As Cena and Reigns barrel toward their clash at No Mercy, their war of words continues to escalate. And Cena is clearly out in front.
That, by itself, is not surprising. Cena is one of the best mic workers in the company; it would be difficult for anyone, even a great talker, to take him on and win. Whatever critics say about Cena's ringwork (which has steadily improved), his promo work has always been undeniable. Even The Rock failed at taking Cena down, and was left stammering in the ring during the buildup to WrestleMania XXVIII.
The Miz has come the closest to holding his own against Cena in recent years. And why does Miz excel where others have failed? It's because Miz, more than any wrestler since CM Punk, has had the intestinal fortitude to go there—to that below-the-belt area where the best, most vicious digs are generated.
Reigns is not a great talker. He's acceptable when he has a line or two to deliver menacingly, but extended monologues are not his forte. Reigns doesn't have enough variance in his delivery; it's a drone, and fans can tell he's reading off a script. He got exposed recently, when Cena called him out for forgetting his lines.
It would be nice if WWE Creative let Reigns speak from the heart—deliver a promo with bullet points instead of lines. He can't forget what he doesn't have to memorize.
But that's an unrealistic ask; as much as the smart fans desire that old-school, flying-solo improvisation, the writers are here to stay. WWE is a massive, global company, with stockholders to keep happy and a diverse fanbase to engage. The company will not allow its wrestlers total creative freedom, with so few checks and balances, when there is so much on the line.
But what the writers could do, if they're going to control Roman's every word, is feed him better lines. Roman is slinging the same, tired barbs that fans have heard for well over a year. Part-timer. Phony. Cena has his comebacks ready to go before Reigns is even done talking.