For the past two weeks, we’ve seen Roman Reigns verbally
square off against John Cena, pitting two of WWE’s top stars against each
other. And while the battle of promos is clearly a mismatch, it’s also clear
that the company is setting their match at No Mercy up as a possible
“career-defining moment” for Reigns.
If he wins, Roman has toppled the 16-time world champion
after Cena called him out, and he proves that the ring is his yard. If he
loses, then Cena’s blistering promos ring true, that Reigns isn’t ready and
can’t hack it as “The Guy” and is just a cheap John Cena bootleg.
As much as this seems like it’s being set up to be a
“passing of the torch” moment from Cena to Reigns, it’s important to note that
this wouldn’t be the first time WWE has tried to pass the torch from another
megastar to the Samoan superstar. In fact, it’s easily arguable that no
wrestler in recent history has had more “torch passing” attempts directed at
him than Reigns.
And while these attempts haven’t really germinated, there
are different reasons why each effort has fallen short.
Let’s take a look at some of the times WWE has tried to pass
the torch from a big name to the company’s next big name, Roman Reigns.
Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.