Roman Reigns’ Controversial Rise To WWE Main Event Status Explored In WWE #9
by Brendan M. Allen
Roman Reigns has fended off all challengers during the start of his Championship run, but will the rising Roman Empire be able to survive the Wyatt Family?
WWE #9 kicks off a new story arc featuring Roman Reigns as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The main story of this arc will cover the period in 2016 when former Shield stablemate Dean Ambrose had just won the Money In The Bank ladder match and was gunning for the strap on Reigns’ shoulder. Dennis Hopeless’ script delves into Roman’s motivation as a face with all the tools, whose sudden and controversial rise to main event status draws him constant X-Pac heat when all available information says he should be the biggest fan favorite in the company.
The story weaves between kayfabe present and Reigns’ real lineage and past with kayfabe elements thrown in. It’s a funny line to walk in the information age, when fans don’t necessarily even need to be smarks to know Reigns’ familial connections and professional sports background. His real life information has come up several times in promos, interviews, and by ringside announcers. I don’t blame this comic for that. I blame the bookers and announcers for blurring the lines between kayfabe and reality.
The backup story features Goldust vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper in their “Hollywood Backlot Brawl” from Wrestlemania XII. This short plays heavily into nostalgia, with ‘Dust flashing back to his time in WCW, under the tutelage his legendary father, The American Dream Dusty Rhodes.
This WWE series reads like an illustrated Apter mag, adding extra depth to actual storylines that have run in WWE programing. The comic arcs go a little off the rails at times (Chapter eight blew off the last storyline with Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt fighting, stood on the hood of a speeding monster truck without, y’know, dying) but this opening shot into the newest arc looks promising.
WWE #9 is published by BOOM! Studios and releases on the 27th of September 2017. The script is written by Dennis Hopeless. Art is provided by Serg Acuna. Colors are by by Doug Garback, and letters by Jim Campbell.