Examing Roman Reigns vs. Logan Paul

Roman Reigns’ next title defense has been set for Crown Jewel on November 5th in Saudi Arabia. WWE confirmed on Saturday at a press conference in Las Vegas that social media sensation Logan Paul will challenge Reigns for the Undisputed Universal Championship.

Several websites reported the match on Friday going into SmackDown, where Paul announced the press conference while teasing he would challenge Reigns.

Roman Reigns defeated Drew McIntyre in his last title defense at Clash at the Castle. Logan Paul was victorious at SummerSlam over The Miz in his second pro wrestling match.

Paul was impressive in his in-ring outings, while Reigns has held both the WWE Title and Universal Title since WrestleMania 38. However, the eyes of the internet wrestling community (IWC) are looking at this mainstream fare with daggers on both sides of the coin.

The backlash is strong with this one.

Fatigue over Roman Reigns’ historic title run is starting to creep in. Reigns signed a new contract in May, officially making him a part-timer. He’s not scheduled to wrestle at Extreme Rules on 10/8, and world title bouts are a rare sight these days.

Back in my day (I know, I know), the champion only appeared on special occasions. It’s old hat to us, Gen Xers. The generations that followed, however, were raised seeing world title fare every week.

A seemingly absentee champion is almost a return to form. Perhaps it’s a new spin on an old concept. Over the last seven years, Brock Lesnar held dominion over the championship while sparsely appearing. Now it’s Reigns’ turn.

Still, November 5th is a long time to wait for the next championship showdown.

The resentment of Logan Paul is a tale as old as time in wrestling fandom…He doesn’t deserve it. Despite his impressive outings, purists decree Logan Paul doesn’t merit a world title shot because he’s only had two matches.

Fans loathe the idea of celebrities using their pop culture cache to receive opportunities that should rightfully be reserved for those who put in the work and wrestle week in and week out.

The traditional inside me echoes this sentiment, but I’m also a realist. What I’m going to say next will not be popular. It’s never been about who deserves it. Every show involving the squared circle is, first and foremost, a story.

As an independent wrestling promoter, I never booked matches based on who deserved it. Vince McMahon, Paul Heyman, Jim Crockett, Eric Bischoff, Gedo, and Sam Muchnick never booked their multi-million dollar wrestling shows based on who deserved it.

Do you know who did book their wrestling shows based on who deserved it?

Vern Gagne, when he refused to put the AWA World Title on Hulk Hogan due to his lack of technical wrestling ability. It was a decision that doomed the AWA, and the promotion never financially recovered.

Is Logan Paul the next Hulk Hogan? No. Is there potential to tap into a large audience that usually doesn’t follow WWE? Absolutely.

WWE would be foolish not to book Logan Paul in a world title match and ignore a potential new revenue stream because “he doesn’t deserve it?” The Wrestling Observer reported Reigns/Paul was booked because the Saudi Prince is a fan of celebrity fighters, i.e., The Paul Brothers.

Whether it was now or later, Logan Paul would eventually find himself standing across the ring from Roman Reigns. The on-screen narrative has rendered title contention moot. Paul daringly challenged Reigns despite the admission of his inexperience, and the champ obliged.

While the upcoming Crown Jewel headliner is far from a diehard fan’s delight, smart money says many who are damning the match will be tweeting its praises come November 5th.

Paul is a quick study, and Reigns is in a league of his own.

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