A reported 75,245 fans waited eagerly at WrestleMania 33 for over six hours to boo and cheer Roman Reigns with first-hour energy as the Big Dog earned an elusive victory over The Deadman.
Reigns’ victory finally represents a sea change that WWE has needed in an era where full-time stars have been positioned as beneath part-timers. Reigns, a top merchandise seller now that John Cena is a part-timer, figures to supplant Cena in many more ways as his $2.1 million salary in 2016 will likely increase in years to come as the top guy.
If Reigns’ takeover of the WWE wasn’t already painfully obvious, it became especially clear during this weekend’s WWE Axxess events. A Reigns VIP signing session was held at the same time as Samoa Joe, a favorite among the homogenous wrestling hipster community. Samoa Joe’s underground appeal led to a low turnout of attendees, and his session had to be ended 30 minutes early to be used as overflow for that of Roman Reigns. It’s Reigns’ world, everybody else is just booing in it.
Goldberg and The Undertaker are both in their 50’s while Triple H is knocking on that door at 47 years of age. Brock Lesnar, 39, is in the final year of his WWE contract and another Reigns victory over Lesnar in a potential main event of WrestleMania 34 would allow WWE to finally journey forward with its full-time roster instead of depending on blockbuster stars from years past.
WWE couldn’t have picked a better face to represent the era of outrage. Reigns’ very presence evokes the entitlement, social media banter, complaints and passion that has come to define today’s wrestling fan. Regardless of what people think of Reigns, it’s a thought filled with conviction and intensity. Despite Brock Lesnar and Goldberg being the presumed main event for weeks, the deeper WWE dove into WrestleMania season, the more momentum Undertaker and Reigns received.
The go-home show for Raw featured face-to-face segments that pit Undertaker against Reigns and Goldberg against Lesnar, which happened in the final segment of the show.
As of this writing, Undertaker and Reigns amassed over 3.8 million views on YouTube compared to Goldberg and Lesnar’s 2.6 million. There was clearly more juice behind Reigns and Undertaker, and it was enough to allow them to close WrestleMania.
By main eventing WrestleMania for a third straight time, Reigns joins Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Triple H and John Cena as the only man to pull off such a feat. He also joins these luminaries as somebody who represents WWE as one of the biggest stars of an era.
Source: Alfred Konuwa