It’s been a two-year battle between WWE wanting the fans to accept Roman Reigns as the company’s new top babyface and the fans not wanting to accept him. WWE’s latest attempt at getting the fans to cheer Reigns came on Sunday night, when they had him defeat the “evil Russian” Rusev to capture the United States Championship. It’s the old home country guy vs. evil foreigner storyline, and so far, it hasn’t helped Reigns get over.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE is planning on having Reigns get back in the Universal Championship picture, but they’re going to hold off on that plan until the beginning of next year. Basically, they want to give him a long run in the middle of the card, simply because they believe that taking him out of the main event picture will help get him over.
Another thing that would help Reigns get over is a full fledged heel turn. Of course, it probably wouldn’t get him cheered in the beginning, but it might in the long run, if Reigns is an effective heel. Some have compared Reigns’ early WWE career to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s, who was also pushed quickly and hated by the fans. Everybody knows the story: The Rock was brought into WWE to be the face of the next generation, the fans rejected him, and WWE decided to turn him heel. Did the fans cheer him when he turned? No. But did it work in the long run? Absolutely. Now Reigns doesn’t have the skill set that The Rock had, but an effective heel run is something that the fans want to see from him.
So, has WWE been considering turning Reigns heel? The answer, according to Cageside Seats, is yes. Apparently, at one point, WWE was planning on doing a Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins double turn, where Reigns would become the company’s new top heel, and Rollins would become the company’s new top hero. So far, they’ve only turned Rollins, although they haven’t fully turned him yet.
“WWE had plans to make Roman Reigns a heel as part of a double turn with Seth Rollins. While the Rollins part is still ongoing, the decision was made to keep pushing Roman as a good guy.”
When Seth Rollins returned to WWE back in May, the people went nuts for him. At the time, it seemed like making him the top babyface in the promotion was a no-brainer. But, did WWE do that? No. Instead, they chose to have him remain a heel, and when they finally turned him babyface last month, it was in a “sort of, not really” kind of way.
With Roman Reigns being the new United States Champion, it looks like WWE is holding off on his side of the once planned double turn, at least for now. Reigns will probably end up in the main event of WrestleMania 33 this year, which will be his third consecutive WrestleMania main event, and if the fans decide to boo him there, which is a strong possibility, then WWE may finally decide to turn him heel.
If Reigns doesn’t end up in the Universal Title picture at next year’s WrestleMania, there are two rumored matches for him, and both are possibilities. One of the rumored matches would have him facing off against Brock Lesnar in a WrestleMania 31 rematch, and the other would have him taking on The Rock, who will probably end up wrestling on the show, even if he doesn’t wrestle Reigns.
Cageside Seatsalso reported that a full-fledged Rollins babyface turn is still in the works. Right now, Rollins is scheduled to wrestle Triple H at WrestleMania 33, and unless something really weird happens, Rollins will be the fan favorite in that match.
[Featured image via WWE]