Look at these two men. On your left, Roman Reigns, the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion. On your right, Dolph Ziggler, thought of as one of the most talented workers in the company.
This doesn’t make sense, right? Shouldn’t the two be one and the same? He has to be at least somewhere close and constantly fighting for that title, doesn’t he?
No, in fact, while he’s always on TV, he’s hanging around just below that.
From the very beginning, Dolph Ziggler was looked at as a B+ player. Even before he stepped in a ring, he was doomed to mediocrity because of the way he looked. He was given silly gimmicks and placed in the midcard. When fans demanded the company to do more with him, they’d give him a couple of good matches so they’d shut up for a couple of months.
Roman Reigns, however, was looked at as the company’s golden boy from the start. Why? Because he has the right pedigree and the right look. He’s related to some of the greatest wrestlers of all-time, including the world famous Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He has huge muscles, a great skin tone and gorgeous hair.
What he didn’t have, at least at first, was any wrestling talent or charisma.
“The people will love Roman Reigns, just look at him!” the company said. So they let him win the Royal Rumble, which is basically a match that guarantees you a title shot at the biggest event of the year: Wrestlemania.
And everyone knew that was the plan, and they didn’t like it. After all, why should Roman Reigns get the title shot over hard-working wrestlers like Dolph Ziggler or Daniel Bryan or Dean Ambrose?
One by one, the fan favourites left the match, and the boos and jeers got louder and louder. Roman Reigns entered the match, and a man deemed a good guy worthy of cheers by the company got the loudest negative reaction of the night. But WWE was going to stick to their original plan.
And after it looked like Roman Reigns had won, a man named Rusev came from behind for one last stand against Reigns. For those who don’t know, Rusev was a Russian patriot who vocally hated America and everything America stood for, running down American audiences every single week. And yet, when he stood against Reigns, everyone cheered and chanted for him. And when Rusev was eliminated and Reigns was the last man standing, the boos only got louder and louder and louder.
Even The Rock, Reigns’ cousin and long-time WWE legend, who ran out to the ring to raise his cousin’s hand in victory was booed that night, in what is known as an utter disaster.
WWE thought the people wanted Roman Reigns because his appearance and his pedigree were everything the company had stood for the last twenty years. Dolph Ziggler getting tossed aside wouldn’t be a problem, as fans don’t care so much about wrestling ability, right?
But they did. They understood that people like Dolph Ziggler who were incredibly talented and clawed their way to everything they got in the company may never get their chance because they don’t have “the look.”
And now to get to my point. A similar thing happened to Jesus on Earth. For years, a Messiah was promised, a saviour of all mankind that the Jewish people were anticipated for hundreds of years. Then Jesus came along, performing miracles, healing people and understanding the word of God better than the religious elite. But despite fitting the bill in every way, he didn’t have “the look” that the Jewish people were looking for. They wanted a strong and mighty warrior to break them out of Rome’s government. Instead they got a humble carpenter sacrificing Himself for their sins. He didn’t have the look.
But WWE picking the wrong guy was no fault of Roman Reigns, it was WWE’s. But another lesson can be learned from Roman Reigns, which we’ll look at next week. Til then, all that was just something to think about.