Ever since the triumvirate of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns, know collectively as The Shield, split in 2014, Reigns has become a three-time WWE Champion, United States Champion, Royal Rumble winner, and headlined the last two WrestleManias.
Despite the WWE Universe’s objections to the Samoan Superman’s rise, Reigns continues to hold a prime spot in the company. Tonight he will fight Kevin Owens for the WWE Universal Championship and numerous reports claim that Reigns’ WrestleMania 33 role could range from defending the Universal title to facing The Undertaker.
In a recent interview with ESPN First Take, Reigns spoke about his role in WWE and his feelings on representing the industry.
“I love it. I feel like I’m leading the new generation at this point. And that’s what life’s all about, is growing and changing and growing pains,” Reigns said.
“Right now, I like where we’re at. I’m a family man. I have kids. And that’s what we are. We’re a family product. We’re a PG product and that’s our goal. Well, that’s the goal, to put smiles on people’s faces, especially the kids, and to bring families together.”
While arenas around the world continue to boo Reigns, the Georgia Tech product hasn’t stopped running roughshod through WWE competition. Even a 30-day suspension last year for failing the WWE’s Wellness Policy did not deter Reigns from the main event spotlight.
Goldberg spoke to Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard about Reigns. On the January 2 edition of Monday Night RAW, Goldberg and Reigns came face-to-face before hitting Braun Strowman with a double spear. While Goldberg has been out of the WWE loop before returning last year, he says Reigns has impressed him.
“I don’t know the meteoric rise of Roman and what they’ve done with him, and I’m not going to sit here and pass judgment by any means, but if they just try to push someone down people’s throats, people resent it,” Goldberg said. “I wasn’t privy to it in real time, I didn’t see everything, but I think Roman is a great kid. I feel really bad that anyone would go out there and boo him based not off of not liking him or his ability, but just based upon the situation. His look, his work, his enthusiasm, and what he puts into his craft—Roman is a professional. The only thing I don’t like about him is he went to Georgia Tech.”
Despite all the praise, Reigns continues to fight for the approval of the fans. In the same way fans have urged John Cena to turn heel (bad) after over a decade of being a babyface (good), Reigns has fallen into the same discussion. Sometimes, turning bad and showing an edge will ingratiate a performer to the audience.
However, in a recent interview on ESPN’s Cheap Heat podcast, Reigns shot down the possibility of turning heel; instead, Reigns says he enjoys the WWE fans’ mixed reaction as it allows the entire audience to express their opinion.
“The one thing I like about my situation and if I think I were to commit to one, ‘I’m a bad guy now, I’m pissed and I’m going to try to take everybody out’, then it’s only one, like, ‘boo’. Do you know what I mean? But when I’m out there, there’s all kinds of noise. All kinds of chants. It’s pandemonium, man. That’s how I like it.”
Chants, protests, threats of WWE Network cancelations, and vicious booing has all come Reigns’ way but he remains in a top spot for WWE and that will not change for the foreseeable future.
[Featured Image by WWE]