In today’s world of professional wrestling — with the fans being more rebellious than ever — it’s extremely difficult to push a new guy to the top of the card without him or the company receiving any backlash from the fans. WWE has really found that to be true during their push of Roman Reigns.
It began back at this year’s Royal Rumble, where Reigns was unmercifully booed by the fans in attendance when he made his entrance, and he was booed a lot more after he won the match. The fans even booed The Rock when he embraced Reigns and congratulated him on his victory.
Some people have said that WWE fans will rebel against anybody who’s shoved down their throat, regardless of how talented he is, which seems to be the case with Reigns. However, Paul Heyman thinks otherwise.
When Heyman appeared on former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen’s podcast this past week, Chael asked Heyman about his opinion of Reigns and why he thinks that Reigns has yet to truly connect with the WWE fans. Heyman said that it boils down to one simple thing — Daniel Bryan.
About a month before the Royal Rumble event took place, Daniel Bryan — who was out-of-action for several months due to a neck injury — announced that he would be competing in the Royal Rumble match. In Heyman’s opinion, this was a mistake because it immediately made Bryan the sentimental favorite, which would cause the fans to boo whoever ended up being the winner of the match.
“I think what happened to Roman [Reigns] is that he was the right guy, in the right place, at the wrong time. Roman came in and he had all this momentum behind him. Had they not announced Daniel Bryan’s return at the Royal Rumble, and put it in people’s heads that Daniel Bryan would make this miraculous comeback two years in a row, then I think Roman Reigns would have been the person that everyone would look to win the Royal Rumble.
“The most hardcore, die-hard of the audience will be so loud that everyone else will be like, ‘what are you talking about?’ and it becomes a conversation piece. ‘They’re going to put this guy in the main-event of WrestleMania when this guy is available? Screw that!’ Putting Daniel Bryan in the Royal Rumble when the focus should have been on Roman Reigns, it took away from Roman and he became the guy standing in Daniel Bryan’s way. I don’t think Roman Reigns is missing anything. He went from the time where he was the hero to a guy that everyone resented.”
The fans have backed off or Reigns a bit since WrestleMania, but there still is some resentment there. If Reigns wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tonight at Money in the Bank — as he’s rumored to via Money in the Bank cash-in — then the fans could end up resenting him a lot more. WWE may be okay with that as the rumor is that he will be a full-fledged heel after tonight.
[Image via WWE]