline. Leakee comes in and Samoan drops both guys at the same time before Checkmate (a running bulldog, a terrible finisher for him) ends Ambrose for the pin.

Rating: C+. All this really did was make me want to watch Ambrose vs. Regal in a match that tears the house down and shows more emotion than anything WWE has done in years because they’re both old school workers like that. The match itself was your usual triple threat. Leakee changing finishers was the best idea he could have had.

Off to NXT now, starting on October 31, 2012.

Roman Reigns vs. CJ Parker

Reigns used to be Leakee in FCW. He’s a member of the Anoa’i family and is the son of Sika and the brother of Rosey. The announcers pound in the fact that Reigns has the IT factor and that we’ll be talking about this debut for years to come. Reigns catches Parker’s crossbody and pounds on the arm and shoulder. A DDT on the arm puts Parker down and Reigns cranks away on it some more. Parker fires away some elbows to escape but a side kick misses and Reigns slugs him down again.

A belly to back suplex by Reigns is countered into a cross body by Parker for two. Parker hits some knees in the corner but gets caught by a flying forearm. Reigns kind of roars and hits a belly to back slam for the pin at 3:43. Think Cena’s Protoplex (the spinning slam he sets up the Shuffle with) but instead of spinning the other guy around, Reigns drives the down with his hand.

Rating: D+. The commentary is over the top but Reigns looked fine here. He’s got a good look and a good physique and his in ring abilities were fine. The match was just a squash though with Parker getting in a few shots here and there. Much like everyone else, it’s too early to say what Reigns has without giving him a more serious challenge.

Reigns would join forces with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to form the Shield. He and Rollins formed a regular tag team and had a Tag Team Title shot at Extreme Rules 2013.

Tag Titles: Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins vs. HELL NO

This is Texas Tornado rules, meaning all four men are in the ring at the same time. The fact that there were some deaths a few days ago due to tornadoes in Texas makes this bad timing for this gimmick. Kane and Bryan are defending. It’s a big brawl to start as you would expect with the champions taking over. Bryan puts Rollins in the surfboard and Kane adds in a low dropkick for two.

Kane gets double teamed down in the corner and then Bryan gets the same treatment. Reigns loads up a powerbomb off the middle rope but Bryan counters into a rana to put everyone down. Kane grabs both Shield members by the throat before shoving them to the floor, allowing Bryan to hit the suicide dive to take both guys out. The champions take turn hitting clotheslines on both guys in the corners before Kane hits the top rope clothesline on Rollins, allowing Bryan to hit the Flying Goat for two.

Bryan gets the NO Lock on Reigns but Rollins finally makes the save. A chokeslam puts Rollins down but Roman catches Kane with the spear. Back up and Reigns shoves Kane into Bryan, only to get caught around the throat. Seth comes in off the top with a knee to Kane’s head, allowing Reigns to hit a second spear. Bryan makes the save but can’t get the NO Lock on Reigns. Rollins makes the save so Reigns can put Bryan in a torture rack. Seth comes off the top with a knee to the chest, good for the pin and the titles at 7:24.

Rating: C+. Again this was ok but nothing great. They could have used another five to ten minutes here but for some reason they’re flying through these matches tonight. Shield winning was the only logical conclusion as there was nothing left for Bryan/Kane to do with the belts at this point. Decent but not great here.

To Smackdown on May 31, 2013.

Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan

This starts immediately after the previous match ends. Bryan sends Reigns into the corner and kicks away at the arm to take over early before tying his legs into Roman’s and dropping forearms to the face. The fans also love Bryan which isn’t all that surprising. He fires off more kicks in the corner before hooking a dragon screw leg whip to put Roman down again. Roman hits a hard clothesline to take over as we take a break.

Back with Bryan trying to speed things up but getting caught by another clothesline for two. Bryan gets all fired up and hits a hard set of kicks to the chest followed by a running dropkick in the corner for two of his own. Reigns drills him in the stomach to slow Bryan down but Bryan hooks the NO Lock out of nowhere. Reigns crawls over to the ropes but only gets there with Seth pushing the rope towards him. Kane goes after Rollins but hits Reigns for the DQ at 9:20.

