Heart.

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Wrestling, like all stories of good and evil, has its heroes and villains. But unlike storybook volumes passed down through the ages, time marches on. The heroes of yesterday grow older, and new ones rise to take their place—because even though the face of villanry changes, the fact of it never does. For some, this rivalry between Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair is nothing more than a meeting of legends. Too old to play the game directly, they assign proxies in their place, and live out the fight through these aspiring young men. These individuals shouldn’t be seen as mere ciphers, however. Under the eyes of an eager crowd, they are beginning to come into their own.

Take Roman Reigns, for example. An eleventh hour replacement for Seth Rollins, the decision to make him the captain of Team Hogan caught him by surprise, but he chose to accept it as an honour. For many of the Roman Empire, he’s not just the team captain, it’s his team. Simply by choosing him, Hogan has chosen his successor, one of the lights of this next generation. In this, at least, he’s chosen well. Roman has grown into a locker room leader that’s loved and respected by many; he looks out for his boys, and has their back. No wonder both Shorty G and Ali came running to the rescue when the entirety of Team Flair decided to gang up on the Big Dog! That loyalty goes both ways, as we’d see at the end of the night. Roman would go on to spear Cesaro, but as Ali clawed his way back up to the ring, Roman chose to tag him in, giving him the pin. Ali was visibly stunned, but got the job done while off to the side, Roman kept Corbin from interfering. Ali would later go on to ask Roman why he had tagged him in. Roman’s answer? “’Cause you got heart.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the truth of the man, and all you really need to know about him.

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