Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, The Rock, and John Cena. These men have all been kings of WWE at some point in time. However, despite all being champs at some point in their lives, these four men all have another thing in common - a golden ticket straight to the Hollywood Fair.
Terry Gene Bollea - or better known by his ring name, Hulk Hogan - has been in countless films as himself and has even played many different roles as well. Along with appearing on his own TV series, Thunder in Paradise, many of Hogan's roles have been voice related, thanks to his distinct and iconic wrestler voice. Steve Austin’s film career is more on the fun side though, as he’s collaborated with Adam Sandler and his gang of comedians in films such as: The Longest Yard and Grown Ups 2. He was also part of the great action comeback-film, The Expendables.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was not just the king of WWE, but he is also now arguably the king of Hollywood. With currently 7 films (at the very least) announced, in pre-production, and in production with his name in the cast, it's safe to say that The Rock is busy cookin’ in Hollywood. John Cena has also been busy building his momentum in Hollywood with his first live feature - his first leading role was in Ferdinand, an animated film - as part of the main cast, and a comedy film titled Blockers.
As Cena continues to showcase his talents on film, Roman Reign is now clearly the king of WWE, or is he? Here is a yin-yang list of 10 reasons why Roman Reigns is still the king of WWE and 10 reasons why he should simply just retire!
20 Why He Is The WWE King: His Accomplishments
Joseph "Joe" Anoaʻi has been wrestling since 2010 and first started his career, as most stars did, in D-Leagues (WWE developmental territory, FCW in his case) like the Florida Championship Wrestling. He was at this time, known as Roman Leakee, however, I think we can all agree that this name doesn't exactly scream 'manly'. While in this league, he was able to accomplish the FCW Florida Tag Team Champions title.
He entered mainstream wrestling television in 2012 and quickly became a rising star by 2014. He was headlining main events, pay-per-view events, and championship matches left and right. He always lost the championship bouts, and except for that 5 minute reign in Survivor Series 2015 - read more in this Sky Sports report - he wasn't able to get his hands on that clean championship belt until December 2015 (only 22 days after the 5 minute reign). At this time he was awarded the WWE Championship, and has been lucky enough to hold the belt two more times after that.
Roman Reigns was also a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion in 2013 with Seth Rollins, and a one-time Intercontinental Champion in 2017. He also held the WWE United States Championship belt in 2016. He’s a Triple Crown Champion, a Grand Slam Champion, and a Royal Rumble winner.
Reigns is no stranger to awards either, having won 7 Slammy Awards in total, and let's face it, this list of accomplishments is not easy to achieve if you’re no king.
19 Why He Should Retire: What Happened in WrestleMania 33 Cannot be Undone
WWE fans can forgive, but they never forget. As we pointed out in this list, The Undertaker is old. The supposed graceful exit and final match of his career was thwarted, by none other than Roman Reigns. The event happened more than a year ago and fans still remember it whenever they see Roman walk towards the ring. The regular boos are louder, more hateful, and it must get to Reigns. I guess we can say the booker messed up on this one. Before WrestleMania 33, Roman Reigns was doing quite okay with fans, that’s not to say he does not get boo'd. But they’re especially intense now. Why? What happened?
The last match of The Undertaker’s career was a No Holds Barred match against Reigns, and they fought their hearts out. After countless spears and Superman punches, the Last Ride and a Tombstone piledriver, Reigns came out on top. The Undertaker lost in WrestleMania only for the second time in his career, talk about a bitter ending. As a clear gesture of retirement, he stripped down and left, in the center of the ring, his coat, gloves, and hat. As he exited the arena, he waved a last goodbye to his fans and everybody heard the three gong sounds that were his signature music since our (some of us, at least) teenage years.
Roman Reigns will not come back from that fatal mistake, it was a match you wish never happened. At least, he wishes it ended a different way.