Rating: C. This was a better match than the opener, but that’s likely because the smaller guy as the face is an easier formula to work with. Bryan’s kicks get more awesome every week and it’s very wise of him to use those as his main strike. I mean, can you imagine him throwing a convincing punch given his size? Kicks are far better for a guy like him.

One of the team’s biggest feuds was against the Rhodes Brothers, culminating on Raw, October 14, 2013.

Tag Titles: Shield vs. Goldust/Cody Rhodes

No DQ here. The challengers take over to start and work over Rollins with Cody getting two off a dropkick. Reigns interferes with an elbow to Cody’s jaw and the champions take over. Roman stomps Cody down to the floor for two before bringing Rollins back in for some right hands to the head. We hit the armbar for a few moments before Cody comes back with an attempted Alabama Slam out of the corner. Rollins slides down the back but Cody dives into a tag off to Goldust.

Goldie can’t hit Shattered Dreams but settles for a bulldog out of the corner for two on Rollins. Seth ducks something like a cross body to send Goldust to the floor and us to a break. Back with Rollins cranking on the arm even more as Cody plays cheerleader on the apron. A backslide gets two for Goldust but Seth clotheslines him back down. Back to Reigns for a chinlock but Goldust fights up and comes out of the corner with a back elbow. Rollins breaks up the hot tag but dives into a powerslam to put both guys down.

Ambrose’s interference doesn’t stop Cody and the younger brother cleans house. Reigns is sent into the post but Cody only gets two. The moonsault press gets the same and a Disaster Kick knocks Dean out to the floor. A springboard missile dropkick puts Rollins down again but Reigns makes the save. Ambrose comes in to break up Cross Rhodes and the numbers catch up with the challengers.

They load up the TripleBomb but Goldust comes in with a chair for the save. He can’t keep Reigns down though and Roman gets the chair. A big chair shot misses and Goldust scores with a cross body, crushing the chair against Reigns’ chest. Cody tries a Disaster Kick off the steps but gets caught in a running powerbomb against the barricade. Goldust hits atomic drops on the tag champions and a Cactus Clothesline puts Goldust and Reigns on the floor but here’s Ambrose to jump the painted one.

The fans correctly say that this is awesome right before Reigns DESTROYS Goldust with a spear through the barricade. That looked AWESOME. Dean throws Cody and Reigns back into the ring but here’s Big Show through the crowd. Shield grabs chairs but Show cleans house anyway until only Reigns is left standing. Cody kicks Roman into the KO punch and Cody gets the pin and the titles at 19:15.

Rating: A-. Well that helped. This felt like Mankind beating the Rock for the title back in January of 1999 which is about as high of a compliment as I can give a match. This is the kind of moment that this story has been dying for since it started and just like the match at Battleground, it was built up through emotion and it worked like a charm. Great match.

Here’s where Reigns started rolling, at Survivor Series 2013.

Rey Mysterio/Usos/Goldust/Cody Rhodes vs. Real Americans/Shield

Elimination rules of course. Ricardo Rodriguez is on Spanish commentary. Colter does his usual routine before the match before attempting to twerk because what would a wrestling show be without that? Cody and Ambrose get things going as this is the Shield’s debut anniversary. They trade waistlocks to start but Cody takes over with some right hands, only to have Ambrose pound away in the corner. Rhodes comes back with even more punches as Cole tells us that Friday is Lawler, Colter and JBL’s birthday. Ambrose pounds away in the corner but gets in an argument with the referee, allowing Cody to get a quick rollup for the elimination.

Everything breaks down with the Usos cleaning house and hitting dives to take out all of their opponents. We settle down with Goldust vs. Rollins but it’s quickly off to Swagger to drive Goldust into the corner. Jack takes him down and Cesaro comes in with a knee drop for two. Cole messes up his history by saying Andre the Giant was the sole survivor of the first Survivor Series match (that would be the main event or the fourth Survivor Series match ever).

