It’s no secret that WWE has been trying to get their fans to cheer for Roman Reigns ever since he won the Royal Rumble earlier this year. Up until Sunday night, the fans have chosen to not embrace Reigns as the future of the company, prompting WWE to hold off his big WWE World Heavyweight Championship win because they didn’t want him being booed as champion.
Monday’s RAW saw Reigns get another shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, with the stipulation being that if he lost, he would be fired by Vince McMahon. That almost gave away the ending of the match because there is no way that WWE would actually fire Reigns, in a storyline or in real life.
When Reigns pinned Sheamus and became the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, the fans in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, popped huge. For at least one night, they embraced Reigns as their guy and the future of the company.
From the start of Reigns’ main-event push, when it became apparent that WWE was trying to make Reigns the next John Cena, fans and pundits of the product criticized the company, saying that he needed to be booked more like the next Goldberg or Brock Lesnar instead of the next Cena.
While WWE hasn’t fully decided to book him like Lesnar or Goldberg, they are booking him similar to how they booked WWE legend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in the late 90’s, where he was constantly fighting off and laying out Vince McMahon’s corporate team. Basically, their idea was, “hey if we do the exact same thing with Roman Reigns, the fans will love him,” and they were right.
“[Vince McMahon] is thrilled, because he made the people want to see what he wanted to see. They’ve been telling him for a year now that [Roman Reigns as WWE Champion] is not what they want to see, and it was his battle with the fans, and he won the battle because he got the people to cheer the guy that they were dead-set against cheering in one of those cities that’s highest on the list of being unable to be manipulated by Vince McMahon, and he did it.”
Meltzer also noted that the sole purpose of Vince McMahon being on tonight’s RAW was to get the live audience to cheer Reigns. After tonight, we may never see McMahon on WWE television again, as the WWE chairman isn’t interested in being a character because he feels that, at 70-years-old, he’s far too old to be in front of the camera.
As of right now, everyone in WWE is happy with the momentum that Roman Reigns has built, but whether or not he’s able to keep it up, and whether or not the fans continue to cheer him, remains to be seen.
[Image via WWE]