(There are some swear words in this column, so NSFW (?))
While Marks, Smarks and the Internet Wrestling Community alike lost its shit to the opening segment on Monday Night Raw.
But now, we're left asking, "so what?"
Yeah, it was refreshing to see WWE address the Roman Reigns suspension rather than running away from it and pretending it never happened. But, what does this mean not only for Battleground but for the months ahead.
Roman was billed as a face on the most recent edition of Raw.
Now, I know that seems hard to believe and/or comprehend, but just stick with me here. Think about how it went down.
Seth Rollins, a heel, berated him. Stephanie McMahon, the queen of all heels, berated him, but what did WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose, a face, do?
He defended him.
Now, this could obviously be a build to a grander heel turn the next time we see the WWE's forced second-coming of John Cena or it could be a massive overstep. I'm going with massive overstep, because, let's be honest ... never go with the easy money when it comes to Roman Reigns and WWE.
Is WWE really going to move forward with this Roman Reigns as a face in the face of non-relenting boos thing?
You bet your ass they are.
Here was Roman's official response to his suspension (which we still don't have details on and probably never will):
I apologize to my family, friends and fans for my mistake in violating WWE’s wellness policy. No excuses. I own it.— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) June 21, 2016
Look me in the eyes and tell me that didn't get PR vetting from WWE. Staring contest let's go.
Seriously. Bravo to WWE, though. They found the only way to roast Roman on-air for whatever he got caught doing while keeping his current status as a face (for now) in tact.
It's impressive work, but in my mind, is an insane missed opportunity to turn this guy into the most hated guy in the business. As a heel and not the forced second-coming of the new era's John Cena.
In WWE mythos, we, the fans, are led to believe that we should boo everything that comes out of the mouths of greasy figures like Seth Rollins and Stephanie McMahon.
So, when Stephanie says that "she's not embarrassed but mortified" of Roman's suspension, we are supposed to boo that.
Has this clicked yet?
So unless WWE is leading us into a slow-burning heel turn (see John Cena's past 10 years, they're not), then OK, well done.
But, here's my thing:
Most of the WWE Universe has rejected the idea of Roman Reigns as "The Guy."
If you've been following along with the in-ring product since WrestleMania, you've seen Roman deliver great performance after great performance. He carried shows in the main event and did exactly what the champion is supposed to do.
But, the fans rejected him. That's no secret. That's not some massive revelation.
The IWC clamors for guys like Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, Cesaro and Sami Zayn while rejecting the notion that Reigns deserves the belt. That's an argument for another time, but it leads us to the notion that this is WWE's chance to use that to its advantage.
This is WWE's chance to look its groaning fanbase in the face and scream, "Oh, you don't like him? Well, we don't give a shit, but we don't give a shit so hard that we're going to throw it in your face directly and not subliminally!"
It's too easy to compare every babyface heel turn to Hogan's nWo turn in the 90s because this is someone new to the main event scene. This is someone who has been rejected by diehards since The Shield split.
This is not a 40-year-old dude who can't move; This is Roman Reigns, an early 30-something freak of an athlete (yeah, possibly not natural but who knows) who has a crazy ceiling for in-ring and on-the-mic development.
He has the look of a heel, from the long, always wet black hair to the Kevlar and all-black attire. The guy incites a reaction, now it's time to feed off of that. Making his suspension a Heel talking point, rather than embracing the disappointing aspect of it all.
While there is time for WWE to fix its Roman Reigns problem, by the I got around to watching the show in the early morning hours of Tuesday, I was left feeling like we didn't progress anywhere. We had heels use it to their advantage while protecting the poster boy.
There remains a golden opportunity to flip the landscape on the top of its head, but after Cena and Styles lost last night I can't help but feel like we're left stuck in the mud.