18 Why He Is The WWE King: He is Still Young in Wrestling Standards
Here are some WWE wrestlers who are currently active. Sheamus is 40-years old, and AJ Styles is also 40. Born in August 1977, Jeff Hardy is almost 41-years old, and his big brother Matt is 43. The Big Show is 46-years old, and Chris Jericho is 47. Goldust is 49-years old and Triple H is almost that age now, too. Top dogs Brock Lesnar is hanging on to age 40 and John Cena is 41-years old.
Returning wrestlers The Undertaker and Daniel Bryan are 53 and 37-years old, respectively. If you take this small sample and average the age of active WWE superstars, the answer is 43.
Unbelievably so, Roman Reigns is only 33-years old. This means he still has a very good 10 years in his young life to make waves and build on his future hall-of-fame career.
Former kings Hulk Hogan retired from wrestling at age 62. Stone Cold Steve Austin retired at a rather young age of 39. Dwayne "The Rock Johnson" has not officially retired from wrestling, but his last wrestling match was in 2008 at age 36. Including John Cena, the average age of the kings of WWE is 44. That gives Roman Reigns a plentiful 11 years as the new king of WWE.
17 Why He Should Retire: Has He Really Paid His Dues?
First of all, dues aren’t paid with the number of belts you won and how many times you’ve won them. Those are merely rewards for doing great, accolades, a symbol of being the best at something. Dues are made with the sacrifices you had to make to get that something. Count out the fact that Roman Reigns is hardworking, too. Who, in this industry, is not hardworking? You’d be kicked out of WWE before the referee pounds on the canvas and counts one if you are not a hardworking fella.
Paying your dues is counting the bruises, the sweat, the aches, the strains, and the breaks. Put it in a question, how many times have you seen Roman Reigns battled off, bruised, bleeding, and completely spent after a match?
The answer is very rarely. Except for Brock Lesnar, which is shaping up to be Roman’s ultimate arch-nemesis, there isn’t anyone else we can say that came close to being a threat to him. Okay, he paid some of his dues when he ate six F5 bombs in a match with Lesnar, that was one of the best beatings Roman received in his career.
The big problem here is that he has not faced an opponent that would seriously make him work and help him pay his dues to eventually be king of WWE. So who’s stepping up, huh? Or maybe he should just step down?
16 Why He Is The WWE King: Remember The Shield
Roman Reigns debuted in WWE, not as a singles wrestler. He actually did it with then teammates Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. They called themselves The Shield and declared it their mission to fight injustice in the WWE, all along being partial to CM Punk.
They fought as a three-man tag team against powerhouses like Ryback & Team Hell No; Ryback, John Cena, & Sheamus; Ryback, Sheamus, & Chris Jericho; The Undertaker & Team Hell No; Randy Orton, Sheamus, & Big Show; and won all of them. The magnificent run The Shield made was the highlight of the three men’s careers.
No other three-man team has come close to what The Shield achieved in the two years the group was together.
The Shield ended their quest against injustice and the team’s alliance in June 2014, and Roman went on to be a singles wrestler. The same goes with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. All good things always come to an end. The silver lining is that there were three silver linings. Seth, Dean, and Roman are having their separate and amazing careers right now. Just like Roman, both Dean and Seth have achieved the Triple Crown Champion and Grand Slam Champion titles - amazing ain’t it?
15 Why He Should Retire: Can He Cut a Good Promo?
Cutting a promo is like getting a script from the WWE writers, and saying it on live television. Decent wrestlers memorize these lines, like a theater actor, but they do not deliver these lines as emphatically as stage actors do. Good wrestlers deliver promos efficiently, as good as any fan would allow and tolerate. Great wrestlers deliver a very convincing promo, they study their script, they put emotion in and they embrace the promo. They make the fans believe. Roman Reigns is just below this level.
Overall, John Cena is an excellent wrestler. But he is not even part of the all-time top ten best promo cutters in WWE according to Bleacher Report. But he is better at promo cutting than Roman Reigns. Does Roman suck? No, he does not. Well, hmm, it’s not his fault. He just reads a script. Give him a good one and he will do it well. Well, that’s also not entirely true. Give Roman Cena's script, and well, it would really suck.
