Ok, I told myself I was done writing about this subject, that I’d said all that I ever had to say and that anyone who wanted to see what I thought could just read the things I’d already written here and in other places. I said to myself that there were other people doing that work now and that they were doing great and that I could just let them have at it from here on out. And……I was wrong.
So yes once again I’m here to talk about Mr. Roman Reigns. Now I’m not here to talk about being over or all that nonsense. That’s an argument I’m not engaging in anymore. No I’m here to talk about why to this day Roman fans continue to mount up and ride every time the past gets brought up, particularly when it pertains to one Mr Phillip Jack Brooks, aka CM Punk. And it’s come back up in light of Roman essentially saying this week that Punk wasn’t as good as he thought he was back in 2012/2013.
Why the persistent animosity towards Mr. Punk? I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the infamous podcast episode where Punk talked about how he was told to make Roman look strong and how Roman was the chosen guy by Vince McMahon. Now you can try to downplay that but when the guy who is the patron Saint of the disgruntled WWE fan provides fodder for every sheet writer, Podcaster, etc to run up the flagpole and feed the negativity train that they all run on that’s not a small deal.
No there were not millions of people who listened to that live and took it all in and believed every word at the moment. But you take those words and you funnel them through all these different all these different outlets, some of which have unearned reputations as reputable outlets for information, and that’s how a narrative gets formed amongst a section of the fanbase that has come to believe they’re being shat upon every week.
Now you might say that on face value, what’s the problem? You might say that Punk was expressing his frustration with WWE management and not taking any shots at Reigns himself. Well, you’re wrong. Among this section of the fanbase ‘chosen by management’ implies that you’re not as good as advertised and that the old man picked you primarily because you’re fresh out of central casting or you have connections in the business or both. It implies that ‘you can’t wrestle’ but that you can be the next one to toe the company line and present the product to corporate partners and what not. And to this section of the fanbase that is a mortal sin.
In a business where the boss in every company chooses who gets to be on top before we ever so much as get a long look at them this section of the fanbase insists that anyone who is an obvious pick is being shoved down our throats against our own will be it Roman, his predecessor John Cena, one of his co workers like Charlotte Flair, the part timers who come around every now and then like Goldberg, or guys who straddle that line like Brock Lesnar. To them we are always being force fed somebody who the boss loves and doesn’t care what we think about, and that there are others who should be chosen but are always being held down by that same boss or are punished for getting themselves over. Vince McMahon for all intents and purposes is a casting director who’s filling roles on a call sheet but who these folks speak of as if he tells us this every week:
Which bring me back to Roman. Punk provided a seed that the entire wrestling podcast and dirtsheet industry, a cottage industry that lives off of putting things into the atmosphere to make you angry because that’s what drives traffic, watered and turned into the story of the 2010s. Everyone’s traffic went up if you talked about Roman, including my own, whether you were riding the hate wave or standing against it. No Punk did not singlehandedly turn a bunch of people against Roman but he gave the material that was used to feed those who did.
Being a Roman Reigns fan from 2015 until he went out to fight leukemia in 2018 was to be told on a daily basis that you did not exist, and later that you didn’t count. You were dismissed and thrown into a bin of women who thought he was hot, children who will take whatever they’re given (which is laughable to anyone who has kids), and people from India because……a lot of involved in wrestling are racist. It was to be constantly reminded of one dumb line from one promo, one that we’d forgotten about and moved on from anyway, as if that was some kind of legit reason to boo a man for three and a half years.
For three and half years we were told that our support of our favorite wrestler was to be disregarded because there was some other guy who deserved that spot more. We were told ‘I got no problem with him, I just don’t like the booking’ by people who cheered the man who did the booking whenever he walked out on stage while booing the man who carried it out. That kind of daily harassment either leads you to withdraw or it makes you fight back. We chose the latter.
And CM Punk lit one of the matches to start that fire. A man who used his legit beefs with WWE management to fuel his own selfish, self righteous, and hypocritical sad sack routine while he’d been given damn near everything he wanted by the same boss. A man who could not accept that he wasn’t the Rock or John Cena, who hello 99.9 percent of the people who’ve wrestled never were either. And he used his own frustration to say some things about a man who did nothing to him, things that have been repeated ever since to justify taking shots at that man from every corner.
So those of us who fought those wars haven’t forgotten. We haven’t forgotten how Vince repeatedly tried to hedge his bets and appease that section of fans by stopping and starting every run Roman went on, or using him as a stalking horse to move someone else into a big spot only to go back to Roman again. We haven’t forgotten who said the words that were used to get that ball rolling. And apparently neither has Roman. Which we are 100 percent on board with, because he is totally justified in shading a guy who helped make his career more difficult.
So yeah even though things have calmed down a bit in 2021 we still have the uniform ready to put on and take to the field when duty calls. When the general makes the call, we’re there. And while I will acknowledge that Punk was great at what he did on camera and did inspire a lot of fans in 2011…….
I wasn’t one of them. So to close this out, F@#! that guy. In this house we acknowledge the Tribal Chief and Phil Brooks can get lost.