Looking back at the first-ever Stone Cold Podcast that aired live on the WWE Network, Austin’s guest, Vince McMahon, the chairman of WWE, said that the last WWE superstar to grab the proverbial brass ring was John Cena. Cena has been the most polarizing performer the company has had on its roster over the last decade by a wide margin. Vince determined that Roman Reigns would be the second-coming of Cena some time ago, but in both instances, the reactions they receive aren’t exactly what McMahon drew up.
Vince McMahon handpicked Reigns to be the new face of the company as they began their transition to this “new era” at the end of 2014/beginning of 2015. Vince and other WWE officials chose Reigns to win the 2015 Royal Rumble and then headline last year’s WrestleMania. Those decisions were leaked out months prior, and they ran with them despite fan backlash and obvious cries for other superstars like Daniel Bryan to get that push.
The fans have revolted against Roman Reigns ever since, but he’s been in back-to-back WrestleMania main events with another title defense scheduled for Extreme Rules this Sunday. It seems that Vince McMahon hasn’t heeded his own advice, as we look back at an interesting quote he told Steve Austin during that memorable debut podcast.
“The audience makes or breaks a star. You put everything you can, all the resources in the world behind someone. If the audience doesn’t want someone to be a star, they don’t believe in him, or her? It’s not gonna happen.”
Vince wasn’t referring to any superstar specifically, but the WWE has been trying their hardest to make Reigns the champion the fans can get behind. But they clearly “don’t believe in him” and “don’t want him to be a star.” And now, according to a report from the Daily Wrestling News, McMahon may finally be willing to listen to those lining his pockets and voicing their displeasure with the direction of the main-eventer. Vince could be souring on the Roman Empire altogether, which would almost definitely lead to changes at the top of the card. But there is at least one prominent figure backstage in opposition of Vince in this case.
Triple H is still pushing for Roman Reigns to remain in his current position and for the company to continue to push him as the strong champion they’ve been trying to force on their fan base. Understandably, HHH wants Reigns to keep climbing, if for no other reason than because Triple H did everything in his power to put Reigns over in their feud the company invested months in, culminating in the main event at the biggest WrestleMania in the history of the company. Hunter doesn’t want all that work to go to waste because Vince McMahon thinks it has become a failure.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that AJ Styles will win the title this Sunday at Extreme Rules. In fact, the Inquisitr reported that the Reigns/Styles program will run through Extreme Rules and wrap up at the next pay-per-view, Money in the Bank in June. Vince could easily decide to put the belt on Styles, however, and still keep those plans intact by giving Reigns his rightful rematch.
However, if Styles isn’t the answer, Mr. McMahon may decide on another newcomer to assign the task to. If Vince gets his way with Reigns, he’ll supplement the decision by calling up the likes of Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Samoa Joe to the main roster, perhaps sooner than originally planned. Ironically, those are three of the many stars Triple H has nurtured into becoming the top draws of NXT, the brand who owes the majority of its success to The Game himself.
[Image via WWE]