The Impact of the Roman Reigns Suspension
I apologize to my family, friends and fans for my mistake in violating WWE’s wellness policy. No excuses. I own it.
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) June 21, 2016
It did seem like an abrupt end to a WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign that had been built for two years, but many just thought that WWE Creative had seen the error of their ways and were correcting course. In reality Roman Reigns has failed a drug test and will be out of action for 30 days, not exactly a great look for the new face of your company. Dean Ambrose may not have the looks, build or athleticism of Roman, but at least he doesn’t have the black eye of a drug suspension on his resume at this point.
What will the impact both short term and long term look like in WWE? That’s an excellent question. Other than missing a few TV tapings, the impact there should be minimal. Reigns will be back in time for his Shield Reunion Triple Threat Match at Battleground with Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Although it remains to be seen if WWE changes course, depending on the reaction of fans and sponsors alike. I think the bigger impact is long term creative, if it wasn’t already apparent, Roman Reigns can no longer be a babyface. He was a tough sell before this, now the ever increasingly smart WWE crowd will no doubt be taunting him over this.
Reigns was also poised to be “The Guy” to replace John Cena, not only on screen but also in the eyes of Sponsors, Shareholders and Charities. Will the stigma of this suspension hurt that as well? It’s also tough to put your top Championship on the guy until he rebuilds some credibility with the fans and probably backstage as well.
It remains to be seen what exactly the drug he tested positive for was. We don’t know if it was some sort of PED or if it was a recreational drug. Reigns has already started on the right path by apologizing for and owning the mistake. Now comes the tough part in 30 days. There is a chance this suspension has changed the immediate and long term future of WWE.