Is WWE Hiding Roman Reigns from Raw?


Based on this storyline with Braun Strowman, it seems like WWE is trying to hide Roman Reigns from Raw.

It would be foolish to think WWE didn’t anticipate the vocal boos for Roman Reigns on the Raw after WrestleMania 33. He stood in the ring for almost 15 minutes, only to say “this is my yard now,” and walked out. That turned out to be the only moment we’ve seen of Reigns in a WWE ring in six hours of programming on the Flagship Show.

We didn’t go without the Big Dog on the Apr. 10 episode, as he sat down with Michael Cole for an interview — except it was in a controlled backstage environment. He got interrupted and mauled by Braun Strowman, who laid out one of the most vicious beatdowns in recent memory.

Well, three days later, put out a storyline injury report on Reigns, saying he’s recovering from a “separated shoulder” and “cracked ribs.” This could bench him for a week, only to return before WWE Payback.

While following the post-WrestleMania booking of the former Shield man, it’s felt like something has stuck out with his booking. It’s not WWE poorly attempting to make him a sympathetic babyface, or not following up on his historic win over the Undertaker — it’s WWE “hiding” Reigns from Raw, and it all goes back to the crowd reaction.

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WWE wants you to cheer Reigns, which has been made clear after the countless feuds he’s been in, where he’s paired with the bad guy. Said heel always gets the most cheers of the feud, too, but despite that, they’re still trying to make the 31-year-old into Superman and not the Samoan badass he’s shown capable of being. Given the reaction to Strowman’s attack, we’re heading down this same path again.

This plays into the crux of the problematic booking of Reigns, which leads us to this — what if WWE is protecting him from TV, potentially hoping the negative crowd reactions simmer when he returns to Raw? It’s almost identical to what Triple H did to him in their WrestleMania 32 buildup, which failed to produce any cheers for Reigns.

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If WWE is hoping for a redo on this, don’t expect it to happen. That should have been made clear when the Nassau Coliseum fans chanted “you deserve it” to Reigns as Strowman destroyed him (WWE edited this out of replays and the above YouTube video). It’s only going to lead to more boos, just like the altercation with Triple H in 2016, and look like a “grand” return to TV, only to be received poorly by the crowd.

The end game seems like WWE trying to get the fans to temper their negative reactions toward Reigns, even though they let the red-hot Amway Center crowd do their thing after WrestleMania 33. Maybe they’re thinking it will take the heat off his win over the Dead Man? If so, it’s a curious decision to make, and something WWE should have ridden off of, just like the “The Guy” promo from the Raw after WrestleMania 32. The company let Reigns draw mega-heat from this, but only for a short time. The 15 minutes of boos from the post-‘Mania 33 crowd would be even shorter.

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WWE hiding Reigns from the inevitable — again — would be another short-sighted booking move for their Next John Cena. It’s only going to make the fans turn against him even more, which should make the company let things play out naturally and adjust to the situation. They showed the ability to do this with him before, so what’s the holdup?