If you’re like me, you hate it when non-fans use the word “fake” to describe wrestling, “uhm, excuse me … I prefer the word ‘pre-determined’”, is my usual response.

However, I know that 90% of the time, WWE feuds are just storylines thought by Creative, as most of the wrestlers get along very well these days; I read all the time about how the backstage atmosphere is much more positive these days than say about a decade or two ago. And it totally makes sense why there is such a comradery: a huge portion of the main roster talent comes from NXT … or was a Bullet Club member at one point or another. So, it’s certainly not surprising that even those in grueling and ugly programs get along – I mean, there has to be an element of trust in this industry and having a positive working relationship with your opponent, in my opinion, is best for business. Managers work hard in the corporate world to ensure team members are getting along and bonding because it strengthens productivity … the same idea does work when you think of the WWE and its talent.

So, the internet EXPLODED on Wednesday May 3rd. Seems like the RAW roster is currently in Europe and as I was pursuing through Instagram there was a flood of photos in the feed from Emma, Alexa Bliss, Matt Hardy, Seth Rollins, Sheamus, Cesaro, and more, all whooping it up in Rome. And one posted by Titus O’Neil, that had a group of superstars together, which included Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman, in one photo. See below …


As you can see, yes, they are in the photo together – not side-by-side or anything – just together in the group. Posing for a photo in Rome, as they are out of character. Not hugging one another, not acting weird … just standing at opposite ends of a photo.

I get how clickbait works: websites use catchy headlines to get people to read their articles, and this ‘click bait’ idea enhances on social media. But it was crazy on wrestling sites yesterday when it came to this photo. By reading the headlines of “Braun and Roman” hanging out in Rome, I thought the photo was just the two of them. I saw it, took it all with a grain of salt, and moved on. Sadly, at some point yesterday Titus O’Neil took the photo down for one reason or another.

Here’s the thing: first off, we all know Kayfabe is dead. Even any kid over the age of eight or nine understands that all these superstars are playing a character and that while the moves are real and the athleticism is there, the matches are predetermined and the true talent in all of this is not only the maneuvers done in the ring, but the fact that they do them with the intent to look like they are hurting each other, but in fact they are not. I see kids at live events all the time. Sure, the majority of them like the face characters, as they are naturally creating for that demographic, but many of them like the heels too. Or even if they don’t, are awestruck when they see a heel outside of the ring (meet and greets, outside the arena, etc.), because guess what? After these heels are outside the ring, they are representing the company and are out of character. So, they are nice or polite to anyone they meet.

I remember being a little girl (probably around 4ish), waiting outside an arena after a show, and Harley Race coming (fully still in heel character), and I was terrified; two years ago, waiting outside an area, we saw Luke Harper driving in and he gave my kids that ‘eye-bulge glare’ and they both giggled and waved and he waved back. They get it, the superstars get it, so why do we all have to over-react over a simple photo?

It baffles me that anyone would care (in a negative way), fans, WWE officials or otherwise, if a group of faces and heels took a photo together at a landmark in Rome. They all look like they are acting professional, not doing anything inappropriate, and enjoying their time while on tour.

As a fan, I think it’s cool to see all these superstars together, hanging out, touring Rome. But, there certainly isn’t anything scandalous about the photo to say the least – nothing to warrant taking it down.

Kayfabe died years ago: are we forgetting the 1996 Curtain Call? That was over two DECADES ago!!!! The WWE Network is currently flooded with programing that proves, for the most part, that over the years heels and faces have been friends: Table of 3, Beyond The Ring, The Podcasts … list goes on and on.

So first off, maybe yesterday was a slow news day in wrestling, and due to the nature of the internet, headlines were made out to be more than they were for clickbait purposes … I get it. But Titus took the post down, which leads me to believe that someone told him to. Which again, is a shame. In this day and age, where scandals are at every corner with inappropriate images, I sincerely hope that O’Neil doesn’t get reprimanded for posting a group shot of six men soaking up Italian culture and doing absolutely nothing wrong.

WNZ fans! Your thoughts? A picture is worth a thousand words … but is there more to the above one than meets the eye? Leave your comments below!

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