Roman Reigns’ ascension to the main event scene in WWE hasn’t been a smooth ride. Back when Reigns won the Royal Rumble in January, the fans immediately turned on him, no matter how hard WWE tried to trick them into cheering him. The reaction of the fans even caused WWE to change their plans and not have Reigns win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania.
Now, it seems that the fans have somewhat turned the corner on Reigns,as the boos seem to be going away. But, WWE legend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin isn’t convinced that the fans have completely bought into Reigns, and he thinks that Reigns needs to be a full-fledged heel before the fans truly embrace him as the new face of WWE.
“I stand by the fact that — no matter what they do with [Roman Reigns] — he’s going to have to be a heel first. But they’re trying to keep him babyface, because I think Vince [McMahon’s] thing is that he’s either going to work as a babyface, or he isn’t going to work at all.”
One of Austin’s critiques of Reigns is that he hasn’t learned how to be a complete, believable and likable babyface, which will hurt him when he’s in the ring with someone who’s better at being a babyface than he is. Like Randy Orton for example.
“If he’s in there with the wrong guy, who’s going to out-babyface him… Like [Randy Orton] did a couple of weeks ago. Orton blew him out of the water, and it was uncomfortable. And Orton cut a better promo than he’s cut in his whole career.”
Austin’s hypothesis on Reigns is that — much like with The Rock in the mid and late 90’s — he’s going to have to be hated before he’s loved, and — again like The Rock — when he’s loved, it’ll be one of the biggest things ever. Austin’s thoughts on Reigns are echoed by almost everyone who pays close attention to the WWE product, but if Vince McMahon is dead-set against turning Reigns heel, then it’ll never happen.
As previously stated, everything about Roman Reigns has gotten better since he failed to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, and the fans have — for the time being — gotten behind him, and most people are predicting that he’ll win the WWE Title at next year’s WrestleMania. But if he goes in there as a babyface again, then WWE runs the risk of having the same thing happen twice, and they run the risk of him being a complete flop as a babyface, which he may never recover from.
[Image via WWE]