Opinion: Why Roman Reigns' promo on RAW was a stroke of absolute genius
WWE may have achieved the impossible on this week's RAW - stopped the boos and got Reigns over with the hardcore fans!
After his Elimination Chamber win was, yet again, met with a chorus of boos and even a pretty substantial hashtag of #CancelWWENetwork on Twitter, it looked like WWE may have, yet again, took a wrong turn and let their stubbornness get in the way of booking the best possible match for WrestleMania.
I myself even spoke of how I thought Reigns winning was the wrong decision, but I'll admit, maybe I judged WWE too quickly on this one as Reigns' segment on this week's Raw was genius for so many reasons.
WWE's biggest problem with Reigns isn't his popularity; he's selling merchandise and the younger fans love him, but connecting with the hardcore fans has always been his problem.
Roman Reigns has said he isn't a good guy, he isn't a bad guy, he's THE guy. Well, while I doubted it in the past, I think WWE have actually found a way to get Roman Reigns over as a face with the slightly older hardcore fans who they've struggled so hard to appease with the previous booking of Reigns.
And the answer? Promote a segment with Reigns facing off against Brock Lesnar - and have Brock Lesnar not turn up!
Now, there's been no confirmation as of yet as to whether Brock Lesnar was booked to turn up and couldn't/didn't - or whether the segment was orchestrated to play out this way. If it was the latter, it may be the smartest thing the WWE creative team have done all decade.
Reigns took to the squared circle to a chorus of boos to go head-to-head with Lesnar and address their WrestleMania match, but when he told the WWE Universe that Lesnar wasn't in the building, things quickly changed.
The Big Dog even mentioned that Lesnar had been in Las Vegas last night, precisely where Elimination Chamber took place - but didn't show as he was too busy hanging out with Dana White.
Reigns seemingly shot on Brock Lesnar's part-time status and lack of passion for WWE, saying The Beast doesn't make the towns or turn up because he simply doesn't care. The one thing no-one can legitimately criticise Reigns for as he's only missed a handful over the past few years due to injury or illness.
Now, choosing UFC over WWE or just not caring about the business may be the one thing hardcore fans will hate about any star, no matter their name, so WWE may have just completely turned Reigns face and generated what feels like real heat between contender and Champion ahead of WrestleMania.
Maybe we'll never know if the segment was meant to play out like this, but WWE deserved credit either way. They either made the tastiest lemonade ever out of some pretty sour lemons if Lesnar was legitimately meant to be on RAW.
If he wasn't and this was all deliberate, someone in WWE deserves a raise and a promotion as they may have just achieved the seemingly impossible in one segment - gotten Roman Reigns over with the hardcore fans.