That’s because Roman does not have the panache Cena has when cutting promos. A big part of that is the charm when you speak, and the challenge is that you cannot say what you want to say because you have a script. Roman Reigns has to find that fine line, the line that The Rock and Steve Austin found and flourished on, especially when cutting promos together. But until then, Roman can’t be king.
14 Why He Is The WWE King: He is the Face of WWE
If I had a penny every time I’ve seen Roman Reigns and his handsome mug on a pay-per-view promotion or a WWE event poster, I just might be able to afford those pay-per-view programs.
Those long, dark, and greased locks, along with that signature smouldering look, Reigns always looks like he’s ready to go in those pictures, or he just had a quick brawl, which he won, then posed for a pic right after. There is just something about his look that makes a viewer think, this is WWE, it’s cool! There is a quality to his pictures, compare it to any other wrestler’s event posters and that will not have the same effect as it did on you with Roman’s poster.
He is the face that explains what WWE is all about.
If a guy wants to have his future son look like Roman Reigns, he has to be at least Samoan or Italian. If he lucks out on both, find a girl with Italian and Samoan descent and don’t let her go. Roman’s father is Samoan and his mother is Italian, and this is how their son got his rugged good looks.
13 Why He Should Retire: Yes, Remember The Shield?
The Shield is a beacon of hope for Roman Reigns fans. It is a single reminder, beeping and blinking ever so quietly and discreetly. Whenever they see Roman, that beep and blink grows a tiny bit louder, from the back of their unconscious minds, and taps into the part of their brain that concocts daydreams. Because that’s all it is going to be, for now, a dream that Roman Reigns could be greater than what he was when he was in The Shield.
The story is different with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. That beeping sound is a familiar melody, the blinking light is a visual memoir of the good old days, but they’re all distant and in the past. When fans see Seth and Dean now, their lips register a little smile that acknowledges the beeping and blinking from the backs of their minds.
With Roman, it’s a sigh, or momentary sad eyes, more a smirk than a smile, translating into frustration for their peaked idol. He is now drowning on his own. WWE helped him make a pool off his sweat and hard work, and now that it’s too many and too much, he can’t swim over them anymore.
12 Why He Is The WWE King: His Strong Bookings
Every good professional wrestler has got to have bookings, and the great ones win those bookings as well. A booking, in the wrestling dictionary, means a wrestler’s match or a wrestling event that he or she is a part of. If you compare it to a film, a booker is like a screenwriter, and the booking is the event or the movie. The actors in the story that the screenwriter pens, are the wrestlers the booker includes in the wrestling event. So when a wrestler has an event that they are a part of, they call it a booking.
According to the Internet Wrestling Database, or IWD, Roman Reigns has had 834 matches, that’s 834 bookings. Oh, and that’s only in the WWE.
There are just too many to itemize, so we’re going to give you the Reader’s Digest version. Most of these matches were WWE Monday Night Raw events, and Monday Night Raw is a weekly event.
Whenever the WWE goes global, Roman Reigns makes sure to take that plane ride along. He was in WWE Live in India in December 2017, and Tokyo and Singapore last June. He even attended the WWE in Rome, Dublin, Liverpool, Lille, Stuttgart, and Zurich last May.
These were travels he made just in 2017. Reigns has always had bookings in WWE main events like WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, Fastlane, Elimination Chamber, and Extreme Rules.
11 Why He Should Retire: He's Just a Pretty Face
Long-standing and sticky (as defined by Malcolm Gladwell) superstars in the WWE all have at least three things in common: a hairy head, above average height, and a mug that’s nice to look at.
Roman Reigns stands tall 6 feet and 3 inches, check one. He’s got hair all over his face and nice flowing locks, check two. He has that rugged and smouldering look, check three. A trifecta for our guy! But as people evolved in society, and as those old guys said it, the millennial's are getting more and more sensitive every day about anything and everything, this evolution does not exempt the WWE. What? The new face of WWE is not good enough? Tall, dark, brooding, flowing hair, and handsome is not good enough today?
