(01/06) Roman Reigns vs. CM Punk

Baltimore Arena (Baltimore, MD)

It is a credit to the WWE, the work of the other members of The Shield, and the road agents, that many fans are clamoring for the inevitable Roman Reigns super push despite the fact that there is little evidence he can hold his own in an extended, main event singles role. He has been handled so well so far – and his negative aspects hidden so well – that it doesn’t seem to concern anyone that he might not be ready for the big upcoming push. In this match – his first big singles bout and clearly the start of the big push – it was noticeable that The Shields’s big-man might not be quite ready for the push he is about to receive.

It would not be accurate to call Reigns performance in this match poor; it was just unpolished. Early in the match, Punk side stepped Reigns who was charging at him. It was clear Punk’s intent was just to move out of the way rather than counter with a move of his own, but Reigns sold a phantom blow to the stomach nonetheless. When he was on offense, his lack of offense at this stage in his career showed through. Punk sprinkled in enough offense of his own and made enough comebacks to keep the match moving forward, but in his first featured singles match it does appear that Reigns as a ways to go to being able to hang in 15 minute featured matches on a regular basis.

Reigns picked up the victory following a distraction from The Shield and a spear, giving him a huge victory of the second most featured wrestler in the promotion. A breakup between Reigns and The Shield is already being teased, but the WWE would be wise to keep them as a unit at least during the initial stages of the big Reigns push. Having other guys at ringside to run interference can be a benefit to Reigns who may not be quite ready to work long matches by his self. The Shield are the opposite of the Bullet Club as seconds. Their interference and interaction during a match often enhances the match rather than distracting from the work in the ring. Reigns’ singles match will almost certainly be better right now with the other two Shield members at ringside than if he were to work a 15 minute match on his own.

TV Main Event | Watchable | Individual Performance (Both)/Booking

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