Goldust gets a backslide for two on Cesaro and scores with a powerslam. A jawbreaker puts both guys down but Cesaro is able to tag first. Swagger comes in but misses the Vader Bomb, allowing for the hot tag off to Mysterio. He easily takes Swagger down to set up the 619 and it’s a superkick from Jimmy followed by the Superfly Splash from Jey to eliminate Swagger.

Cesaro immediately comes in with an uppercut to Jey to set up the Cesaro Swing. The fans count along with the swings but it’s only 15 revolutions. Jimmy comes in without a tag and gets a swing of his own 19 revolution swing. Cody gets the tag and scores with a sunset flip out of nowhere for the elimination, leaving us with Rollins/Reigns vs. all five members of the other team.

Reigns comes in to work on Cody’s arm but it’s off to Jey instead. Roman easily tags him into the Shield corner and the two remaining members take over with the alternating tags. Rollins comes in with a top rope fist to Jey’s jaw and we hit the chinlock. Jey fights up and backdrops Rollins over the top rope, allowing for the tag off to Jimmy. A Samoan Drop gets two on Reigns and the running Umaga attack in the corner keeps him in trouble. Jimmy goes up top but has to headbutt Reigns down. He jumps down but the spear is enough for a quick elimination.

Cody comes in with a missile dropkick followed by the moonsault press for two on Rollins. Cross Rhodes connects but Reigns made a blind tag, allowing him to spear Cody in half for the elimination, leaving us at 3-2. Jey comes in and takes Reigns to the floor, sending him into the barricade and post. Back in and Rollins makes a quick tag to set up the Black Out (running one foot curb stomp) to eliminate Jey, leaving us with Reigns/Rollins vs. Goldust/Mysterio.

It’s Rey vs. Rollins with Mysterio getting in a quick dropkick, only to go up top and get caught in the Tree of Woe. Back to Reigns who sends Mysterio out to the floor but Rey makes it back in at 9. Reigns’ spear goes into the post by mistake but Rollins knocks Goldust to the floor to prevent the hot tag. Rey grabs a rollup out of nowhere to get rid of Rollins and make it 2-1.

Rollins stomps on Mysterio a bit before leaving, giving Roman a big advantage. Rey slides through Reigns’ legs and catches him with an enziguri before sending him into the corner with a drop toehold. There’s the hot tag to Goldust who gets two off a spinebuster. He pounds down right hands to Roman in the corner before a powerslam gets two. Reigns comes right back by countering the bulldog into a spear and it’s one on one. Rey tries the 619 but gets speared in half as well, giving Reigns his star making performance with his fourth elimination for the pin at 23:30.

Rating: B-. Total star making performance by Reigns here as he was completely unstoppable out there. Save for a meaningless fall over an Uso, Reigns literally got every elimination for his team. From the beginning I’ve said Reigns was the star of the team and if this isn’t proof of that, I’m not sure what is.

We’ll keep that going on Raw, January 6, 2014.

Roman Reigns vs. CM Punk

Feeling out process to start with Punk taking him down into a headlock. The Outlaws are sticking around at ringside. Reigns comes back with a shoulder block and we take a break. Back with Reigns knocking Punk off the apron and into the barricade. Reigns brings him back inside for some shots to the head and a body vice. A headbutt puts Reigns down again but he comes back with a cross body, only to hurt his ribs even more.

We hit the bearhug from Roman before he shifts it around to a body vice. Punk tries to escape but Reigns suplexes him down, only to miss the Superman Punch and get kicked in the head. More kicks have Reigns in trouble and Punk drops him with some ax handles and a neckbreaker for two. The running knee in the corner gets two more but Reigns breaks up the Macho Elbow.

Punk breaks up a superplex attempt and drops the elbow (to Ambrose according to Cole) for no cover. The Outlaws and Shield get into it on the floor and Punk dives out to take care of Rollins, only to dive into the Superman Punch for two. The spear hits the middle buckle and Punk gets a VERY close two off a rollup. Punk snaps off a high kick for two more but Reigns escapes the GTS. Another Ambrose distraction lets Reigns spear Punk in half for the pin at 16:14.

