The Delco Elbow Drop

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WrestleMania 31: The main event debacle

I’ve really tried to restrain myself from talking about the build to the Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar main event of WrestleMania 31 (aka WrestleMania Play Button). And I’ve held back from talking about it because it’s been so spectacularly bland, bordering on bad.

But after the end of the March 23 Raw, I can’t hold back anymore. And if you watched Raw, you know why. If you didn’t – check out this .gif from

That is how Raw ended last night, with Roman and Brock having a tug of war over the WWE Championship, like they’re two kids fighting over a toy they both want to play with.

Are you serious, WWE? THIS is how you present your two biggest badasses, the guys main-eventing the biggest show of the year, the guys who, by definition of being in the main event, should be the biggest draws on the card?

And it’s not just that the imagery was bad (because it was) but it didn’t fit with either guy’s character.

Paul Heyman (who has been carrying the whole feud since the Royal Rumble, speaking for Brock and trying to put over Reigns at the same time) had LITERALLY just finished talking about how much Lesnar loves being the champion and how he wouldn’t stand for anyone trying to take the title from him, likening taking the title from him to trying to take his wife, take food from his table or rename is children.

So what happens?

Reigns comes down, takes the title out of Lesnar’s hands and Lesnar does NOTHING. He looks bewildered and grabs the title and they both tug on it and the show ends. That’s it.

In keeping with Brock’s character, he should have been FURIOUS that Reigns had the gall to not only grab the title and hold it over his head. But to take it out of Brock’s hands and raise it over his head TO BROCK’S FACE? Lesnar should’ve have pummeled Reigns for that. Lesnar should have eviscerated Reigns for that. Lesnar should have suplexed Reigns through the ring for having the nerve to take the title out of his hands.

But none of that happened. Nothing at all interesting happened.

And it made Reigns look bad too because he’s supposed to be the face, the good guy you want to look up to. They’ve been trying to build him up as some unbeatable badass who doesn’t take crap from anyone and who wants to prove that he is the best. So what does he do? He snatches up another man’s property and tries to show off. Cause I guess that’s what faces do now?

Because let’s make it clear, if not for Vince and company’s undeniable love for Roman and need to make him their new top star, there’s no reason it would be believable he could compete with Brock Lesnar. Sure, he’s a muscular dude but that’s about where the positives for Roman ends.

Brock is a former NCAA Division I heavyweight wrestling champion. Brock is a multiple time WWE Champion. Brock is a former IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Brock is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Roman? Roman played on the practice team for the Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars and Edmonton Eskimos before being release, is a former one-time WWE Tag Team Champion and won the most recent Royal Rumble after entering near the end of the match. That’s about it.

On what planet could Reigns conceivably contend with Brock in any shape or form? The answer is “Planet McMahon.”

Just for reference, this is how the final Raw before WrestleMania 30 ended:

Now that is excitement. Each guy looks like they are fired up to compete at WrestleMania and each guy looks like they have a legitimate shot at winning, especially Daniel Bryan who is beating the hell out of everyone after weeks of being humiliated by The Authority.  Whereas the final Raw before WrestleMania 31 ended with two guys having a tug of war over the championship belt.

What’s really upsetting is that the rest of Raw last night was pretty good. Dolph Ziggler had a great match with Daniel Bryan; every guy in the IC title ladder match looks like they have a chance at winning; Paige and Nikki Bella had a really good Divas title match; Bray Wyatt delivered another great promo while carrying the feud with The Undertaker. Almost everything about Raw was good – except for the last 30 seconds (and the chicken fry ad and El Torito pinning Natty).

People have been complaining about Reigns’ ultra-push for some time now and while I’ve tried not to hop on board the rage train, I can understand the sentiments. People don’t want another John Cena character who constantly wins and overcomes the odds despite situations where he shouldn’t possibly come out on top, yet this seems to be exactly what they’re doing with Reigns.

On top of that, several interviews have come out recently where Superstars basically say “Get over the Roman Reigns hate, he’s going to be here for a while” which makes fans feel ignored and disregarded – that the WWE already has their mind made up about a guy that a portion of their audience is not sold on at best or completely hates at worst.

On top of that, Reigns has been giving interviews that effectively say “I don’t care what the fans think, I’m going to make money regardless.” And that’s basically a direct quote ( When Reigns says things like that, it only makes the haters more upset because here’s a guy that WWE wants to be THE guy, the top face. The WWE’s argument for why you shouldn’t like Lesnar is “He’s a mercenary who only cares about the money!” While at the same time, Reigns is saying the EXACT. SAME. THING.

Really, this all comes back to a point I made in an earlier column – that the WWE still treats fans like clueless rubes who believe wrestling is real when in reality, fans are smarter and wiser to “the business” than ever. WWE acts like fans will love what they tell them to love despite the fact that there’s a growing contingent of fans who will likely soon be former fans because they feel like the WWE ignores them and their opinion.

People have made it clear they don’t want Roman Reigns at the top of the card and that they don’t want him to the championship at WrestleMania 31. If they had let his career grow organically, work his way up the card and gain momentum by creating a solid base of wins, undercard titles and exciting feuds, the fans would be a lot more willing to accept him at the top of the card. But that’s not what’s happened. He came out of The Shield angle where it was clear the other two members were more talented, yet he is pushed the hardest. He continued to win and win and win for some reason, bouncing in and out of feuds with no real beginning or end and within a year of going solo, he’s in the main event of WrestleMania.

If Roman Reigns actually wins at WrestleMania 31 and walks out with the championship, I just hope they’re ready for a reaction similar to, if not more vicious  than, what happened at the Royal Rumble. Which would look something like this…(from

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An avid gamer and long-time pro wrestling fan, stay tuned to Grizzly Gaming and the Delco Elbow Drop for game reviews and pro wrestling news.

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