Things aren’t going well for Mr. McMahon’s fake-fighting establishment today. After last night’s Royal Rumble, the annual 30-man battle royale event that determines who will be in the main event at Wrestlemania, #CancelWWENetwork is trending on Twitter — and for good reason.
Roman Reigns has been a problem for a while now amongst fans. Once the silent strongman of supergroup The Shield, which has had members Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins emerge as preeminent antiheroes and villains, respectively, he’s struggled as a singles wrestler after the group’s breakup. Although talent is evident, and he has The Look, he’s also a charisma black hole, unable to deliver convincing promos. Part of this is the writing, and he’s gotten better over time, but being pushed into the main event scene so early is clearly something he’s not ready for, especially when there are far more deserving wrestlers on the roster. Like, say, Bad News Barrett, who’s currently busy jobbing while holding the Intercontinental belt.
Or, you know, Daniel Bryan, who recently came back from a long injury after his Wrestlemania 30 championship win, forcing him to vacate the title. Since he was back, though, he kept losing to Bray Wyatt, and then got eliminated from the Rumble as Reigns went on to win. While I think he’s as much of a charisma vacuum as Reigns, if not more so, he is without a doubt one of the most talented wrestlers they have, if not THE most. Keeping him buried like this hasn’t engendered any favor with the fans, as when push comes to shove, they seem to favor Bryan over Reigns.
With #CancelWWENetwork trending as a result, the page to cancel a WWE network subscription crashed. It’s unknown if this is a result of heavy load from people cancelling, or WWE disabling it to try to stem the flow of blood, but it doesn’t bode well either way. In addition, WWE has had to cancel tonight’s taping of RAW due to severe weather in Connecticut. Cancellations of WWE Network subscriptions would also have a pretty substantial effect on the company, who have already reported massive losses due to disappointing subscription numbers, and had to lay off 7% of their payroll in order to staunch falling stock prices.
Vince, if you’re reading this, just hand the company over to Triple H. That dude seems to know what he’s doing.
UPDATE: Monday night’s RAW broadcast was hosted by Michael Cole, Booker T, and John “Bradshaw Layfield” from a studio in WWE HQ. Apart from a few interviews, most of the episode simply re-aired the Triple Threat Championship match and the main even from the Royal Rumble. Way to not just let the heat blow over, guys.