Rating: B. This took time to get going but the near falls at the end were all great stuff. They’re pushing Reigns to the moon and it continues to show how annoying these start and stop pushes can be. Look what happens when you push guys like Reigns and Langston to the moon without having them trade wins against midcarders for a change. It’s like people get behind monsters who clean house or something.

Even more on Raw, February 17, 2014.

Mark Henry vs. Roman Reigns

The fans are behind Reigns as he hammers away on Mark to get us going. Henry blocks an Irish whip so Reigns casually picks him up in a Samoan drop for two. Reigns kicks him out of the corner and hits the Superman Punch followed by the spear for the pin at 2:45. Basically a squash.

We’ll jump ahead to Raw on June 16, 2014 with Reigns trying to get into the Money in the Bank match for the World Title.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Battle Royal

Titus O’Neil, Damien Sandow, Bo Dallas, Jack Swagger, Diego, Fernando, Curtis Axel, Fandango, Dolph Ziggler, Rusev, Ryback, Sin Cara, Santino Marella, Kofi Kingston, Big E., Roman Reigns, Rob Van Dam, Bad News Barrett, Xavier Woods

Those are all the people on the graphic so there’s a chance I missed a few. Damien is LeBron James because why not. Not that it matters as everyone gets together to put him out ten seconds in. Bo throws Santino out and Rusev does the same thing to both Matadores. Woods gets the same treatment from Rusev and everyone brawls for awhile.

Ziggler is sent to the apron and Reigns eliminates Titus. Swagger puts Sin Cara on the apron before catapulting him out. Kofi can’t get Swagger out and Big E. can’t get rid of Axel. Rusev gets Ziggler to the apron but a kick to the head saves Dolph. Kofi finally gets Swagger out and we take a break. Back with Rusev, Reigns, RVD, Ryback, Ziggler, Fandango, Dallas, Big E., Axel and Barrett still in, meaning Kofi (via Ryback) was the only elimination during the break. Speaking of eliminations, Ryback punches Ziggler out to the floor for his second straight elimination.

Reigns starts cleaning house and even takes Rusev down with a Superman Punch but can’t take care of Ryback that easily. Roman sends Fandango to the apron but has to spear Ryback and Axel down. A kick to the head puts Fandango out and Rusev kicks Reigns in the chest. Big E. dumps Ryback and Reigns throws out Axel. Another kick puts Roman down but Van Dam kicks Rusev in the face. Van Dam and Dallas start fighting but Barrett takes Rob down with a big boot.

Rob comes back with more kicks but Bo shoves him off the corner for a surprise elimination. That could be Bo’s first big feud. Barrett lays out a celebrating Bo and throws him to the apron but Bo hangs on. Nice little call back to the Rumble from a few years ago. Reigns dumps Barrett and Dallas knocks out Big E., but walks into the spear. Dallas is dumped and we’re down to Rusev vs. Roman.

The fans are WAY into this and the slugout is on. Reigns gets the early advantage but walks into a wicked spinwheel kick. They trade running charges in the corner and Reigns puts him on the apron. Some big right hands can’t get rid of the Russian but the Superman Punch sends Reigns to Money in the Bank and the crowd is VERY happy.

Rating: B. I was doubting Reigns for awhile but he’s coming off like a STAR at this point, just like Ambrose. This was a really solid battle royal as there were some good saves and the last bit of the match was really solid stuff. The last pairing is how you should do big matches: take two guys who look unbeatable and have them fight. Notice the reaction and you’ll see why that’s an idea.

And now, the Money in the Bank match.

