Roman Reigns was in attendance at the WWE Hall of Fame last night and when the cameras showed him on the big screens, many fans started booing. Roman smiled and it seemed like he was enjoying the boos, similar to when fans also boo John Cena when he comes out. It also seems like the WWE wants to continue to push Reigns’ popularity, despite the boos, heading into WrestleMania 33.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter relayed that the WWE is now reporting that Roman Reigns is the new top merchandise seller among all full-time talents. It is the wording of this that makes the entire thing clear.
The WWE called Roman Reigns the top among “full-time” talents. John Cena is still the number one merchandise seller in the WWE and it isn’t even close between Cena and the number two wrestler. However, the WWE now considers John Cena to be a part-time superstar because of all the time he spends away from the WWE making movies and TV shows.
Other stars like Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, and Undertaker are all considered part-time WWE stars as well, and are not included when talking about this new landmark that Roman Reigns has reached. Instead, Roman is the top seller of merchandise when it comes to stars appearing regularly on television, which actually rings very true.
There has been a lot of discussion over the pushing of Roman Reigns as the top face in the company despite the loud boos at televised events. At WrestleMania 33, there is no chance that the majority of fans boo the Undertaker, especially with rumors that it is his last match for the WWE. Roman Reigns will get booed loudly tomorrow night and he has said that he is okay with that.
Roman Reigns appeared on Chris Jericho’s Talk of Jericho podcast and said that he encourages fans to boo him.
“We’re in a position, we can do anything we want as long as they make noise. As long as they’re coming, as long as they’re making noise, have fun, man. Boo the s**t out of me. As long as… if you and… if it’s making you cooler with this dude and that dude next to you and y’all are having a great night, please, say all you want to me, I’m a grown man, you’re not going to hurt my feelings.”
Much like John Cena, the WWE fans who boo Roman Reigns are usually men, while the women and children cheer for the former member of The Shield. Since kids are the target audience when it comes to merchandise sales, that makes Roman Reigns someone the WWE can’t ignore.
Of course, in the Talk of Jericho podcast, Roman Reigns also pointed out a good reason he can’t turn heel in today’s WWE world. As Reigns said, most of today’s heels play the role of a coward and his character can’t turn into that type of heel. Of course, there are also heels like Braun Strowman that just destroy people.
The interesting thing about Roman Reigns’ character is the type of character he plays — he performs mostly against heels, which makes him a defacto face. In the interview, Roman said that he can do whatever he wants as long as he gets a crowd response, and he is dabbling and trying to play both sides of the crowd.
With so many kids cheering for Roman Reigns, and the fact that there is no other face or heel that sells as much as he does to that target audience, he will remain a face in the WWE. He will also keep those internet fans booing him because that increases his value on social media and YouTube, which he also rules over other stars.
Roman Reigns fights the Undertaker at WrestleMania 33 this Sunday, airing on the WWE Network.
[Featured Image by WWE]