We all know the story by now: Roman Reigns failed a drug test, which forced him to violate WWE’s Wellness Policy. WWE has put a lot into Reigns for years now, and they wanted him to be their next top guy. Clearly, fans have not agreed with the move and have booed him to no end. Even when he’s not there and is simply brought up, boos follow. At this point, Reigns is getting what fans lovingly call “X-Pac heat.”
This is a term given to someone for a few different things, but mostly when the fans feel someone isn’t deserving of the push they’re given and boo because of it. Years ago, X-Pac was given title after title, and the Kliq member was someone the fans just didn’t like as much as the company hoped. Due to this, fans would switch the channel when he came on or would just boo to show disapproval. This was reflected in ratings and matches, and the company eventually stopped using Pac as much due to it. He’s liked by fans now and was liked after a while, but he was never able to get back to the position he was in before.
It is almost the kiss of death to get this kind of hate by fans. Sadly, WWE doesn’t care what the fans think. Well, at least that is what we thought. According to various sources, Vince McMahon has been souring on Roman Reigns for some time. Of course, this was well before his suspension. Now, according to the Daily Wrestling News, Vince has soured on him even more than before.
It was said to be the worst possible time for Reigns to get suspended, as McMahon already had issues with the three-time World Champion. With the Wellness Policy failure, it could have been the final nail in the coffin for Reigns. In fact, due to their recent work and ability in the ring, Vince and other officials are actually more open to giving someone like AJ Styles or Seth Rollins the push that they were giving Reigns.
WWE still wants to see what they can get out of Roman, but the problem is that Vince is now open to using other people to at least see what’s there with them. They have seemingly done as much as they could with Reigns, but fans have not taken well to him for one reason or another. Vince reportedly wanted to do a redemption angle with Reigns, which he would come up with himself. The theory is that if this does not work for him where fans cheer him a lot more, that the company will move on.
McMahon is most likely only interested in that angle because of all the time, money, and effort the company has put into Roman Reigns. Vince hates to waste an investment, which is why he would ideally love for Reigns to make it big for the WWE. To his credit, Reigns has gotten over with a portion of the audience. However, the bulk of the audience has not taken to them.
When a vocal minority is an issue, WWE can get over it. John Cena deals with it all the time, but he never lost money or ratings for the company. With Reigns, it is a vocal majority that does not care for him and hopes WWE picks another man to be in his position. When Vince likes a guy, he tries all he can to make them into a star. When he doesn’t, that person gets buried in mid-card action at the very best. It would not be shocking to see Vince do this with Reigns sometime after WWE SummerSlam.
Obviously, Vince would love for Roman to get over. However, when guys do not get over, it clearly frustrates McMahon. The company has done everything they can with Reigns, even as much as trying to start a Daniel Bryan angle with him. Nothing has worked for him sadly, which means fans aren’t into him like they were with the other top guys like John Cena, The Rock, Hulk Hogan, and others.
It looks unlikely that a majority of fans will back him when he returns, so theoretically, it may be best for the WWE to just move on from Roman Reigns as a top guy and let him work his way back up and see how fans react. It’s either that or turn him heel, which may be the move WWE must go with if they want to make back their investment in him right now.
[Image via WWE]