WWE Title: John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns vs. Kane vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Cesaro

The title is vacant coming in. It’s a brawl to start with everyone going for a ladder or each other early on. Bray escape an AA attempt and dives at a ladder to crush Sheamus before he and Cesaro to clean house. Reigns and Orton fight while Sheamus and Kane do the same on opposite sides of the ring. Reigns and Sheamus pick up ladders to crush Kane and pin him underneath the smaller ladder. Del Rio stops Reigns from going up as Cesaro and Sheamus climb. All four start climbing two ladders but Kane breaks it up and cleans house.

Cena comes back in and charges into a chokeslam before Kane cleans out most of the ring. He sets up a ladder in the middle of the ring and tells Orton to go up just like he did with Rollins earlier. Reigns shoves Kane into the ladder for the save but gets jumped by Bray. Cena comes back in with a ProtoBomb to Wyatt, only to walk into Swiss Death. Cesaro and Sheamus slug it out on top of the ladder as Bray spider walks up and shoves the ladder over. The Europeans are left hanging in the air and eventually fall to reset things.

Orton is all ticked off after getting hit with the ladder so he pulls out more ladders. He bridges one between the announce table and apron so he can put Sheamus over the bridge for an Elevated DDT. Back in and Orton throws a ladder to the floor before setting up the big one in the middle. Everyone gets back in and we go into scramble mode with no one getting higher than the second or third rung.

The people all get steadily knocked to the floor until only Kane is left standing. He takes down the big ladder and goes over to fight with Sheamus instead of climbing. Sheamus comes back with the forearms to the chest and White Noise, followed by a Brogue Kick to Cena. Sheamus sets up the big ladder again but Kane makes a save. The Irishman goes up but Cesaro bridges a ladder into the tall one to climb faster for another save. Cena and Del Rio fight to the floor as Reigns lifts up the big ladder with Sheamus and Cesaro on top. The bridged ladder keeps them from falling and Cena pushes it back to level.

Everyone is back in again and Cena is slammed onto the bridged ladder by Wyatt. Kane pulls people off the ladder but gets speared by Roman. Orton sends Reigns into the big ladder and knocks it over though, leaving no standing ladder in the ring. Reigns comes back with Superman Punches all around and the apron boot to Del Rio. HHH is all ticked off and we’re down to Cena vs. Reigns. They slug it out and Cena tries the AA, only to get speared out of his shoes.

Reigns goes up but Orton makes a last second save. With blood on the top of his head from earlier, Orton goes up but Bray takes him down with Sister Abigail. Del Rio stops Bray (and kills the crowd) but Sheamus shoves the ladder over and kicks Del Rio’s head off. An RKO pulls Sheamus off the ladder but Reigns stops Randy’s attempt. Orton is busted open BAD so Reigns rips at the cut and headbutts him a few times. Kane is back in for yet another save though by chokeslamming Reigns off the ladder. Cena grabs Kane for an AA though and Orton gets one as well, allowing Cena to get the titles at 26:30.

Rating: B. They toned down the big spots in this which kept my stomach in better shape this time. These matches are fun but man alive can they be scary at times. Cena winning is going to annoy some people but he’s the most logical choice as Lesnar is waiting in the wings for whoever gets the belt here. Brock vs. Cena will be awesome and is the money match that people will pay to see.

Reigns got another title shot at Battleground 2014.

WWE World Title: John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. Kane

Cena is defending and has both belts again here. It’s a brawl to start and Orton is in blue instead of black. Randy sends Orton into the steps but Reigns fights off both Authority members. A double suplex drops Reigns and gives Orton two as Kane seems to play defense against Cena. The champion comes back in and Orton takes him down for two more as Kane guards against Reigns.

Kane breaks up an AA attempt on Orton as the early going continues. Reigns and Kane fight on the floor so Cena can start up his finishing sequence on Orton. The AA is blocked so Cena throws Orton to the floor before turning around to see Reigns. Kane and Orton break it up before anything happens and Kane gets two on Reigns to annoy Randy. They start to shove each other and a YES chant starts up.

