Failing to learn to love Roman Reigns

Stan “The Man” Sy, reviewing the 2016 Royal Rumble for Smark Henry:

From the moment Vince McMahon stacked the deck against Roman, it was clear that the theme of the match was “One (Roman) vs. All”. That wasn’t the case because the only ones who really ganged up on Roman were the League of Nations and Triple H. In fact, as a result of the League of Nations (sans King Barrett) beating Roman to a pulp at ringside, the Big Dog had to spend most of the Rumble being tended to by medical. He only resurfaced in the match when there were only a handful of competitors left.

Good Lord, WWE. That was the absolute worst way to write Roman’s Rumble arc!

I hate to be so smarky about this, but the sad truth is that WWE only has itself to blame for the consistent botching of such a surefire, can’t-miss, little-or-no-downside Superstar like Roman Reigns.

Even those of us who want to root for him are quickly running out of reasons to.

Imagine a simulation of a simulation of sport

Wired: ‘This Immersive Michael Jordan Simulator IS the World’s Coolest Basketball Court’

When the experience kicks in, it’s like a video game augmenting real life. A path lights up on the ground to show you where to go. On each wall, 4K footage of a real crowd cheers or boos depending on whether you deliver. In the Utah scenario, the “home crowd” cheers when you miss—a nice touch.

A real play-by-play announcer calls out your every move, and real players on the court deliver that key assist, play defense and act as stand-ins for Byron Russell, playing along when you push off.

Your move, Axxess.

Imagine a WrestleMania III simulator where you can slam an actor playing as Andre. Or a WrestleMania XII simulator where you kick a Bret Hart actor in the face to achieve your boyhood dream. Or a WrestleMania XX simulator where you become a non-existent wrestler who makes Triple H tap out.

Wrestling is Theatre, part 23564

Geno Mrosko, writing for Cageside Seats:

Acts like Bo Dallas and Adam Rose, which played so well at Full Sail in Orlando, have struggled in front of larger crowds on the road. That said, Dallas and Rose are not Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, who had a match that looked a lot like Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena from the SummerSlam main event last year. Even if some of the charm is lost, these fellas deserve a bigger stage.

Right?

No, they don’t. In theatre, the best performances come through in smaller acting spaces in ways that they simply could not in large venues. It’s not just “charm” that is lost, but nuance, comfort, and truthfulness.

As fans of wrestling as a performance art, we ought to know better than to directly correlate stage size with success. These guys deserve promotion, and adulation, and a whole lot of money—not a bigger stage.

Hyperbolic Hulk Hogan

WWE.com “goes one on one with “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan”:

When I was really jitterbugging right before I had to go out, Vince kicked the door down and he gave me this hug that felt like it should have broken my ribs.

  1. … And then I gave him a bodyslam that felt like it should have caused a destructive time-warp earthquake, brother!
  2. … And then I hugged him back with my 52″ pythons that should have turned him into a paraplegic, brother!
  3. … And then he said, “You look like you should still wrestle for the WWE Championship,” brother!