Roman Reigns was heavily booed during his match with The Undertaker at this past Sunday’s WrestleMania, but that wasn’t the worst of it, as he was, by far, the most hated man in professional wrestling on this past Monday’s Raw. Does that mean that WWE chairman Vince McMahon will finally give up on the Roman Reigns mega push, and finally turn him heel? Nope.
During the Q&A portion of Monday’s post-Raw Wrestling Observer Radio, a fan asked Dave Meltzer the following question: “if the [WWE] Network did not exist, and pay-per-view buys continued to fall with Roman Reigns’ push, what would Vince have done?” Meltzer responded by saying that the old Vince McMahon would make a change. He also said that, because we’re in the WWE Network era where PPV buys no longer matter, as long as the fans are reacting to Reigns, and as long as his merchandise continues to sell, the WWE chairman won’t change anything.
“If pay-per-view buys had continued to fall with Roman Reigns’ push, the old Vince McMahon would’ve made a change. He made changes based on pay-per-view buys all the time. So yes, if pay-per-view numbers were dropping, if house show numbers were dropping, and Roman Reigns was the top guy, Vince would be looking for another top guy.”
“When they boo him, Vince is back there going like ‘they really care a lot.’ That’s gonna make them push him more. It’s the silence that will get him. The only way it’s gonna change is if people stop buying his merchandise, and silence. Booing him will only make him stronger.”
Meltzer also said that WWE views Reigns as a successful main eventer, despite the fact that a large portion of the audience has rejected him for the better part of the last three years.
Aside from John Cena, who has been WWE’s merchandise king for over a decade, Roman Reigns sells the most amount of merchandise, which is a huge deciding factor when it comes to who will get a main event level push. So, as Meltzer said, as long as the fans keep buying Roman’s stuff, Vince McMahon will keep him in the position that he’s currently in.
You can make the argument that the steady decline in television ratings is an indicator that Reigns’ run on top hasn’t been a success, but nobody within WWE will consider that a valid argument. Why? It’s simple: they believe that people are consuming their product in ways other than television. Essentially, they think that a good portion of their viewers are watching their clips on YouTube, or on the various social media pages. So, while television ratings aren’t completely irrelevant to them, they seem to be far less important than they used to be.
One thing that isn’t going to make the fans warm up to Reigns is the fact that he’s already scheduled to be in the main event of next year’s WrestleMania, where he’ll take on Brock Lesnar in a WrestleMania 31 rematch. Furthermore, it’s likely that Lesnar will still be the Universal Champion heading into the match, which means that Reigns will likely walk out of New Orleans as the new champion of WWE’s red brand.
WWE firmly believes that anybody who is presented as the company’s hand-picked guy will be, at the very least, a polarizing figure who never gets fully cheered. Whether or not they’re right, well, that remains to be seen. It’d be very interesting to see how the fans would react to someone like Seth Rollins or AJ Styles being put in that top spot. But for now, Reigns is their guy, and that probably won’t change anytime soon.
[Featured Image by WWE]