Roman Reigns defeated CM Punk in the main event of Old School Raw on January 6. The Samoan strongman of The Shield was the only man from the group that had not tested The Best in the World in a one-on-one match prior to his victory.
Roman got the win over Punk that night and even though it was only one bout on regular WWE programming, many fans are proclaiming him to be the next big thing. It's a bit early to know how soon this win will propel him higher in the company, but for me, the reality is that Roman is definitely on his way up. In fact, I believe that he will lead the charge for the next generation of WWE main event stars.
It's a huge statement to make, that much is for certain. And in a company full of promising talent, it seems insane to single someone out this early in the game. But the truth is that the current crop of WWE mainstays like CM Punk, Randy Orton and, of course, John Cena are only getting older. And at some point, the next wave of WWE Superstars that are poised for the main event will have to rise to the occasion.
Oddly enough, two of those Superstars are Roman's teammates in The Shield. Both Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins are very good in the ring and have proven that they each definitely have what it takes to succeed on a very high level in Vince McMahon's company.
Indeed, much of the discussion concerning which guys can help move WWE forward when the time comes actually centers on The Shield. And there is a very good reason for that.
The fact is that all three members are very well equipped to handle the bight lights of the main event. And that is the case because of their run over the past year on WWE's main roster. Fans have watched them progress, they watched them evolve, from a trio trying to prove themselves to the hottest main event players on Raw and SmackDown.
And during that evolution, the discussion of which member will rise up higher than the other two has now turned into a heated debate. The truth is that all three men have their supporters, and it's easy for popular opinion to change at anytime. This is due to the quality of both their individual and collective work in the ring every week.
One week, Ambrose seems to shine just a little bit brighter. Dean is considered by many to the future top heel of the company, and he proves it more and more every time we hear him on the mic and see him in the ring.
Seth Rollins has been featured over the past couple of weeks against both John Cena and CM Punk. In both matches, Seth rose to the occasion and perhaps surprised many fans that did not realize he could perform at that high of a level.
And now Roman Reigns is the man standing tall over The Shield with his victory against The Second City Saint on Raw. Yes, we have seen Roman look good in the past. In fact, many fans would argue that he looks good every time he's booked. But right now, the overall vibe seems to be changing. Now, the notion that Roman could be the breakout star of The Shield is perhaps stronger than it has ever been.
And I for one believe it's with good reason.
I'm not disputing that both Ambrose and Rollins are good. Dean has more old-school moxie than perhaps any of his NXT colleagues. He has so much, in fact, that he appears to have time traveled from another era. Dean eats, sleeps and breathes the business. It's all he wants, and he's committed to being the very best at it. And it shows.
When it comes to Seth Rollins, I believe that he could be the most underrated of the group. Granted, he is somewhat overshadowed by Dean and Roman, but he is proving himself more and more in recent bouts. The fact is that if you're looking for a main event star, then you need look no further than Seth Rollins. I think that he is actually better and has much more to offer that we have yet to see.
But for me, it all begins and ends with Roman Reigns. I think that when WWE looks at him, it sees a star. From his physique to his power to his intensity, Roman has everything that Vince McMahon wants in a top-tier performer.
He has perfected a signature move with the Superman punch and has a great finisher with the spear. Strip off the riot gear in favor of traditional trunks and throw in a catchphrase, and there you have it—a custom-made WWE main event Superstar.
This goes to the very heart of the debate concerning which Shield member will eventually outshine the others. Roman has the look, he has the ability and he has a very marketable image. He is the big, strong, good-looking guy that Vince loves to feature on WWE programming.
The truth is that while John Cena is still the undisputed top guy in WWE, the time is now to search for the man to replace him. This is not to say that the change should happen right away, but unless WWE is ready to move forward, then it will never be able to. I think that much like Cena once was, Roman is a very raw talent that is beginning to impress the crowds yet is just on the verge of truly making it big.
And when he does, he could very well explode like Cena once did himself. The Roman Reigns we see before us today could be just the prototype. The real model could be available to the public perhaps sooner than later.
Provided that he can stay healthy and stay the course, Roman Reigns is likely on his way to very big things in WWE. I believe that he is the future of the company and that he will lead the next generation of stars on the main event scene. While fans continue to debate which Shield member will go higher and do more, I believe it all comes back to Roman every time.
And the debate continues.