Orton says it’s supposed to be Kane watching his back but Kane uppercuts him. Kane loads up a superplex but Cena and Reigns come in to make it a Tower of Doom. Now we get Cena vs. Reigns but Kane sits up to stop it again. They stop Kane to the floor but Orton sneaks in with a backbreaker to Roman. A double Elevated DDT puts down both heroes but Kane breaks up a pin.

Cena and Reigns send Kane to the floor before Cena grabs an STF. Reigns adds a half crab at the same time but Kane makes the save. An AA sends Kane back to the floor and Orton is put in the STF again. Reigns pulls Orton to the ropes and throws him over the announce table, FINALLY giving us the showdown. They slug it out and Reigns tries a clothesline but Cena goes the wrong way so it’s kind of an old Vader body attack. The STF is countered and Reigns hits a Samoan drop. The Superman Punch misses and Cena hits the ProtoBomb.

Reigns pops up and hits the Superman Punch followed by the spear but Kane makes the save (with Cena’s head up and watching Kane come in the entire way). Kane gets hammered down and Reigns hits the jumping kick to all three guys. Orton gets speared through the barricade and the fans think this is awesome. Back in and Reigns spears Kane down but Cena makes the save.

Cena throws Roman to the floor and hits the AA for two as Reigns makes the save. Reigns and Cena slug it out again and an AA gets two with Kane breaking it up. Both heroes get chokeslammed but Reigns kicks out at two. The tombstone is countered and another spear connects until Orton makes the save. The RKO puts Reigns down but Cena comes in with an AA to Orton before pinning Kane to keep the title at 18:15.

Rating: B. Good match but the ending never being in doubt hurt things a bit. Some of the near falls did have me thinking we might get a surprise but at the end of the day this was the best option they had. Cena keeps the title and now we’re heading to his showdown with Lesnar where Brock gets his win back next month.

Another Raw match on August 4, 2014.

Kane vs. Roman Reigns

Last man standing. Reigns hammers away to start as the announcers talk about the Network even more. They head outside with Reigns being hammered up against the barricade and then sent into the steps for a five count. Reigns is sent into the post a few more times as the announcers continue to hammer the $9.99 joke into the ground to the point where I’m laughing at it.

We take an early break and come back with Reigns reversing Kane into a chair wedged into the corner. Some charges into the corner have Kane in even more trouble and Roman hammers away with right hands. There’s the apron boot but Kane blocks a spear. A table is brought in and Kane counters a Superman Punch into a quick chokeslam to put Reigns through the wood for nine.

Kane is frustrated and sets up a chair in the middle of the ring. The tombstone is countered and Reigns hits a DDT onto the chair. Reigns hits the Superman Punch but charges into another chokeslam. Reigns slips out again and nails a bad spear to keep Kane down for the ten count at 15:16.

Rating: C-. Well that happened. I have no idea why but it happened. This idea of throwing gimmick matches onto the card is a really bad idea. It wasn’t a very good last man standing match either as there was no way Kane was going to win. Reigns beating Kane is a good thing, but not in an unnecessary gimmick match.

Here’s Reigns’ biggest match to date at Summerslam 2014.

Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns

Orton is mad at Roman for costing him the chance to be #1 contender. Roman pops him in the jaw to start and follows up with a headbutt. Orton is sent to the floor and into the barricade but he reverses Reigns hard into the steps. Back in and Orton slams him head first onto the mat before stomping on Reigns’ hand. A big superplex gets two for Randy and we hit the chinlock.

Roman fights up into a chinlock of his own but Orton falls back to break it up. Reigns grabs it again and squeezes very hard, only to get caught in a side slam for two. Back up and Reigns nails a Samoan drop before winning a slugout. Some running clotheslines have Orton in trouble and there’s the apron kick. Reigns is reversed into the post and barricade for two though and the fight goes back outside.

Randy throws him over the announcers’ table but gets caught by a Stunner over the ropes. Orton fights out of a superplex attempt but Roman muscles him up into a top rope Samoan drop for two. There’s the Superman Punch but the spear is countered into a very fast powerslam for a near fall. The RKO is countered but Reigns dives into a second attempt, only to kick out at a VERY close two. I bought that as a finish for a second there. Orton misses the Punt and walks into the spear for the pin at 16:41.

