Roman Reigns is quickly acquiring the key elements to be the megastar WWE wants him to be.
Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Ric Flair and John Cena all had (or have) the same elements. These are aspects of their presentation that go beyond putting on memorable matches. I'm talking about the stuff that gets attached to these iconic characters that doesn't take you long to discover.
The famous measuring stick of seeing a guy on the street and knowing he's somebody special. It's a look that stands out because of overall stature, hair, wardrobe or all of the above. Reigns fits right in with this measurement.
His size stands out in a crowd based on his size alone, and the tattoos and long hair only add to the eye-catching appeal. He can be billed as a tough-guy hero in WWE, but Reigns also has movie-star good looks that are appealing to the camera and female fans.
Some call it the “five moves of doom” when talking about John Cena. The reality is that all top stars have signature moves. Often, the move set is unique in its sequence or features creative variations of certain moves.
Being a star is based around people wanting to see you, regardless of being a good guy or bad guy. There are certain things fans want to see when they purchase tickets for a WWE show. It can be a move, an entrance or a catchphrase. Employing one of these three is a must to be a top talent.
The Rock turned the most basic offensive tactic of punching an opponent into a work of pure entertainment. He would punch once, then again and finally, after dramatically staring at his raised hand and spitting into it, would nail his opponent with the third blow. Flair even tailored a move that he would be on the receiving end of. At least once in every match, he would be whipped into the turnbuckle and go upside down.
Reigns is building this every week. Perhaps the most notable of his moves that's unique is his opponent leaning on the bottom rope facing outside the ring and Reigns runs and drop kicks them from the arena floor.
The entrance music is key. It announces the megastar's arrival. The music needs to be recognizable and memorable. The into to “Real American” is so recognizable. When the glass breaks, everyone knows Austin 3:16 is about to be unleashed. The horns and drums announce The Nature Boy is about to walk that aisle.
When the first beats of Reigns' music hits, the crowd is on its feet and immediately turns to the part of the arena where he makes his entrance.
The It Factor
The WWE Performance Center can't teach this. A backstage producer can't teach this. It's the aspect of the megastar where divine intervention is involved. If they were meant to be an entertainment star, then they will be. With Reigns, we're still learning about what his it factor is going to be and how much he will be able to tap into it.
I believe his family pedigree has something to do with it. He's part of the Samoan wrestling family tree—a family tree filled with athleticism, size, good looks, discipline and charisma. All of these attributes can make a successful talent in professional wrestling. We've seen it before. The Rock, a relative of Reigns', is the most successful example.
All of these aspects of a megastar seem simple. That's because the megastars make it seem simple. They're so good, they make it look easy. However, it's not easy. Thousands of wrestlers try, but few get themselves in the elite league I'm talking about.
We can learn from the past. History does repeat itself. Based on all of this, I think the expectations of Reigns being the next megastar will be met.
Justin LaBar is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the creator of the "Chair Shot Reality" video talk show and "Wrestling Reality" radio show.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!