It is no secret that Roman Reigns isn’t the biggest fan-favorite in WWE, but did you think he was the most hated wrestler in the world? Whenever he heads out to the ring, the majority of the crowd tries to boo him out of the building, and that is likely to happen in less than two weeks at the Royal Rumble. Well, Pro Wrestling Illustrated now has proof that Roman Reigns is the most hated wrestler in the world, and there is a very interesting note about that recent distinction.
Roman Reigns has been dealing with the majority of the fans being against him ever since The Shield officially split up years ago. Even with the lack of support, WWE has continued to push him to title reigns, and he even has a chance to win the Universal Championship from Kevin Owens at the Royal Rumble on Jan. 29.
That hasn’t stopped crowds from booing him and hating him as much as humanly possible, but now, the hatred has been made official. Wrestling Inc. revealed that Roman was voted the “Most Hate Wrestler of the Year” for 2016 by Pro Wrestling Illustrated.
As AJ Styles ran away with the “Wrestler of the Year” award for 2016, it was Roman who is now seen as the most hated performer in the world. This isn’t necessarily surprising, but his victory (?) is one that is unprecedented and actually has never happened before.
Sure, the “Most Hated Wrestler” award has been given out before, and wrestlers have been winning it from PWI since 1972. The only thing is that Roman Reigns is the first babyface to ever win the award as the star that the fans despised the most.
It’s not that the other winners hadn’t been babyfaces at some point in their career, but Roman is the first person ever to win it while he was a babyface in storylines. Such legends as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Rowdy Roddy Piper have won it. Triple H won it three years in a row at one point. Back in 2013, The Authority won it as an entire stable.
But, no current babyface has ever been voted the “Most Hated Wrestler of the Year” until Roman Reigns broke through that glass ceiling. All you have to do is look through the history on the official site of Pro Wrestling Illustrated and see that this is a first.
Looking back at the list, it is easy to see why many of those voted “Most Hated” were the ones to receive the award from PWI at the time they won it.
Hulk Hogan captured the award during the height of his leadership of the New World Order in WCW. During his huge heel run, Edge won the award when the R-Rated Superstar was one of the wrestlers the world hated the most. CM Punk, Diamond Dallas Page, and Ravishing Rick Rude, Ted Dibiase; they all make sense.
Since 1972, 24 different superstars have been awarded the “Most Hated Wrestler of the Year” designation from PWI, but none of them were babyfaces at the time. The one silver lining for Roman Reigns is that 17 of those 24 are in the WWE Hall of Fame, and that could be something to shoot for.
There have been so many wrestlers over the years who have been master heels hated by the fans around the world. PWI’s “Most Hated Wrestler” award is one that has been given some of the top stars in wrestling history, and now, it has been handed to Roman Reigns. It’s not like he hasn’t been cheered by crowds in the past, but being the first babyface to ever win the award puts him in an entirely different category from other WWE stars
[Featured Image by WWE]