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#1 goc

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 10:38 AM

I freely admit to only really paying attention to WWE PPVs and not watching any of the weekly TV. Leading up to WrestleMania there was a very heavy "Roman Reigns sucks" sentiment that I didn't quite understand. After WrestleMania I REALLY didn't get it and even though the Reigns hate has died down I wanted to go through some of his TV matches to see whether the criticism matched up to the work.

 

vs. Mark Henry - Raw 2/17/14

 

Super short match. The biggest takeaway from this is that Reigns was doing some goofy Edge like faces in the corner while setting up for the Superman Punch & the Spear that he seems to have toned way down. Also it seems like they have broken up the "wait in the corner for the Superman punch and then go and wait in the corner again for the Spear" set up that I remember not liking at the time.

 

vs. Kane - Smackdown 6/27/14

 

This is masked Kane with the stupid fake hair. I don't hate Kane but I DO hate "let's put the mask back on and pretend he's a monster again" Kane. I realize I am in the minority on that one but I don't think he should have ever put the mask back on and definitely not the way he's been doing it. I didn't watch these in order and Reigns is making some goofy faces here that he seems to not be doing any more. Randy Orton runs in for the DQ and yea this didn't do anything for me.

 

vs. Alberto Del Rio - Smackdown 7/25/14

 

I am starting to see where some of the backlash came from because they are beating the "eliminated 4 people at Survivor Series, broke the record for Royal Rumble eliminations" thing into the ground. This is very much a Del Rio match in that it is technically good but the crowd doesn't care and it feels heatless. I actually really liked this though, it was a nice hard hitting match and Reigns was not afraid to take some nasty bumps. He still does the really long "wait for the Superman Punch and then wait for the Spear" set up here but minus the goofy faces. I also though Reigns did a pretty good job in selling his arm here. Not in a "my arm is dead and I can't use it" way but a "my arm is bothering me but I'm gonna push through it" way.

 

vs. The Miz - Smackdown 8/15/14

 

Miz wants to "teach these new kids some respect" is the storyline to this match. That's good stuff. I actually enjoyed this way more than I expected. They work this match with Reigns pretty much just bullying Miz and not taking him seriously in the beginning and Miz being a cheap bastard and taking control for a little bit before getting murdered. The early part of this match was mostly schtick and I thought Roman showed a lot of charisma during it.

 

vs. Bray Wyatt - Smackdown 8/29/14

 

This is right after Cena made his post SummerSlam return and squashed Wyatt. I didn't really like this match. Wyatt kind of dominates the whole thing and when Reigns starts his comeback Harper & Rowan get involved for a DQ. Oh crap this is so very Smackdown that Mark Henry & Big Show make the save for Roman Reigns and the ghost of Teddy Long makes a 6 man tag main event between Reigns/Henry/Show vs. Wyatt Family. I'm not watching that though I've seen plenty of Roman Reigns in 6 man tags and I know he is good in them.

 

vs. Seth Rollins - Raw 12/29/14

 

This match is surprisingly heatless and Big Show is so good on commentary and the crowd is so dead that I'm having a hard time paying attention. Rollins is controlling with chinlocks and stomps and even The Miz brought more to the table than this. Roman does a really cool spot where he jumps over Rollins and rolls him up and then picks Rollins up from that position and slams him. That actually wakes this crowd up too. Rollins is back to the chinlock after a commercial break. Rollins hits a really cool combo where he takes out Reign's leg and then kicks him in the face when he's down on one knee. But then he's back to stomps and his 3rd chinlock of the match. Reigns brings some fire when he finally makes his comeback but the crowd is dead again by that point. Rollins cuts him off though and Rollins is frustrating to me. He will do these really awesome combinations & counters to take control and then do almost nothing while he's on top. They actually have a pretty hot little finishing stretch but Big Show pulls Reigns out of the ring as he's setting up for the Spear and causes a DQ. This was pretty long at about 13 minutes of TV time and a commercial break. It needed to either be shorter or Rollins needed to do something more interesting than a chinlock while he was in control. The good parts were really good though and I'm inclined to think these guys COULD have a really good match together.

