After failing to capture the WWE title at WrestleMania 31, Roman Reigns entered into a holding pattern until Survivor Series.
Scheduled to face Seth Rollins at Survivor Series, Reigns looked poised to win the belt at the annual November event. Unfortunately, Rollins suffered a knee injury, giving the WWE title back to abeyance.
"The Big Dog" entered the non-Deadly Game tournament to crown a new champion at Survivor Series '15. To the surprise of no one, he defeated Dean Ambrose in the finals, winning his first WWE title. In what should have been a monumental moment and the dawn of a new era, Roman's first reign lasted five minutes and 15 minutes thanks to Sheamus cashing in his Money in the Bank.
The final scene of Survivor Series was Reigns laying in a pool of his own confetti and tears.
Reigns lost to Sheamus at Tables, Ladders, and Chairs, but the most notable thing from that event was his post-match attack on Triple H. The following night, Reigns won his second WWE title, eliciting cheers in the same arena that boo'd his Royal Rumble victory earlier that year.
In an effort to get the "One vs. All" catchphrase over, the former Shield member was forced to defend his title in the Royal Rumble, entering at number one. Instead of taking a nap in the corner like the previous year, he took a nap backstage. He returned, only to be eliminated by the eventual winner, Triple H.
Despite The Authority wanting to hold Reigns down, they continued to give him title opportunities. He won a WrestleMania title shot at Fastlane by defeating Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar.
While WWE positioned Reigns as a sort-of-badass leading into WrestleMania 31 against Lesnar, they tried to position him as a sympathetic-babyface-badass against Triple H.
"The Game" laid a beatdown on Reigns that was no worse than the beatdown he laid on Daniel Bryan two years prior. He laid a similar beating on Dean Ambrose a few weeks later. Bryan missed one week. Ambrose didn't even miss a week.
Reigns missed two weeks.
It was an attempt to garner sympathy for the former champion. Instead, it positioned him as weak. The crowd cheering for "The King of Kings" during the beatdown didn't help.
Reigns returned with great fire, but the character damage had been done. While it wasn't their intention, WWE did a better job of positioning Dean Ambrose as the top babyface over Reigns. And the crowd reacted accordingly.
Reigns re-captured in WWE title from Triple H at WrestleMania 32. It was his third title victory in six months and the wrong match at the wrong time.
Well past the six hour mark and having just seen the biggest star in Hollywood, the audience was drained. And then they had to sit through a 30-minute Triple H special. Reigns won and celebrated in front of an audience that headed straight for the exit.
For the second straight year, WWE failed in making Reigns "The Guy" at WrestleMania. Even in victory, their questionable booking prior to the match and poor match layout did more harm than good for Reigns.
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