Roman Reigns had a rough 2017.
Sure, he may have retired Kane's brother at WrestleMania, but that was ages ago. And when John Cena metaphorically handed him the keys to WWE, it wasn't even at a big show. Even more, Reigns actually fell into a pay-per-view slump and that comes on top of the fact that The Big Dog only sniffed the Universal Championship once in 2017. And even then, he was just background music to Braun Strowman.
Some guys just can't get a break.
But perhaps most disheartening was Reigns' attempt to bring back the Shield. It turns out that Roman's diplomatic efforts reunite with his old pals, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins was literally cursed by a sickness spell cast by Bray Wyatt.
Now that it's 2018, things aren't much better as Reigns is forced to carry the same belt that The Mountie, Marty Jannetty, Ryback, and Dean Douglas once defaced.
However, good things come to those who wait, and Roman Reigns will begin his climb from the basement of WWE with a Royal Rumble victory. The golden days of 2015 and 2016 are set to return to the Roman Empire because after he wins the Rumble in an arena full of Philadelphia's most deplorable, he'll go on to defeat the pink Beast for his big red belt at WrestleMania 34.
Then, and only then, will the world be right...
OK, we must admit, all of that was submitted by the former White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer. And even though WWE would like you to believe that Roman Reigns has cooled off a little, they know he had a tastefully monstrous 2017. However, 2018 marks the year of the Big Dog. And while some fans may resent his return to WWE's throne, they can take comfort in knowing that he's exponentially better suited for that role than he was in 2016.
2017's "cooling period" for Reigns has been all about creating a more relatable character. It's worked too. Consider the atomically negative reaction Reigns endured the day after retiring the Undertaker. But just 9 months later, Reigns is receiving a totally different, and mostly positive reaction from WWE crowds.
This is no accident.
Even though the Shield reunion may actually have been cursed, it accomplished its mission and that was to trick fans into re-accepting Roman Reigns. While WWE is likely still lamenting what could have been, they'll take their winnings and move forward with the plan.
Just as WrestleMania 33 closed its doors WWE started incubating WrestleMania 34's main event of Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar. If the writing isn't on the internet, then it's certainly on the wall, and this clash is all but guaranteed. And Roman Reigns winning the 2018 Royal Rumble is the easiest way to execute this story.
Even if it's a predictable outcome, Reigns winning the Rumble gives WWE three months to promote he and Lesnar's WrestleMania rematch further building the legend of The Big Dog. And when you say "but he's been shoved down our throat," WWE will eagerly point to Reigns'
Want more Royal Rumble manifestos? Here you go: