The WWE faced a huge decision in July. Roman Reigns was suspended for failing the WWE drug policies, and even though it was allegedly for the ADHD medicine Adderall, it was still a black eye for the company. When Roman came back, the WWE had to decide whether to continue pushing him hard as the top face of the company or change directions.
The WWE chose to change directions, and Wrestle Zone reported on Saturday that the WWE is finished pushing Roman Reigns as the face of the company, at least for now. Dean Ambrose pinned Roman Reigns at Backlash to retain his WWE world title, and then Finn Balor pinned Reigns on the first WWE Monday Night Raw of the new era.
The WWE has wanted Roman Reigns at the top of the company for two years now. It was just two years ago that fans were behind Roman Reigns, as well. The fans actually wanted Roman to win the Royal Rumble the year that Batista won it. However, the WWE pushed Reigns so hard that fans turned on him.
Many online fans like to pretend that Reigns can’t wrestle, but he has had great matches at almost every big event this year and has settled into his role as a good big man wrestler. The biggest problem, and one that many fans have pointed out, is that his personality does not play out as well as a face, and he might be better suited to portray a heel in the WWE.
The WWE seemed to be intent on making Roman Reigns the face of the company, similar to what John Cena portrays. However, he doesn’t have the everyman personality as Cena, despite the fact that both share the same trait of having women and children cheering for them while men boo them.
The difference is that John Cena gets chants from his detractors, and Reigns has just been getting booed. The drug violation might have been what finally convinced the WWE to take their foot off the gas when it comes to his push this year.
Instead of Roman Reigns, there is Finn Balor getting the big push on WWE Monday Night Raw right now. Balor beat Reigns clean to get into the main event at SummerSlam and there is no idea what feud Reigns will slide into next. The WWE still seems leery about making Roman a heel, as they had him cut a “respect” promo after losing to Balor last Monday night.
In a recent interview with WWE.com, Finn Balor was even labeled as the “face of the future.” That could mean less of a push for Roman Reigns, although Balor himself even dismisses the title, smartly, knowing that fans normally turn on wrestlers the WWE wants to push.
“That’s a very flattering moniker, to be called the face of the future, and hopefully, I can live up to that. But for me, you know, it’s my past, present and hopefully my future. Wrestling is my life. So for me, it’s not just the future. It’s literally everything I do.”
As for Roman Reigns, it is doubtful that his time as a major force in the WWE is behind him. He has already won three WWE world titles and there will be more in his future. The WWE just has to figure out how to get the fans to get behind Roman as a champion again.
That might have to come with Reigns as a heel. While the WWE wants to sell Roman to the kids as a hero, Reigns is not John Cena. Roman can turn heel, and become very successful, and that would make his eventual turn back into a face in a few years actually mean something more.
It was what killed Batista’s return to the WWE, and it wasn’t until he turned heel that fans slowly started to accept him again. Roman Reigns time as the face of the WWE might be over with for now, but the future is still bright for the big man.
[Image via WWE]