Let’s not pin it on the millennial's anymore, it is true. In the third generation of wrestlers, we have come a long way, being the first one who can lift and body slam Yokozuna is not enough anymore. The people crave depth, both in actions and in character. As everyday things are made simpler nowadays, the expectation for entertainment and entertainers has become complex.
We have seen almost everything there is to see, it’s not just the WWE, it’s true in all forms of media. This is Roman’s problem post-Shield. He did not have that character build-up like Seth and Dean had. Seth’s like a fox, cunning, arrogant, with a touch of narcissism. Dean is insane, with enough sanity in him to be declared medically of competent sound and mind. Roman lacked that depth in his character. He just wants to be a champion, period. Well, that’s not enough today.
10 Why He Is The WWE King: His Wrestling Skills Are Superior to Most & At Par With the Best
Wrestling is all about strength, power, and sometimes, just plain brute force. From a different viewpoint, wrestling is also about finesse, technical skills, speed, and agility. Most wrestlers are just all about one or the other. Roman’s wrestling skill-set is just about what you expect from a top-tier WWE wrestler. He might not be as technical as AJ Styles or Shinsuke Nakamura, but he is as explosive and forceful as Brock Lesnar or The Undertaker.
It seems too elementary, but most fans measure a wrestler’s skill by the moves they can do, their trademark go-to moves and their famous finishers. It’s not all about that, but let’s indulge them.
Roman Reigns has the following signature moves in his arsenal: Superman punch, a more powerful punch delivered by bringing the rear leg then snapping it back at the same time throwing that straight punch; Leaping clothesline, a clothesline connected while jumping in the air; Moment of Silence, a belly-to-back side slam. His finisher is the Spear, a powerful take-down slam executed by a running attacker on a standing opponent, the shoulder is driven to the midsection and bringing both legs up in the air.
By our count, that’s four moves, four explosive moves by Roman Reigns.
9 Why He Should Retire: No Sympathy for Big Dog
One more effect of the shallow character that Roman Reigns is portraying now is the sympathy vote of the fans. To be a king, you have to have that ‘I demand respect’ stature, kings do not demand, they radiate respect. You will not applaud me, you will adore me! That is what’s lacking right now in Roman Reigns pull.
He has been pushed, and is being pushed again, but the pull is not enough, it’s not quite there yet. A good percentage of fans will never sway because of the WrestleMania 33 debacle, that’s done and one. But there is that undecided percentage of the fans who just stands and claps with blank eyes. They cheer with the cheer and boo with the boos. Roman has to pull it from them, make them want to initiate, scream from their hearts, boo from their darkest of thoughts.
This is why people are suggesting Roman Reigns to turn heel. Aside from being a good idea, that’s virtually the one thing that Roman has not yet done in his career.
Turning heel is not a bad thing, it could turn fans 180, or you could be so good at being bad that fans will say they hate you so much they actually love you.
Also, there’s the elephant in the ring, it’s hard to sympathize if you can see how big and strong the guy is, it’s a little bit hard to believe that he will get beaten up and lose. To get the sympathy vote, Roman needs more than a nasty arch-nemesis like Brock Lesnar, more than six or seven F5s, and more than just simply turning heel.
8 Why He Is The WWE King: Match Him Up With Anyone
It’s called adaptability. In the film industry, it’s called chemistry. It’s a beautiful thing on screen, when you see two actors working together for the first time and feel they’ve been doing it for a long time. You believe their characters and see that magic they call chemistry. It may not be as magical all the time in WWE, but when you see something like that on the canvas, it’s like watching a dance. Roman Reigns can do it with every opponent he faces.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Roman Reigns can match it up with anyone in WWE by skill, strength, and flair.
Matching up with a WWE superstar is not just simple brawling and fighting and technical moves, instead, you also have to factor in the behavior and characteristics of your opponent. It takes various adjustments, flexibility and a certain level of intelligence that only the greatest WWE superstars can do on a regular basis.