Rating: C. The match was good but not really good if that makes sense. The fact that Reigns was the obvious winner didn’t help, but at least the match was good on the way to the ending. Reigns kicking out of the RKO is a big moment for him as his rise to the top of the company continues. This was by far his biggest win to date.

Time for a six man on Raw, September 1, 2014.

Chris Jericho/John Cena/Roman Reigns vs. Kane/Randy Orton/Seth Rollins

HHH and Stephanie are at ringside. Reigns and Orton get things going with Roman quickly winning a slugout. A big clothesline drops Randy but Reigns pulls Rollins into the ring instead. Seth bails outside and we take a break. Back with Reigns hitting a Samoan drop for two on Orton. Rollins comes in with a shot to Reigns’ head for two and we hit the chinlock. Off to Kane for a chinlock of his own as the fans are getting restless.

Back to Randy who stomps Reigns’ head for two and kicks him down to the mat. Reigns finally gets in a clothesline but the hot tag brings in Jericho to face Rollins. The Lionsault has Rollins in trouble and there are the Walls, only to have Orton make a save. There’s a Superman Punch for Randy but Kane comes in with a chokeslam. Cena AA’s Kane, only to take the springboard knee from Seth. Jericho rolls up Rollins for two but gets kicked in the head. A Codebreaker puts Rollins down and we take a break.

We come back to Jericho fighting out of a chinlock but Rollins sends him into the corner. Rollins hits a running forearm to put the Canadian down and goes up top. Jericho pops up though and dropkicks Seth out of the air in a nice counter. Kane breaks up a hot tag attempt and puts on a chinlock of his own.

Jericho fights to his feet but dives into an uppercut for two. Orton can’t superplex Chris and gets knocked off the top, setting up a high cross body for two. Kane breaks up yet another tag attempt but Jericho nails him with a forearm and makes the real hot tag to Cena (BIG reaction for that). John cleans house and hits an AA on Kane before tagging out to Reigns for the spear and the pin at 22:54.

Rating: C+. This was the standard long match to end a bad show. Cena not getting to come in until the very end was a nice idea and let him explode all at once. Kane taking the fall was pretty clear and there’s nothing wrong with that. This was nothing special though and felt like a house show main event more than anything else.

We’ll wrap it up two weeks later on Raw, September 15, 2014.

Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins

Don’t these two already have a match at Night of Champions? Seth speeds things up to start and snaps Roman’s throat across the top rope. A hard clothesline sends Rollins running to the floor but Roman catches him trying to come back in and sends him face first onto the concrete. Back in and another shot puts Rollins on the floor as Reigns is dominating. Rollins is thrown over the announcers’ table and we take a break. Back with Reigns missing the Apron Kick and getting caught by a suicide dive into the barricade.

Reigns quickly fights back and nails him in the face before hitting the Apron Kick. The Superman Punch looks to set up the spear but Seth leapfrogs him and nails a low superkick for two. Back up and Seth tries what looks like a Pedigree off the top but gets countered into a slow motion backdrop, only to have Rollins catch him in an impressive running buckle bomb across the ring for two more. Reigns gets back up, ducks a charge and hits the spear for the pin at 11:23.

Rating: B-. The match was good but why in the world do you have this match in full with a clean ending before they have the same match six days later? That’s some very odd booking and a sign that they don’t have enough people to fill in a three hour show every week. This is even worse when you consider how many people they have on the roster but how few they put any effort into.

Roman Reigns is clearly going to be a top star and you can tell the company is treating him as something special: as of October 15, 2014, he hasn’t been pinned or submitted in a singles match since he debuted. In a company where everyone from Cena to Bryan can lose matches clean on TV at the drop of a hat, that’s the highest praise you can get. I see him as a future Batista and there’s nothing wrong with a run like that.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of 1997 WCW Monday Nitro Reviews at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NPPH0WI

And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:


http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Comments are closed.