Roman Reigns has been WWE’s most polarizing figure for the better part of the last three years, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon, especially now that he’s, once again, in the WWE Universal Championship picture.
Someone who can relate to what Reigns has to deal with on a nightly basis is John Cena, who was the company’s most polarizing figure for well over a decade. Earlier this week, Cena did an interview with Sports Illustrated, where he was asked about the WWE fans’ reaction to Reigns, and why he thinks the man known as the Big Dog has become so polarizing since his big singles push began in mid-2014.
“I’m not going to take anything away from Roman. He handles his business with the utmost professionalism. He’s doing it on his own watch. He’s not one of the those guys that comes over to me and asks me, ‘What happens next?’ He’s doing it his way, and I think that’s the best way to do it. He’s not trying to be the next John Cena, but he is being the only Roman Reigns – and that’s why it’s met with so much adversity.”
“I can tell you from first-hand because I know. I wasn’t trying to be Stone Cold or The Rock, I was John Cena. That was met with adversity from people looking for the next Stone Cold or the next Rock. That’s what creates the dichotomy, the polarizing environment.”
WWE recently teased a future match-up between Reigns and Cena on their YouTube channel, so it’s very possible that we’ll see the two end up in the ring with one another at some point in the future. As of right now, they’re on opposite brands, so if they were to have a match, it’d have to be at a non-brand exclusive pay-per-view like SummerSlam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, or WrestleMania.
As of right now, WWE is planning on having Roman Reigns take on Brock Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania 34. Also, it looks like that’ll be the show where the ex-Shield member finally captures the WWE Universal Championship. So, unless something changes, we won’t get to see Reigns vs. Cena at next year’s show in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Cena, who is currently out of action due to non-WWE commitments, is scheduled to return to the company on the July 4 episode of SmackDown Live. It’s unclear if Cena will actually be shown on television, or if he’ll just be in the show’s dark match. According to Cageside Seats, WWE added Cena to the July 4 show because they were concerned about ticket sales, so he could very well only be in the show’s dark match.
It’s likely that both Cena and Reigns will be in next January’s Royal Rumble match, which is where they could have a brief face to face confrontation. If that does happen, it’ll be interesting to see how the fans react to it, as both men are hated by WWE’s hardcore audience, and the majority of the Royal Rumble audience consists of WWE’s most hardcore fans.
As previously mentioned, Reigns is back in the WWE Universal Championship hunt, as he’s currently scheduled to be a part of a fatal five-way match at the upcoming Extreme Rules pay-per-view. His four opponents will be Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, and Bray Wyatt. The winner of the match will get a shot at Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship at WWE’s Great Balls of Fire show, which will take place on July 9. As of right now, the favorite to win that match is Finn Balor.
[Featured Image by WWE]