 

vs. Luke Harper - Raw 1/12/15

This is a pretty fun big man brawl even if the match is kind of short. Roman Reigns isn't really regarded as a "stiff" worker but I like the fact that when he goes against heavy hitters like Harper or Lesnar he really lays it in. I appreciate the fact that he works to his opponents. Reigns is great at selling without doing over the top mannerisms, I loved him checking his jaw after a forearm shot from Harper. I liked the finish of Reigns hitting the Spear while Harper was coming in for his big clothesline. Reigns gets a lot of shit about only having 3 moves but that seems way off since he does like 2 different suplexes, a neckbreaker, a samoan drop among other things in this one.

 

I am going to come back to this and do some more but at this point I'm inclined to say the Reigns backlash was way overboard. I don't see where Reigns is somehow way behind guys like Ambrose, Rollins, Ziggler etc. as an in ring worker. I also think he's a guy that you can go back and see a clear progression over time and he's still getting better which isn't something I would say about a whole lot of guys in WWE right now.



#2 Dylan Waco

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 11:49 AM

Reigns has probably been the best guy in the WWE this year.  I think Rusev and Harper have arguments, but neither guy has the big match performances of Reigns.  I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who really liked that slugfest with Harper.  



#3 goc

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 11:58 AM

Reigns has probably been the best guy in the WWE this year.  I think Rusev and Harper have arguments, but neither guy has the big match performances of Reigns.  I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who really liked that slugfest with Harper.  

Based off just PPV performances this year I would absolutely have to agree. I have watched a lot of Rusev TV matches over the past few days also and while I would put Rusev ahead of Reigns as a consistent TV performer, he's really disappointed me so far in the Cena matches while Reigns has vastly exceeded expectations for 3 months in a row. Maybe this is unfair because I've expected Rusev/Cena to have the match of the night and Reigns to do "ok" and it's been flipped but it is what it is.

 

What's crazy is that there are so many people who would act like saying he's been the best in WWE so far this year is completely ridiculous but the only thing they can counter with is that "Reigns only does 3 moves" or "yea but he got carried by Lesnar or Bryan." I want someone to make a thread with a case for Ambrose or Rollins at this point because right now I am saying Roman Reigns is the best out of the 3 Shield guys.



#4 Exposer

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 01:55 PM

goc, have you seen the Kane No DQ match from SD this week? It might be the best Kane match all year. It's a pretty stiff match and both guys work really hard in it.



#5 benjaminkicks

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 01:55 PM

I think I was there live for that Reigns/Miz SmackDown match. Was pretty good, and I think the crowd was pretty hot for Reigns (though we were hot for pretty much everything).

There was a really fun house show-like ending that I don't think made it on TV, with Reigns trying to fight off a bunch of heels, and then a bunch of crowd favorites made the save. Fun stuff, lots of brawling.

#6 goc

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 02:00 PM

goc, have you seen the Kane No DQ match from SD this week? It might be the best Kane match all year. It's a pretty stiff match and both guys work really hard in it.

Haven't seen it but I'll try and check it out. I actually like Corporate Kane a lot more than I like "shitty fake hair mask" Kane so I'll probably like it a lot more than the other Reigns/Kane SD match I saw.



#7 goc

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 01:12 AM

vs. Rusev - Smackdown 9/19/14

This is a nice little back and forth slugfest. These guys really beat on each other in this one and laid everything in. Shitty finish with Rollins running in and accidentally hitting Rusev with the MITB briefcase but this was a good match.
 

vs. Kane - Smackdown 5/14/15

This was a lot better than the other Kane match I watched yesterday. Reigns has really good punches and isn't afraid to let his opponents beat on him for the sake of the match. I really liked the spot with Roman countering the chokeslam by jumping up on the announce table. The Superman punch into a chokeslam thru the table spot looked good. Roman ends up Spearing Kane through the table for the win. Best Kane match I have seen in a long time.
 



#8 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 01:01 PM

What I am really loving about Reigns right now is how he is constantly fighting back from underneath. He is fighting through the pain and taking it to the heel opponent. It is really different than all the other babyfaces on the roster right now, which either just do MOVEZ~! or sell throughout the heat segment and do not do much (Cena, Ziggler etc) I don't have a problem with the latter and I think Cena still is one of the best workers in the company. I like idea of a babyface that is not just going to get his ass kicked, but will be fighting back. It reminds me a lot of peak popularity Daniel Bryan, who was constant motion of fighting and struggling against the bigger opponents.  I have loved his matches against Big Show both on TV and at Extreme Rules. 

