Roman Reigns is nearly three years into his run as a singles superstar and his seemingly endless list of personal accolades may be the reason he’s resented by a strong majority of the WWE Universe.
After defeating and likely retiring The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 33 earlier this month, Reigns has become arguably the top bad guy in the company — and he’s still being portrayed as a babyface. Even the tactics utilized in storylines are being set up to garner sympathy for Reigns; Braun Strowman’s vicious attack on RAW included throwing Reigns into a table, off a ledge while he was on a gurney and flipping over an ambulance with “The Big Dog” inside.
Current RAW general manager and 2017 WWE Hall of Fame inductee Kurt Angle recently commented on Reigns during a chat with Washington’s Top News. Personally, Angle admits he’s a big fan of the former three-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, but he can see why fans may boo Reigns.
“I love him. The issue with Roman is he was utilized and pushed way too fast,” Angle said.
“When you skip the U.S. Title, Intercontinental Title, the King of the Ring and go right to the top, fans don’t like that. … Half the fans love him; half the fans hate him. Same with [John] Cena. When Cena came in, Vince [McMahon] pushed the hell out of him and fans were like, ‘Gosh, dang. This guy’s invincible. I hate him!’ … If Vince waits it out a bit, fans will start to accept [Roman Reigns], and if they don’t, then turn him heel.”
Reigns discussed a potential heel turn during Wrestlemania week and he questioned and shot down the logistics of what officially turning heel would mean for his persona. Speaking to his former on-screen rival Chris Jericho on the Talk is Jericho podcast, Reigns spoke candidly about the one thing fans and critics of Reigns have clamored for since 2015.
“If I turn heel, what am I? It’s like everything that’s been done [before]. Why not just be me? No one’s ever been like me,” he said. “This is uncharted territory. I can be anything I wanted to be, so why put myself on one side, why not just dabble? Why not have the full range, do whatever I want, be ‘The Guy’?”
As a matter of fact, Reigns encouraged people to boo him as loudly as they want at live events. Whether it be their legitimate feelings or just joining the anti-Reigns bandwagon, the Samoan Superman has no problem with fans expressing themselves.
“Have fun, man. Boo the s**t out of me. If it’s making you cooler with this dude and that dude next to you, and y’all having a great night, please. Say all you want to me. I’m a grown man. You’re not gonna hurt my feelings.”
For Angle, he’s only a few weeks into his role as RAW GM and Reigns is just one of many talents he will become more familiar with in the months to come. The 1996 Olympic gold medalist also commented on his other favorite talents in WWE.
“Seeing the talent in Cesaro and Kevin Owens, I love the kid,” Angle said. “I’m a huge fan of him. What he can do for a guy his size [and] how he’s able to move around the way he does, he defies the laws of gravity. … There are a lot of talents that I’d love to wrestle: Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins. But as far as reminding me of myself, that [Chad] Gable kid, he’s a little bit undersized, but damn he can go!”
Reigns, just like any other of those top names, generates a strong response from the audience and will continue to be a focal point moving forward.
[Featured Image by WWE]