With WrestleMania 39 rapidly approaching, everyone has a take on who should win the main event, Cody Rhodes or Roman Reigns.
Will it be Cody, the infamously second-generation Superstar who wants to win the one belt his father never could and #CompleteTheStory once and for all? Or will it instead be Reigns, the third-generation reigning champion who is roughly two months away from holding the Universal Championship for 1,000 days?
Needless to say, everyone has an opinion on which win would be the best for WWE’s business, especially as they prepare to sell the company, but few discuss which Superstar should lose the match, which, in a way, is sort of the same thing but in a way isn’t. Can either man, Reigns or Rhodes, eat the loss with dignity? Or would one loss be less palatable than the other, with one or both men’s standing within the WWE Universe being affected as a result?
Fortunately, WWE Hall of Famer-turned AEW star Jeff Jarrett weighed in on that very topic on his My World podcast, and unsurprisingly, Double J actually has a pretty interesting opinion on which star would actually be hurt more in victory than by defeat.
“There is no doubt in my mind, and look, you can get all kinds of metrics and however you want to slice it,” Reigns said via Fightful. “But a big show and a big stage, and look, you can say fundamentals and basics and building blocks, you can put all of it, all your eggs in one basket, but I don’t remember a time, and I’m sure maybe a Cena in the early days, but I don’t remember a time off the top of my head that the industry had the opportunity. Because Cody, and they positioned it, yes it’s lineage and winning a title that his father never won, that’s emotional, kind of Cody going away, maybe not having the most successful run, depends on what metric you wanna use, went away, started from the ground up, all the independent scenes.
“Obviously the story at AEW goes without saying. That is a part of this story, and him going back, the opportunity and now on the opposite side of the fence, it’s a guy that hasn’t been beat in three years. You don’t really get those opportunities to come around. There’s only one finish. I’ll say this. If Roman didn’t do the honors, I truly believe it would hurt Roman worse than it would hurt Cody. I do.”
Whoa, Reigns would actually look worse in victory than defeat if he’s able to do what he’s been doing for three-plus years now, coming out on top in the “Premium Live Event” main event? Fortunately, Jarrett had a bit more to say on the subject in order to strengthen his case.
Jeff Jarrett: Roman Reigns can’t be considered a full-time wrestler anymore.
Delving into the matter further on My World, Jarrett explains that, because Reigns isn’t a full-time wrestler anymore, having him show up for part-time action simply doesn’t help to elevate WWE to where it needs to be moving forward.
“To me, it’s a no-brainer, and it goes without saying, a guy with, in my mindset, it’s no secret,” Jarrett said. “Roman Reigns doesn’t really work. Not just house shows. I think it’s really select shows. He’s done Raw and SmackDown here [ahead of WrestleMania]. For a long time, he was one day a week. I don’t believe that’s sustainable in so many ways in this industry. I just don’t. You can use the analogy of a TV show, a movie, or a musical act. You’re a touring company. You better have your lead singer on almost all your shows. That’s just the reality. When you don’t, the product is lesser then. My understanding, Cody’s saying line me up, let’s go to work ala Cena, ala anybody in that top role. It’s a no-brainer.”
Alright, with his case fully made, does Double J’s opinion hold water? In this writer’s humble opinion, I would say yes; Reigns is barely on WWE television at this stage of the game, and while The Usos deserve a medal for picking up his slack, it would be nice to see some new blood at the championship level, especially when said star is able to take on a Cena-style workload and do television, house shows, and “Premium Live Events” all in the service of the fans. Keeping the strap on Reigns, by contrast, would prove to fans that the guys they like will never get over and to stop investing in people like Rhodes and Sami Zayn because they will never hold the sport’s grandest prize. Throw that all together, and the choice is clear.
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