Roman has fought them all, different kinds of fighters, various characteristics, wrestlers like Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Randy Orton, AJ Styles, and The Big Show. That’s just a few of the fighters Roman stood up to and brawled against in the ring, whether he won or lost, he gave a superb show, an art form and a quality that only a few of them can deliver.
7 Why He Should Retire: Dethrone and Replace
Here’s a thought, why not bank on someone else? Find a fresh face, one that’s as pretty as baby-face Roman, build a story, have him cut promos and main event bookings. Then eventually have him challenge Roman for the title of the Face of WWE, or whatever belt Roman has. Make sure to sell the rivalry to the fans, you either get your new king, or you solidify Roman’s position as the face and the WWE King. Win-win, right?
Unless Roman makes a complete do-over, a total workup of his persona and character, he will remain dormant, stagnate, and atrophy. Turning heel is one move, but WWE is not doing anything to their longtime pet project, heel-wise. So let’s find him a worthy adversary, a Doomsday to his Superman, a Bane to his Batman.
It could be a seasoned veteran, someone worse than the worst man on the land. Or it could be an up-and-coming star, but he has to be taller than Roman, with more charisma, because he will be the one to pilot this rivalry. Roman is still both Youngblood and new blood. He’s much younger than most veterans in the current active roster, and he’s as young or just a little older than the young superstars. Use him or let go, dethrone and then replace.
6 Why He Is The WWE King: Give Him a Good One, He’ll Land that Promo Home
Roman Reigns is a lot of things but he is no Dwayne Johnson when it comes to cutting a promo. He’s not even John Cena for that matter. These two men, especially The Rock, are just above and beyond anyone’s league when it comes to delivering an impressive promo.
As defined by Online World of Wrestling, a promo happens when a wrestler is being interviewed on screen. The act of talking and delivering a speech in an interview scenario at an event is called cutting a promo. Here come the cliches, the taglines, the gestures, the taunts and insults, and the signature whatnot's that make a wrestler unique and distinct from the others.
Roman Reigns may not be the best at delivering promos, but you can always play to his strengths. Instead of having him say, “Roman Reigns will reign over you!” in an exciting, thunderous and emphatic voice, maybe we can have him dial down, have that brooding, serious voice that matches his look.
We all know that cutting a promo and doing it very well earns a wrestler more fans, it’s one way to connect directly to the people, to let them know that you are more than just muscles and testosterone. But overdoing it or saying things that do not match your persona could only make it worse for you. Stick to what you know, that’s what they always say.
5 Why He Should Retire: His Strong Bookings
Did you have that classmate from grade school that was taller than everybody else? Then, a few adolescent years later you see him again and he’s the same size still? That’s what happened to Roman Reigns, he developed early. He was shaving his face every day before he could even legally drink.
WWE is Daedalus and Roman is his son, Icarus. The fans are Roman’s combination of hubris and modesty, and the scorching sun is the WWE King title. But with Roman, what melted his wax wings was not just the heat of the sun, but also the velocity from the push his father gave him.
He was placed in too many main events too early in his career, he cut promos that are too long for him to handle, and fell flat on unimpressed ears.
He was doing big things and handling big business but he could not really handle them.
We think it’s time for WWE to find a new Icarus. Nope, we think it’s time for WWE to stop pushing Roman Reigns into something that he, in truth, is not ready for, or at the very least, was too overwhelmed by. Give it another year or two.
4 Why He Is The WWE King: Boo Him All You Want
All the greats, even in other sports, have their own share of haters. Take the NBA for example, LeBron James probably has at least half as many haters as he does fans. You cannot be a great entertainer if you don’t have this kind of impact around fans.