The only person that can compete with Reigns this year so far has been Cena. At the PPVs this year, I have at two apiece. Cena wins the first two with the triple threat and the first Rusev match (I think Bryan/Reigns match is overrated and Cena/Rusev I is still a WWE MOTYC for me), but Reigns wins Wrestlemania and Extreme Rules. On TV, I have loved the Cena US Open Challenge especially Zayn and Neville, but Ambrose and Stardust matches sucked. Reigns had a couple good Big Show matches, but not watching Smackdown I might be missing a bit. I think it is too close to call right now. 



#9 goc

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 01:47 PM

but not watching Smackdown I might be missing a bit. I think it is too close to call right now. 

I probably haven't seen enough to really tell but based on my limited sampling he's had better matches on SD than Raw. I really liked his matches with ADR & Rusev from SD. Also dug the Kane match from this past week's SD.



#10 goc

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Posted 27 June 2015 - 01:39 PM

Roman Reigns just had an AWESOME match on Raw this week (6/22 Raw) with Sheamus that will most likely be completely forgotten due to the shitty Bray Wyatt video interruption finish. I wish they would have given Roman Reigns a feud with Sheamus instead of Wyatt.



#11 Zoo Enthusiast

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Posted 27 June 2015 - 04:09 PM

Agreed. Would be a great feud.

I felt then and still feel now that Reigns should have gone over at Mania, fans be damned. The fact that they opted not to go with him that night and went with Seth fucking Rollins instead looks sillier by the day. Even more unfortunate that he is now getting stuck with Bray Wyatt.

#12 NotJayTabb

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Posted 27 June 2015 - 06:06 PM

Man, Sheamus/Reigns would've been so much better than Wyatt/Reigns. The matches would've been better, there's an easy storyline to insert (MITB holder vs man who got screwed by last MITB holder) and Sheamus is less likely to get cheered than Wyatt.

#13 Bierschwale

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 05:14 PM

Reigns-Sheamus was exceptional stuff (LOVED the counter to the apron dropkick spot) but I can't think of two guys more likely to put on a great match and have it be dismissed right now than those two.



#14 goc

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 05:21 PM

Reigns-Sheamus was exceptional stuff (LOVED the counter to the apron dropkick spot) but I can't think of two guys more likely to put on a great match and have it be dismissed right now than those two.

Yea I mean I expect that out of most places but I thought at least here I would have read some praise on it when I got caught up on the WWE TV thread but nope.

 

The counter to the apron dropkick was SO awesome but man that bump Reigns took on the apron was just nasty. That guy takes some pretty crazy bumps, especially for a guy his size I wish more people would get over his booking and give him some credit for how awesome he is as a wrestler.



#15 WingedEagle

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 07:22 PM

I had high hopes for Reigns-Sheamus but was pretty disappointed.  Felt flat the whole way without ever really kicking into another gear, almost as though they were never on the same page. 



#16 Kronos

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 06:10 PM

I have been anti-Reigns. But admittedly, I've seen little 2015-16 from him.

I've decided to get over myself and be open minded.

What '15 and '16 matches should I look out for? Or even 2017, if there have been some?

#17 goc

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 07:07 PM

The best matches that immediately come to mind:

 

vs. Daniel Bryan - Fastlane 2015

vs. Brock Lesnar - WrestleMania 31

vs. Big Show - Extreme Rules 2015

vs. Sheamus TLC 2015

vs. AJ Styles - Payback 2016

vs. AJ Styles - Extreme Rules 2016

 

From this year, these two are also worth checking out :

 

vs. Kevin Owens - Royal Rumble

vs. Braun Strowman - Fastlane



#18 Kronos

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 09:02 PM

Excellent. That should keep me busy for a bit, thanks!

#19 KawadaSmile

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 11:48 PM

Any of his matches against Sheamus are worth checking out, really.

 

Reigns vs Balor was also a pretty damn good match, that not only was one of Finn's best showings in the company, but also solidified him as a star, IMO. Reigns was so good there.



#20 NotJayTabb

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 09:03 AM

I don't think it's a coincidence how many guys have had their best WWE matches with Roman in the last couple of years - Lesnar, Big Show, AJ, Balor, maybe Jericho. 






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