Absentia: Roman Reigns’ WWE Booking


Roman Reigns didn’t show up to Raw this week, which is exactly how the WWE plan to get him over…by not being around.

Two weeks ago, we saw Triple H and Roman Reigns come to blows, as Reigns face was smashed repeatedly into the announcer table by a furiously reckless Triple H. The result was a ton of blood (capsules) and facial surgery to fix Reigns’ nose, which was used in the storyline, but actually having the surgery, as well.

The initial idea was that Triple H would come off so vicious that fans would boo him for going over the line, in his attempt to beat the life out of Reigns. Instead, the crowd ate it up and cheered every blow by the WWE Champion. He taunted Reigns’ with his (weird) wrist pump taunt followed by the DX chop, and yet, the crowd continued to cheer the man that should be booed.

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Deep down inside, Aitch probably loves being so over with the crowd, but that’s not the narrative here, Reigns is supposed to the mega face that will eventually replace John Cena. So far, that’s been a complete failure as a majority of fans will not comply, which is a trend that will probably not change, based on the next four Raw locations before WrestleMania: Rosemont, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn.

So how do you get fans to cheer for a guy that they don’t want to cheer for? At this point, the WWE has tried just about everything, except keep him away, not for a show, not for a few days, but for weeks.

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Enter Dean Ambrose.

Last night, Triple H went on and on about “authority” and how no one should challenge it, ever. So of course, out comes Ambrose, who right off the bat talks about Roman Reigns with a message: “He’s coming for you.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the backstory, Ambrose and Reigns were together in The Shield and have never wavered as friends since then. There have been multiple stories of them teaming together, being brothers, and even Triple H called it out last night as a “bromance.”

During their segment, Ambrose began to taunt Triple H that he’s too smart and would never want to get in the ring with him because Aitch knows he can’t beat him. All while this is going on the crowd is chanting Ambrose’ name, he asks for a title shot (while also mentioning Reigns again). Triple H says he’ll let him know by the end of the night.

The end of the night comes, Triple H and Ambrose end up brawling, similar to the previous week’s brawl, except this time the crowd boos the heck out of the WWE Champion. Ambrose eventually gets his title shot, laid out in the ring, he finds the fallen mic yelling out “Hey!…Thanks….” to Triple H, who comes back for more.


So you’re probably thinking, this is a lot of talk about Ambrose and Triple H, where’s Reigns? Well, that’s the point, with Reigns being absent, WWE is hoping fans will long for his return. His popularity is relying on saving Ambrose in some weird “by proxy” style of booking. Fans love Dean, Reigns eventually saves Dean, fans love Reigns.

It will be very interesting to see how this works out, in particular, which show Roman makes his triumphant return. At WWE Roadblock in Toronto (March 12, 2016) is one potential spot, but will it carry over through the next three episodes of Raw in cities that have a history of booing the hell out of Reigns?

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Some fans think we could get Ambrose vs. Reigns at WrestleMania 32, but that’s not going to help Reigns any, nor would a triple threat, he’ll get booed heavily in both. To me, the best way to get Reigns over is to have him save Ambrose at his match against Triple H, in the process Reigns get decimated by the League of Nations and Triple H, to the point where he’s gone all the way until the very end of the last Raw in Brooklyn. He’ll (hopefully) get a big pop and that will be the last thing fans see before his big match at WrestleMania 32.

Absentia, it’s an insane way to book the main event, but it’s the safest place for Roman Reigns to live if WWE is this determined in getting him over.