Roman Reigns won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H in the 28-minute main event of WrestleMania 32. It was a great moment for Reigns — his dad in particular seemed to enjoy it — but the response from the internet was not so good. You can read more about that here. Choice comments include, “boring boring boring,” “completely horrible,” and “a sociological experiment masquerading as a WrestleMania main event.”
For a perspective on what went wrong, we can turn to someone who was also in the ring that night: WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin teamed up with Mick Foley and Shawn Michaels to teach the League of Nations a lesson and delivered Stone Cold Stunners despite having a torn rotator cuff.
On a recent episode of The Steve Austin Show, Austin talked about how long the match was, how it exposed some already obvious holes in Roman’s game, and how he would’ve booked it differently to make it more impactful.
“It was way too long. That match should have been 15 minutes. I mean, from bell to bell, 15 minutes, and that being said, all the bells and whistles and action that needed to happen within that 15 minutes. And just, this is a deal where, okay, if it’s Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels and you’re out there, hey, give them 30 because they can go 30.
But here’s a case, and Triple H can go any amount of time you want him to go. But what needed to happen on this, just to make Roman, because if you’re going to let Roman go over clean in the middle of the ring, shine him up like a million bucks. Let him bounce Triple H all over kingdom come. Finally, let Triple H just get a frog’s hair of heat on him. And then boom, big finish, bam, 1-2-3. Make an impact with that match. Make an impact with the finish. And make a statement for the kid! It’s about getting this kid over and at least within the confines of the 20-by-20 …
And then you’ve got all the other things to deal with, whether it’s people resent him or this, that, or they think he’s been pushed too hard too soon. You’re trying to make Roman Reigns. I don’t think you make him in a 28-minute chess match. This match needed to be all about excitement, explosion, and testosterone out of Roman and that’s how I think they should have booked it. Making Roman Reigns work this long exposed more holes in his game than we’ve already known that exist.”
What do you think? Would the match have benefitted from being cut in half? Should it have gone on last? Would 30 minutes have worked better if the show hadn’t been 7 hours long? Let us know in our comments section below.