The WWE has been attempting to position Roman Reigns as the next face of the company for the last several years. WWE fans have largely rejected this idea, and they haven’t been shy on expressing this during Roman Reigns’ matches. Aside from booing the superstar on a weekly basis during Raw, recently, numerous fans even walked out during his match against Samoa Joe during the Backlash main event. Many pundits have expressed that they think a heel turn is long overdue for the wrestler, including WWE legend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
As CBS Sports documented, on a recent episode of The Steve Austin Show, “Stone Cold” was reviewing WWE Backlash and wasn’t shy on giving his opinion. Austin commented that the WWE needs to do something to get the superstar to a higher level than where he’s at, and that there is definitely a higher level. He then remarked that he had stated this years ago, but in order for Roman Reigns to have the biggest run possible, they need to turn him heel.
“The Texas Rattlesnake” would go on to say that Reigns must do his part as the WWE just turning him heel isn’t going to do it alone. He commented that he’s got to perform, be really aggressive, and let loose. He said that he needs to bring a mean streak and go on a total heel run. He then compared the situation to a similar one that The Rock once faced. He remarked that he doesn’t bring this up because they are related, but that it’s just similar circumstances.
When Dwayne Johnson first came into the WWE, he was known as Rocky Maivia, and he was a pure babyface. It didn’t take long for fans to reject the character, and shirts were produced that stated, “Rocky Sucks.” The Rock used that to his advantage during his heel turn, and we all know how that worked out for “The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment.”
In a recent interview with Express, Roman Reigns responded to Austin’s advice. “The Big Dog” was very gracious to the WWE legend, and said that “Stone Cold” definitely understands the position that he’s in, but that Steve Austin isn’t his boss. He said that Steve speaks a lot of truth and that he values his opinion. He commented that he didn’t know if he would ever turn heel one day and didn’t know if he would want to. He said that he’s kind of a heel now since he is booed and would go on to say that he’s happy with where he is at.
“I think right now I’m in a cool situation and kind of a little bit different than anybody because the only person that’s really been in my shoes before is (John) Cena…I think I’m in a good place to kind of do whatever I want to do with this character and not necessarily just be a heel or be a babyface. I feel like my character can be so much more than that.”
Between giving him stadium-shaking boos and walking out during the Backlash main event, much of the WWE universe seemingly disagrees with “The Big Dog’s” assessment. Time will ultimately reveal if Reigns ever turns heel and if the WWE will ever fully brand him as the face of the company.