WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns has gone through a lot over the past two years. He was over as could be in The Shield, and WWE felt that this could catapult him into a big spot for the company. With a need to create a new top star due to the likes of John Cena and Randy Orton getting older, the company really felt they could find a top guy in Roman Reigns. Once The Shield disbanded, the WWE tried everything to get him over. However, they made several glaring mistakes along the way.
First, he was not a great mic worker or in-ring worker. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose covered for him in these areas with The Shield, and everyone thought they would be the ones used in top positions due to how amazing they both were and still are to this day. However, Reigns is a WWE product who comes from a major family lineage in the world of pro-wrestling. Being from the Samoan Dynasty of performers, WWE knew they had a winner when it came to look and star-power ability with Reigns. However, he lacked in so many areas that the company had to improve him before he could be thrust into the top guy position.
WWE did not care and attempted to get him over. They had him work with Kane, Big Show, and Randy Orton on his way to the top. The fans did not care for most of the matches or storylines he was involved in. An injury then put him out for a bit and the company didn’t care even still, as they had him win Superstar of the Year without really earning it and then had him win the Royal Rumble. All of which angered fans. The company then went with Seth Rollins for a bit, and now they’re right back to Reigns. The crowd still does not care for Reigns, but the company once again does not seem to care what the fans want or like.
According to Daily Wrestling News, WWE realizes the crowd response is not very good for Roman Reigns. That’s why they came up with an interesting idea to help fans understand Reigns at home. Vince McMahon has been telling JBL to mention things like “If you love him or hate him, you’re very passionate about him” whenever fans boo Reigns. This is WWE’s way of trying to make sure they get around the boos of fans by using the word “passionate.”
This basically allows for WWE to say that the “fans are passionate” about their new top man, when in reality, most of the fans passionately hate him. The fact is, this is good for the WWE in the long-term. They can easily make Roman Reigns a full heel and use this as a way to get him over with fans. This would then allow for WWE to turn him in a big way down the line. Despite the ease of such matters, the WWE has tried to keep Reigns a babyface. While he is working in more of a tweener role now, the storylines for him are written as babyface.
Reigns and WWE have not helped matters when it comes to fan reaction. The company has had Roman Reigns use the tagline, “I’m not a good guy, I’m not a bad guy, I’m THE guy.” It makes him come across as a bit of an arrogant individual, and most of his promos/actions even resemble such. Yet the company still tries to put him over as the “top babyface,” which makes absolutely no sense at all.
It feels like the company will either turn people so they could face Reigns or they will have them come off as the bad guys to Roman’s good guy. They are trying to do such with AJ Styles, and the fans aren’t buying into it. They still won’t boo AJ highly, even if he goes full heel. Seth Rollins is expected to also be heel upon his comeback, when in reality it will be tough for him to get such hate due to the love he has right now.
Rollins is expected to have a program with Reigns, which is most likely why WWE wants him to return as a heel. Despite this, the fans probably won’t want to hate Rollins. WWE would be better served listening to fans instead of trying to cover for themselves. Fans aren’t buying into things, and even the casual fans are seeing the stupidity in things. Meanwhile many hardcore fans are responding to the issue by not really complaining, but not watching, which is why despite show quality being better, ratings have been lower after WrestleMania 32 mostly due to the use of Roman Reigns.
[Image via WWE]