Getting the WWE fans to cheer Roman Reigns hasn’t been easy. In fact, he’s been booed for the better part of the last two years, and, other than on one or two occasions, WWE hasn’t quite figured out how to get their audience fully behind the guy who they hope will be the face of the company for the next decade.
The boos have really gotten louder over the last couple of weeks, as we’re heading into WrestleMania 32. But it doesn’t seem like WWE, in particular Paul Levesque, better known as Triple H, is worried about how the fans have been reacting to Reigns.
The current WWE World Heavyweight Champion was recently interviewed by CBS Sports, and he was asked about the WWE fans’ reaction to Roman Reigns. You can read “The Game’s” response below.
“You know, the hardest thing in this business to do now is, as a character, to either make everyone love you or everyone hate you.
“The world is a divided place in politics, in music and everything. Choices now, and people’s opinions, are front and center more than ever. The Internet makes that readily available to everybody. They know all of the machinations of everything and the behind-the-scenes of everything, you know.
“It used to be that the good guy was the guy that didn’t cheat, you know what I mean? It was just very simple. The world has changed. I think [Reigns has] done a phenomenal job. He’s, you know, from a behind-the-scenes standpoint, a great human being. I’m really happy for his success, as I am for all of them.
“The days of everybody loves the white knight and everybody hates the dark knight are gone.”
It’s expected that Reigns will be heavily booed during his match with Triple H at this Sunday’s record-breaking WrestleMania 32, which has led some to speculate that there’s a Reigns heel turn coming. If and how WWE does it, well, that remains to be seen.
Several WWE legends, including “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Mick Foley, and Jim Ross, have been heavily in favor of a Roman Reigns heel turn, saying that he needs to be hated before he’s loved, and now, it looks like another WWE legend wants to see Reigns turn this Sunday.
The Rock, who will be at WrestleMania 32, posted something interesting on his Instagram page on Tuesday. “The Great One’s” post talked about the early days of his career, and his very first WrestleMania as a performer. He mentioned that he was booed out of the building that night and was sent home shortly thereafter, and that prior to his return, he agreed to a heel turn, and he asked Vince McMahon to give him two minutes on the microphone to be himself. The rest, as they say, is history.
1997, I was 25yrs old, the youngest Intercontinental Champion in WWE history and performing in #WrestleMania13. It would become one of the most defining moments of my life. Not because it was my first WrestleMania I had the privilege to be a part of, but because I was boo'd out of the building. Literally boo's from 20,000 people that screamed "Get the f*ck outta here". And when you're supposed to be a good guy or "babyface" in wrestling speak – getting boo'd is the worst thing that can ever happen. They boo'd me because I wasn't being real. I was told by the company how to act, how to respond to fans and the worst part of all.. I was told what to say and what not to say. Not long after this match, I lost the title and was eventually sent home for months to recuperate from an injury – it didn't really matter anyway because I wasn't drawing the company any money nor did the fans care I was gone. A week before I was scheduled to return to the WWE, I got a call from Vince who said "How do feel about turning heel?" (which means becoming a bad guy). I said "Great, but I have one request… give me 2 minutes on the microphone on live TV and let me be myself. Be real and authentic. I gotta be me". Vince said "You got it". The following week I cut a promo that was from the heart. Real and authentic. 6 months later I was the hottest heel in the company. Even though I hated being boo'd out of the building at WrestleMania13, I learned one of the greatest life lessons that still serves me today. Be real. Be authentic. Be me. Truly my honor to perform this Sunday at #WrestleMania32 for the WWE Universe.. as me. #TheRock #DwayneJohnson #BigBrownBaldTattooedPuppyLover #SlightlyElectrifyingAndOneHandsomeSumbitch
Even though The Rock never mentioned his name in the post, most are assuming that he’s giving advice to Roman Reigns, as he is pretty much in the exact same situation as The Rock was all those years ago. But up to this point, Vince McMahon has been pretty stubborn about Roman Reigns, and he’s convinced that he can make it work, even though he hasn’t been able to in the last two years.
Triple H’s comment about the fans’ reaction to Reigns suggests that WWE management isn’t exactly worried about cheers and boos, because, in their minds, that’s just the way the world is now. But you can bet that they’d rather have Reigns standing in the middle of the ring as the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion with everyone cheering him, as opposed to everyone booing him out of AT&T Stadium this Sunday night.
The Rock’s role at WrestleMania 32 still hasn’t been confirmed, but ever since he announced that he was going to be at the show, most assumed that he’d be in Roman Reigns’ corner. Now, it’s being reported that he’s just going to do a couple of backstage skits, along with a talking segment in the ring, similar to what he did on RAW in Miami.
But if The Rock does end up in Reigns’ corner, then he could be there to assist in a Reigns heel turn. The idea that’s been thrown around is that The Rock gets in the ring to endorse Reigns as the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and then Reigns Spears him out of nowhere, which would instantly turn Reigns heel while setting up a match between the two at some point in the future.
(Featured image via WWE)