WWE superstar Roman Reigns is the man the WWE universe loves to hate. Reigns arrived on the WWE network with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose as part of The Shield way back in 2012. Since then, Vince McMahon has shown that he is determined to make Reigns the face of the WWE, in short, the Big Dog is McMahon’s golden boy. Despite a starring role on Monday Night Raw, the WWE universe has failed to warm to Reigns, who is booed every time he enters the ring.
In many ways, Reigns is the WWE’s anti-hero. The “Roman empire” claim that the Big Dog has the looks, the chat, and above all, the skill to be the WWE’s top dog. Yet, as Sports Illustrated reports, WWE fans simply have not connected with Reigns. They lay the blame for Reigns’ unpopularity at the feet of the WWE creative team. Reigns’ storylines, they say, do not add up, and the reason for that failure is simple: The WWE has relentlessly promoted Reigns as the network’s top babyface.
Commentators and fans alike find it impossible to understand why Vince McMahon refuses to sanction a Roman Reigns heel turn. The Big Dog is already almost universally unpopular, so a Reigns heel turn would seem to make sense on every level. Ironically, if the WWE cashed in on Reigns’ unpopularity, he could easily become the biggest wrestling star on the planet.
The fans are desperate to see a Reigns heel turn, but events over the past two weeks have shown that a Reigns heel turn isn’t in the cards, perhaps permanently.
Why A Roman Reigns Heel Turn Will Never Happen
Wrestling fans will look back on the past two weeks with a great deal of nostalgia, but it will be tempered by the realization that the WWE missed several huge opportunities for a Reigns heel turn. The most obvious opportunity for a Reigns heel turn came at WrestleMania 33.
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns match was rightly the crowning glory of WrestleMania 33. By having Reigns send The Undertaker into retirement on the back of his second WrestleMania defeat was a fabulous piece of wrestling entertainment. The sight of the Deadman leaving his hat, coat, and gloves in the center of the ring, before raising his fist in farewell to the fans, was something that brought a tear to the eye of many WWE fans.
The segment was a huge tribute to The Undertaker, but it also meant that the WWE missed a huge opportunity to sell Reigns to the WWE universe. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, rumors had been circulating for months, claiming that Reigns would cheat his way to victory over the Taker, thereby executing a heel turn. In the event that Reigns won the match cleanly, he followed up his victory with effusive praise for The Undertaker.
The first Monday Night Raw after WrestleMania 33 saw Reigns repeat his claim that Raw is “his yard now.” Admittedly, Reigns was a little boastful on Raw, but it was clear that he was to continue to be portrayed as the WWE’s top babyface. On that same show, Vince McMahon surprised fans when he announced the WWE “superstar shakeup.”
The superstar shakeup did see considerable movement between the red and blue teams, but the top talent, including Reigns, remained where they were. Monday Night Raw is seen as the WWE network’s premier show, but it has been losing ground to SmackDown Live since the most recent brand split. As a result, many expected AJ Styles to move to Raw, thereby putting the network’s two biggest names on the same roster. There were even rumors that both Reigns and Styles would execute face turns, setting up a high-profile feud and bringing the viewers back to Monday Night Raw.
Instead, Styles maintained his position as “the face who runs the place” on SmackDown, while Reigns is set to continue as the face of Monday Night Raw. What’s more, the WWE killed any chance of a Roman reigns heel turn on this week’s Raw.
As reported by Bleacher Report, the Big Dog was being interviewed when he was attacked by Braun Strowman. The Monster Amongst Men laid out Reigns and attacked him again as he lay on a stretcher. In one of the WWE’s most entertaining segments in years, Reigns was put in an ambulance, and the ambulance was promptly overturned by an enraged Strowman. There have been suggestions that Reigns was badly injured in Strowman’s attack, but don’t be surprised to see the two meet in a grudge match at the 2017 Payback PPV on April 30.
There is no denying that the Monday Night Raw creative team produced an epic segment to set up a feud between Strowman and Reigns. However, that segment removed any lingering doubt about Reigns’ face status. Reigns has always been portrayed as the man who faces almost insurmountable odds, but who always finds a way to come out on top. Let’s be realistic, no one will buy a Braun Strowman face turn, so the segment locks both Reigns and Strowman into their current roles for the foreseeable future, perhaps forever.
The Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns feud will undoubtedly be great entertainment, but will it enable Reigns to gain the popularity that Vince McMahon believes he is due?
If you are a WWE fan, let us know in the comments below whether you think Reigns will ever be a hit with the WWE universe.
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