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31 Days of Wrestling (12/26/19): Who Did This (to Roman Reigns)?


Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies, and gentlemen. Once again, we're at that point where we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling 2019 produced for us.

In 2019, Roman Reigns almost died—not because of leukemia, but because of a very inefficient assassin.

I honestly forgot about this crazy storyline until the Smark Henry office started gathering the most memorable storylines of the year. Of course, how can we forget about the time someone tried to literally murder Roman Reigns... twice? I’m actually wondering because I’m sure this was a relatively recent storyline. I’m too lazy to google it but I’m pretty sure I’m right. Anyway, I guess we should also talk about this one because hey, it has murder intent on it.



Flashback to July 30 when SmackDown Live ended with Roman Reigns being buried alive in backstage debris. He walked out unscathed because of course he’s Roman freakin’ Reigns, but apparently, it was enough for WWE to consider it a major storyline. I remember now how I rolled my eyes after seeing Reigns survive literally getting buried, only to come out safe and sound. That’s probably the loudest tongue-in-cheek statement they'd ever made in WWE. 

For the second attempt, you’d think WWE would up the ante. And in a way, they kinda did. On the August 5 episode of RAW, someone tried to hit Roman Reigns’ car with another car. Again, Reigns was safe, although he was shaken. I mean, great for stepping it up a notch, but the assassin came out as incompetent or just a realy terrible driver. Just a few inches more, buddy, you could’ve taken out one of the biggest names in WWE and made a name for yourself!



What stopped him or her from actually hitting Reigns with the car? Going the “I did it for the Rock” route would’ve added more spice to this already intriguing storyline. But nah, Reigns had to survive because according to WWE lore, he can’t fucking die. Hey, at least we got to see good samaritan Samoa Joe looking out for his fellow Samoan. That made Joe ten times cooler. It made me forget about that time he tried to father AJ Styles’ four kids. Wendy who?

And with that, the stage was set. Someone tried to murder Roman Reigns. Who did it? Was it someone from his past looking to haunt him? Was it a former friend who had become jealous of his accomplishments? Was it a rookie trying to make a name for themselves? Was it Liv Morgan going batshit crazy after not appearing on TV for months Charlotte Flair beat some sense into her? Was it a returning Superstar/Legend? Was it someone interesting?



It was Erick Rowan. I’m not kidding. Wait, don’t leave, where are you going? Everyone thought it was Daniel Bryan and honestly, we would’ve bought it if they gave D-Bry a proper motive. After all, Bryan was on the verge of announcing something he dubbed as “career-changing.” Whatever that was, we will never know because he got roped into this theater play. It should’ve been Daniel Bryan because that would've been a far more entertaining reveal. 

So why did Rowan do it? I dunno, he was tired of being under anyone’s shadow, I guess. He didn’t explain why he wanted to murder one of his coworkers, but whatever. It doesn’t even make sense if you think about it. And the whodunnit part of the storyline wasn’t even that compelling. Imagine if the murder victim was the one leading the investigation in a crime drama. And imagine if the victim is alive and well. Really riveting stuff right there. 

So what happened next? D-Bry broke ties with Rowan after slapping him around comically. Rowan did get a win over Roman Reigns with an assist from Luke Harper because of course that’s the only way he’d lose to the Big Dog. They ended up losing to the combined powers of Reigns and Daniel Bryan at the following PPV, right before Rowan got booted back to RAW and Harper finally got his release. Now Rowan’s out there carrying Baby Yoda in an animal cage. True story. 



The only positive thing to come out of this trainwreck was Buddy Murphy. Sure, he got thrown around by Roman Reigns and Erick Rowan as the star witness of this crime show, but he received a much-needed piece of the spotlight for his troubles. For three consecutive weeks, he wrestled NXT TakeOver-worthy matches, where we saw him valiantly lose to Roman Reigns in his main roster debut, graciously lose to Mustafa Ali in the first round of this year’s King of the Ring, and actually defeat Daniel Bryan clean as a whistle. Check those matches out, you won’t regret it. 

But yeah, Roman Reigns is still the invincible man we all know and love. The status quo was slightly disturbed, but it remains intact. That’s pretty much the best you can ask for from WWE these days.

*****


31 Days of Wrestling is Smark Henry's way of celebrating the matches that helped define wrestling in 2019. Read our previous entries:

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