For the longest time, fans have been theorizing that a Roman Reigns heel turn would be needed to finally make him “The Guy” WWE wants him to be. As he has been pushed in recent years as WWE’s top babyface, with many fans accusing the company of forcing him down their throats, he has gotten booed despite his face status. And with WWE supposedly looking into the possibility of making him a dual-title holder like Conor McGregor was in the UFC, as The Inquisitr reported earlier today, one of the most iconic names in the world of pro wrestling is now bringing up the idea of Roman Reigns making a heel turn — “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Possessing a muscular build, good looks, and solid wrestling skills for a big man, Roman Reigns is, in the view of fans, just the type of wrestler WWE Chairman Vince McMahon wants as his franchise player, and a possible heir apparent to the aging John Cena. That has contributed to the disdain he often gets from audiences whenever he makes his ring entrance, but Reigns has gotten largely positive feedback from people in the business. Jim Ross, for example, said in his personal blog that Roman is a “valuable piece of talent,” and that fans need to be patient with him despite the overwhelming sentiment that he is being “force-fed” to audiences.
Likewise, one of Ross’ real-life best friends, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, also spoke out in favor of Reigns, doing so in an October 2016 edition of his podcast, The Steve Austin Show. Quotes published by Wrestling Inc show him giving advice to Reigns with regards to his “selling,” or acknowledging an opponent’s move and gaining sympathy from audiences, while also suggesting that he may need to be involved in better storylines.
“Because he sells so much, he just needs a more active sell to keep those people buying in, so he can get that sympathy. He’s a big, good looking guy. He’s putting his game together. Come up with better storylines for the guy. I still have high hopes for Roman Reigns.”
Austin had also appeared on The PWTorch Livecast late last year, suggesting that Roman may have to become more aggressive as he held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at that time, according to 411Mania. He also acknowledged in that interview that Reigns had “really improved” as a wrestler from the time he debuted in late-2012 as one-third of The Shield.
More recently, though, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin has been speaking out in favor of a Roman Reigns heel turn, which he feels may be necessary for him to gain respect from the WWE Universe. ComicBook.com quoted the most recent edition of The Steve Austin Show, where the WWE legend said that Roman needs some time as a heel before he earns broader popularity among fans, but acknowledged that it would all be up to Vince McMahon and the rest of WWE’s booking committee when deciding if and when Reigns becomes a bad guy.
Austin also explained why Roman Reigns making a heel turn may be a good idea – as Reigns has been unpopular for so long among “smart” fans as a good guy, they may have a good time booing him should he turn villainous.
“That’s what’s going to make it fun again because everybody is going to be so onboard with booing him! I’m telling you, once he goes through that process, whether that takes one year, two years (or) whatever, then they’re going to end up loving the guy.”
With WWE’s RAW brand-exclusive pay-per-view Roadblock: End of the Line coming up, United States Champion Reigns will be facing Universal Champion Kevin Owens for the latter belt, and if Roman ends up victorious, that will make him a rare owner of two singles titles at the same time. Judging by how fans have received Reigns since the run-up to the 2015 Royal Rumble, this may be a dangerous move, even if it may be a set-up for a potential Conor McGregor appearance in the WWE.
Still, such an outcome may also open up a real possibility of a Roman Reigns heel turn, if WWE should write him in a way where his dual-title status gets to his head. With booing Reigns still very much a thing as 2016 draws to a close, it may be high time for “The Guy” to become a bad guy.
[Featured Image by WWE]