In today's WWE, the vast majority of superstars are forced to cut scripted promos, rather than simply make up their own on the spot.
It's obviously difficult for superstars to fully be themselves when they don't have much freedom in what to say. Roman Reigns - whom Vince McMahon has pushed to be the top star in WWE - can certainly relate.
Reigns' main event push over the past five years hasn't sat well with a large portion of the WWE Universe, due in large part to his monotone microphone skills and overall struggles of cutting top-notch promos.
Of course, Reigns can only absorb so much of the blame. Some of the top superstars of the Attitude Era - namely The Rock, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin and Chris Jericho - were allowed to cut their own promos. These legends fed off the crowd energy and improvised terrific promos right on the spot.
But superstars like Reigns don't have have that opportunity, and it's caused plenty of frustration among fans, pundits and past WWE legends. How can a superstar learn to cut a great promo when he has to memorize a script rather than do it his/her way?
Speaking to Complex at the Chicago ComplexCon (h/t WrestlingInc.com), Reigns explained the hardships of cutting quality promos in WWE. He discussed the challenges of being able "to limbo through a live reaction...and then on top of that the physicality behind it or flowing through it."
"For me, I think the realer the better," Reigns said. "You already know, if you get into a fight, you're going to blow up...We wrestle for 15, 20, 30 minutes and then you still have to talk and be presentable at that point. It comes with a lot of practice and conditioning to be able to get to that point and a bit of grooming as well."
Reigns has certainly gotten better on the microphone over time, and if this keeps up, he'll enhance his chances of fully getting over once and for all. WWE finally allowed a microphone guru like Kevin Owens to do his own unscripted promos, so perhaps Reigns will follow suit in the near future.
What This Means
With Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff coming aboard as new Executive Directors, one can hope that the two men will allow their wrestlers to start doing their own promos. Scripted ones just don't work that well anymore, and superstars simply benefit more from having more freedom of speech when it comes to promos. Hopefully, WWE will continue to allow more superstars to do their own down the road.