John Cena and Roman Reigns firing verbal missiles at one another have been the highlight of WWE for 3 consecutive weeks. As fun as it's been, this past Monday may have marked the point of diminishing returns.
John Cena's knockout punch got its power by reminding the WWE Universe that Roman Reigns failed a drug test last summer. It earned Reigns a suspension and WWE a PR black eye. The question begs, was it dumb for WWE to allow Cena to use such an insult?
Former WCW boss, Eric Bischoff thinks that while the intention of being controversial is good, WWE may have actually been counterproductive in their attempt to push the envelope. Bischoff would elaborate on his podcast, Bischoff on Wrestling.
"I am still not sure. Part of me likes it because it is breaking the mold. Everybody knows I love a shoot. I love doing anything that doesn’t feel scripted and cookie-cutter. Especially in WWE because so much of their stuff is cookie-cutter and formulaic. To me, it almost feels like it steps right up to that line where you don’t want to cross because there are so many other ways that you can do that kind of segment and make it personal," he said.
Bischoff thinks that the ingredients are there, but WWE is still falling short.
"That’s what really makes a good build up to a match when it’s a good, believable and credible issue. I think what they are doing with Cena and Reigns right now is trying to get to that point where it feels like a real, personal issue and it feels organic. I applaud them for that," he continued. I really, really, really do. I think that is missing so badly right now in the format today in sports entertainment. That particular nuance and that approach to it, to me, is just a little bit off the mark. I just don’t know."
Ultimately, Cena bringing out the skeletons from Roman Reigns' closet was something that hurt their blockbuster feud.
"I am right at that point where I want to like it but part of me goes, 'No, you could have done something different that could have been better without getting dirty and getting in the mud.' It’s ok to get in the mud if it’s a personal issue," he explained When it comes to a drug test? As JR would say, “'I don’t think that’s good for business.'”
Right now it's hard to say the WWE is botching this mega-match with Reigns and Cena. While them fighting at No Mercy is certainly worth a scratch of the head, they seem to be doing a decent enough job during the build up. YEs, bringing up your future face of the company's failed drug test was quite dumb, but it's something that will soon be forgotten.
Or at least WWE should hope so.