Love him or hate him, Roman Reigns is doing exactly what he is supposed to do in a wrestling ring. He’s currently one of the best when inciting crowd reaction. That’s what professional wrestlers do, that’s what makes this business so successful. When it comes to giving fans a chance to show how they feel about Reigns of any other WWE superstar, it doesn’t really matter which side of the fence fans stand, according to company COO Triple H.
According to iwnerd.com, Triple H responded to fans saying based on his current crowd reaction, Reigns is already a heel.[DavidL]
“People can look at Roman Reigns and say, ‘The failed attempt that is Roman Reigns,’ but Roman Reigns sells tickets. Roman Reigns gets one of the loudest reactions every night, whether that reaction is a boo or whether that reaction is a cheer. The fans who say, ‘I don’t understand why they don’t turn Roman Reigns heel!’ Isn’t he already?”
Reigns has shown more aggression in recent weeks leading up to his confrontation with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33. The “Big Guy” has been the company’s heir apparent to John Cena (at least in their eyes) for some time now, drawing the ire of fans worldwide who have been disappointed with the notion they must accept the McMahon family’s plan to make the three-time WWE World Champion the focal point of the babyface contingent once Cena decides to hang up his boots for good.
Triple H is right, fans see Reigns how they want to see him and as long as he continues to draw money at house shows and live events, he will be used in the best way the company sees fit.
“If you believe what you believe, and you’re saying, ‘How can they not turn him heel? There is 70 percent of the crowd booing him out of the building!’ If that’s your belief, then isn’t he already the biggest heel we have? If 70 percent of that crowd is booing him, then he’s a heel. We’re just presenting him to you in a different way that makes you hate him.”
The problem with Reigns is his rise to glory was a path that took too long to develop. He should have won Royal Rumble in 2014 instead of WWE pushing Batista toward the main event at WrestleMania 30. The slight change of story and this might not have been an issue. The former Shield member was white hot. He could have gone to the event, won and WWE’s loyal fans would have accepted it.
With the rise of Daniel Bryan and an injury which affected his status toward the end of 2014, Reigns lost momentum, which we all know killed any chance of “Armageddon” taking place. This business is about grabbing the torch when it’s hot. When he returned, his path to the world title was booked with steps and missteps. Both Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose – his two stablemates, had past him in popularity. After three title runs and a violation of the company’s wellness policy, Reigns hasn’t held Raw’s top title again. Because of this, it may be a while before he put back in the main event picture.
When Reigns steps in the ring with Undertaker in Orlando, it may be to end the icon’s career. His edginess and aggression are perfect for this kind of confrontation – one where it appears he has taken a decided heel persona. The thought possible being that a hated Reigns ending ‘Taker’s career is much more appealing to fans, who love the Dead Man – no matter which side of the fence he stands. In this case, no matter who were to end his Hall of Fame career would be the decided villain.
Leave it to WWE to cast Reigns in such a way that his presence is enough to stir boos from the arena – which makes his character even more hated, but still popular enough for the company to cash in on his value to the company.