You know what they say about bad publicity still being publicity, it’s like saying booing is just another form of cheering. So you can boo Roman Reigns all you want, it’s just another kind of noise blending in the background that all in all sounds just like a good cheer collectively from the crowd. Hogan, Austin, The Rock, and Cena were booed too, it’s not a big deal. It is part of the job, it’s who they are. We love them, we hate them, we love to hate them. Roman is no different.
Generally, heels get more boos than faces. Confused? Okay, Wikipedia explains heels as the bad guys and the faces are the good guys. Shawn Michaels turns heel and people booed, but people still loved him. The Rock turned heel and it actually did great for his WWE career. Roman has never turned heel, not yet. You can turn Roman Reigns heel and it will not matter. Fans will still boo him, people will continue to love him.
3 Why He Should Retire: His Wrestling Skills Are On Par with the Best, But That Is Not Enough
Roman is shooting for WWE king, but being one of the better wrestlers in the league is not enough. To be the best you actually have to be the best. Can someone tell me a match that Roman Reigns has had that was so memorable it could be part of the top ten in any list for best matches in WWE? Or at least top ten in 2017? There isn’t. Well, there is one according to Sportskeeda.com, and it even involves three more wrestlers in the ring with him, and that match wasn’t even the best one in 2017. Hunt for these other top ten lists and you will never see a Roman Reigns match at number 1.
Roman has a few things to work on, starting at his signature moves, as they are not even original. His moves were used by other wrestlers before, he just added the lock and loaded gesture in his Superman punch - a 3-year old kid can even do that bit! His finisher, the spear, is a staple move in wrestling, and used famously by Goldberg, Batista, and Edge, to just name a few.
Work harder on your signature moves, Roman. If you don’t have original moves, then how can we expect you to have memorable fights? If you can’t cut a good promo, then how can you sell a story-line and build up a match that would be the defining moment of your career? These are ingredients to making a WWE king.
2 Why He Is The WWE King: He’s Paid His Dues
After reading the first item in this list, we’d say that Roman Reigns has paid his dues. He is relatively a young talent in the sport, debuting just six years ago, but that’s not the point. It’s the mileage, it’s the run he’d made in that six-year span.
He’s done more things in WWE in just six years, that most athletes could only do in their entire career.
Being a Triple Crown and Grand Slam Champion is no easy feat. Roman Reigns is only the 28th of a total of just 29 Triple Crown champions in WWE history. As Grand Slam Champion, he’s only been the 9th out of a total of 12 Grand Slam Champions in the current WWE format.
To be a Triple Crown champion, you have to have three of the main belts in WWE: World Championship, Intercontinental Championship, and Tag Team Championship. To be a Grand Slam champion, you have to have the three similar belts, plus a tertiary belt, and the United States Championship. Roman Reigns accomplished all of that in his professional wrestling career. But they didn’t come easy, he had to work hard for them. He headlined events, lost a lot of championship matches, even had coronations cancelled more than once, and had an up and down career. This is the time for Roman Reigns.
1 Why He Should Retire: He is Still Young, That's True
The age thing is a double edged sword for Roman Reigns. He’s still too young to be The Man. Let’s make him sweat some more, he has to earn his keep before he makes his mark. He still has some green in him. All those things we’ve heard and sometimes said, too. They are all true about Roman. With the overall package he can offer, it simply cannot be enough to put a whole enterprise’s future on. He’d need a hell of a supporting cast to make this one work, and the WWE have never bent that way before for a face.
Well, he is young, he can learn those things as he goes along. That’s the point, he is too young to learn them well, and the WWE King is too heavy a burden to put on a young one like him.
Go back to the introduction part of this list, the one thing the WWE Kings have in common is cutting great promos, Hulk Hogan is the king of kings when cutting promos. The Rock and Steve Austin are right up there with him, and absolutely amazing when they are at it together. John Cena is a decent one too, not as great as the other three, but decent enough to be passed the torch.
It’s not the simple promo skills or signature moves when the whole WWE is on the line, it is the charisma, the believability, and most of all, the embrace of the fans. After all, you always say it, I am nothing without my fans. So work on giving it to them, otherwise, step off for now.