Reviews WWE

The Review Stands Alone: Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus (WWE 4/15/16)

Been a while since I cranked one of these out, huh? I’m always a mark for Roman Reigns at house shows. I think he’s the best house show worker in the world currently. He blends in so many styles to matches, near falls matter; and frankly – the brawl portions of his matches are different every time out. You can’t draw a copycat parallel between his “hardcore” esque match vs. Bray Wyatt at my August Vancouver house show to the Alberto Del Rio matchups in Germany. Regardless of television exposure and how he’s written, Roman Reigns is most enjoyable in the unfiltered house show setting, where he’s likely to test different things out, same with his opponents and the roster as a whole. With that being said, let’s get into a match which contains one of the most consistent workers in the company in the last 10 years, and my absolute favorite house show worker in the world.

(WWE World Heavyweight Championship) Roman Reigns (c) vs. Sheamus

You can watch this match on the ProWrestling FanCam YouTube channel. What’s so unique about this channel is that it’s the biggest archive of new-retro house show matches on the internet, and it even switches between multiple fancam angles for certain matches. This was from WWE Live Amsterdam and for the world title.

This was exactly what I expected from the two. A botch-free, clean, smooth, ups and downs type of main event that’s perfect for a house show. No heat segments were too long, some near falls I’ve never seen from the two were tested, and Roman worked like a badass. The only difference between (most likely this entire new Roman character at house shows, variable being the opponent) this match and past Roman house show matches was the exclusion of brawling. This spilled out to the floor once, for Sheamus to chuck Roman into the steel steps, a spot that’s used all too often for transitions in matches in WWE. The crowd was interesting, as all foreign, non North American crowds tend to be inclusive of the party atmosphere, with some inclusions from the States and maybe a Toronto crowd pending on date. “Let’s go Roman” chants echoed from the section from where the cam was at, but there was just as large “Roman sucks” chants, only to be silenced when in ring action picked up. Everyone bit on the near falls, and when Roman was worked over there wasn’t any negativity in the air.

The aforementioned heat segments worked like a charm. Whether it was Sheamus slapping a hold on Roman, dragging him back from the ropes, doing the same with a breezy transitioned ankle lock, or simply throwing him into objects; it was well done. The near falls were my favorite parts of the match. They were incredibly unique and felt special. Roman spearing into the turnbuckle for a roll-up cheap win close one, a deadlift powerbomb that changes per opponent, this time as a counter to Irish Curse. A superman punch countered into a two-handed slam, which looked brilliant and seamless. Then, the step-up to the climax of the match. Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick finish and Roman kicked out to a pop. That’s how you transition into a finish. Sheamus sold the aftermath of the finisher kickout like a million bucks, pleading to the ref, making his movements so dramatic because of a large, non titantron house show crowd. Sheamus headbutted Roman off the top rope, as Roman was setting up a superplex, but Sheamus leaped over, only to be speared as Roman Reigns retains his title in Amsterdam.

This wasn’t my favorite house show match of the year, but it was a good match, executed extremely well, and gave some new identities to these two’s arsenals as it relates to house show matches. All in all a solid match to take in, and at under 20 minutes; there’s no excuse not to give it a look if you aren’t pressed for time. Both men continue to be fantastic workers this year, and are arguably, besides AJ Styles and Cesaro, the two best in the company at what they do. Until next time.

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