On the latest episode of his weekly podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson shared his thoughts about Roman Reigns and his recent heel turn, opining that the current Universal Champion should have always been booked as a villainous character on television.
As quoted by WrestlingNews.co, Anderson made the above comments on Tuesday morning’s edition of ARN, as he explained that Reigns should have been given a heel role “from the first day The Shield was hired.” He added that “The Big Dog” should have not been portrayed as anyone else, stressing that thanks to his current partnership with Paul Heyman, he is now allowed to “be himself” without having to cut scripted promos that make him appear otherwise.
“It’s crystal clear who he is and who he should have been from day one. Paul Heyman is also a guy that even though a lot of people in the industry now that the curtain is pulled back and they respect him as far as his ability to cut a promo and get you revved up for the upcoming match, Paul has a lot of skills and a lot of history and a lot of knowledge.”
Although he was largely complimentary about Heyman’s ability as a manager, Anderson noted that the former Monday Night Raw executive director is a “very unlikeable” individual who could help Reigns get booed as a villain by association.
Prior to his return to WWE programming following a lengthy hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic, Reigns was booked for several years as a babyface performer. While fellow Shield members Dean Ambrose (now Jon Moxley in AEW) and Seth Rollins also got to play heroic characters after their faction disbanded, Reigns was booed by fans on a regular basis, as many of them felt that WWE was forcing them to cheer him as the new face of the company. This noticeably changed, however, after the 35-year-old announced in October 2018 that he was temporarily stepping away from the ring to battle leukemia.
For his part, Reigns recently remarked that he felt relieved he was allowed to turn heel after all that time as a good guy on the company’s programming. As quoted by Essentially Sports, the Friday Night SmackDown star told Complex Sports last month that he felt “good” to be playing a new type of role after reaching a point where working as a babyface had become second nature to him. He added that he saw his character change as a “satisfying” one because of how long fans had waited for him to turn to the dark side.