Taking a trip back to the ’80s with Roman Reigns and the WWE Universe
Throughout its storied history, WWE has showcased flamboyant figures and powerful personalities. Roman Reigns is one of them.
Reigns and several others in the logs of WWE history are crossover stars, easily recognizable because of their size and personalities. For several decades, names like Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, The Rock, and John Cena have become larger than the wrestling industry itself.
Today, Roman Reigns transcends the ring with his mainstream appeal
Talk about a draw baby… the tonight show pulled in an extra 454,000 viewers (That’s us Roman Empire) when Roman Reigns featured!
😌 we roll with the best!! pic.twitter.com/v8qYN7D6gp
— Handy (Roman Reigns ERA) (@_handyred_) November 24, 2021
A great performer can thrive at any time or place in history. Roman certainly has that star power, so it’s interesting to picture how things would’ve gone if he was born 20 to 30 years earlier.
Roman Reigns would’ve likely thrived in The Attitude Era, albeit while cussing and being in a vignette where one or more of the participants were partially nude.
He came in at the tail-end of The Ruthless Aggression, so he has slight ties to it. He definitely would’ve been in the main event picture in the early 2000s, battling the likes of John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Triple H, and Randy Orton. But what about before that?
Let’s fire up the DeLorean and take a trip back to a much simpler time. A time when the hair was big and the kayfabe was kept.
Would the solemn, Tribal Chief character have been acknowledged in the splashy and cartoonish ’80s?
— Sherlene (@wittsherlene410) December 20, 2021
No one can say for sure, but it would have been fun to see Roman Reigns battle it out with comic book superhero Hulk Hogan for the WWF World Championship. Perhaps in one of those ugly cages with the big blue bars.
Perhaps Vince McMahon would’ve dressed him up like Aladdin and had the announcers claim that he was a genie from the days of the Persian Empire. At that point, a feud with The Iron Sheik would be all but a done deal.
It’s hard to look back then and picture who’d be Roman’s manager. If he were to play the cool Head of the Table character, he couldn’t have some manic, like Jimmy Hart or Bobby Heenan, as his mouthpiece.
He would likely have flown solo, crushing opponents with a Superman Punch, a Spear, and squash on an episode of Superstars. Then, the next week, he would do the same to another random jobber. That’s how things worked in the MTV era.
While it’s pretty clear that Roman Reigns could’ve been a star in any period (even the wild ’80s), we’re lucky to have him here in WWE in 2021.
Wrestling has come a long way since the ’80s and ’90s, and it’s pretty clear that The Tribal Chief is doing a pretty good job right here, right now, as a 21st-century champion. Let’s keep him as far away from the DeLorean as possible.