Whether a member of the Shield, tagging with his brother Dean Ambrose, or on his own, Roman Reigns has always known who he is. This isn’t to say that the Big Dog doesn’t have things that he fights for—family is first, above all else—but he does so of his own mind and volition. Not so for Erick Rowan. His identity has always been wrapped up in the others around him: The Wyatt Family, The Bludgeon Brothers, and most recently the team he formed with Daniel Bryan. The fact that many thought him controlled, going so far as to express surprise that he can even speak, says much about his lack of agency.
Last night, that all changed. Incensed by Daniel Bryan repeatedly slapping him the week before, Rowan snapped and ambushed Roman. Tossing him into the ring, Rowan kept up his assault until he was sure Roman wasn’t getting up, and then began to taunt him, mocking him for believing that Daniel Bryan had been behind the attacks. He spoke to Bryan as well, telling him that while Daniel thought that he could control him, he was “nobody’s puppet”. To Roman, he added that he was proud not only of what he had done to him, but what he would do at Clash of Champions.
The package appears neatly wrapped and tied with a bow. But is it? All throughout, this story has continually changed. First Buddy Murphy said it was Daniel Bryan & Rowan, then recanted, then claimed it was them again. When Bryan and Rowan produced Roman’s so-called attacker,it was only one man. The evidence Roman would show the next week bore that out, but that night, Rowan tried to protest his innocence before being driven off by Daniel Bryan. Clearly Roman didn’t believe Bryan, downing him with a spear before walking away in disgust. So the question must be asked: is Erick Rowan telling the truth, or just using the situation to his advantage?