Roman Reigns, at one point we looked at him as the badass heel of one of WWE’s most popular stables, “The Shield”. There was not always so much hate for Roman but I propose the question, where did this begin? Now, me personally I do not hate Roman Reigns, the person, but more so of how Reigns is booked. Reigns has had excessive numbers of opportunities and been put over some of our favorite WWE superstars when in some cases should not have happened. Fans like yourself, who are reading this are not casuals and we understand when WWE is trying to push a superstar. There is nothing wrong with that, but when a superstar is receiving chance after chance and WrestleMania main event after WrestleMania main event the fans will eventually revolt against it because they noticed he was being forced upon them.
In the Shield, as we all know consisted of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. The Shield started off as a heel stable but slowly transitioned into the “anti-hero” role which WWE Legend Stone Cold Steve Austin thrived in. Much like Austin, The Shield were in no way a baby-face item but because they were against the authority and did what no one else would do, the fans had no choice but to cheer for them. The Shield were running rough shot over WWE and it was only a matter of time before one of them broke up the stable. Most originally thought it would be Dean Ambrose, due to his unpredictability and “Lunatic” ways that is shown in his character today, but to the surprise of some it was Seth Rollins.
Now, how different would the landscape of WWE be if Reigns was the one that turned heel. I honestly believe the “smart fans” of WWE would be extremely receptive of Roman Reigns if he was the one to put the chair to the back of his Shield-mates. Reigns could’ve followed the similar path in which Seth Rollins took: Aligning himself with Triple H, taking down everyone with the help of the authority which would have eventually lead to his baby-face turn and a match vs. Triple H which would have been more organic opposed to the match we got at WrestleMania 32.
Where The Dislike Of Reigns Began:
The beginning of the year 2014 was one in which WWE fans were behind superstar Daniel Bryan being pushed to be face the of company. At the 2014 Royal Rumble, fans wanted Bryan to win, but he was not set to do so as former WWE Superstar Batista took that prestige. In the weeks leading up to WrestleMania 30, the fans got behind Bryan immediately and basically forced WWE’s hand in giving him the championship. Bryan’s momentum continued into the next year which lead to him to eventually meet what we would soon realize was Vince McMahon’s choice to lead the WWE into the future; Roman Reigns. WWE fans wanted Bryan to win the upcoming 2015 Royal Rumble because he was forced to relinquish his World Championship due to injury. Daniel Bryan entered the 2015 Rumble at the #10 spot and the hardcore wrestling fans wanted nothing more than Bryan to become the winner of the RR because they felt he deserved it.
Every superstar that entered after Daniel Bryan was showered in boo’s with the exception of a few superstars, but Roman Reigns received the worst of it because the fans realized what was happening. Reigns eventually went on to win the Royal Rumble with fans showering the arena with “B***sh**” chants. WWE management needed someone or something to tone down the amount of hate that was directed towards Roman Reigns at this time. Vince McMahon sent out WWE Hall Of Famer and fan-favorite, The Rock which did no justice because he was boo’d out of the arena as well.
Following the Royal Rumble, at the WWE Fastlane 2015 PPV, Daniel Bryan challenged Roman Reigns for his spot in the main event of WresteMania 31. Reigns’s hand was raised at the end of this match which put more heat on Roman because fans felt as if the company were ignoring their requests, which was to push Daniel Bryan. Reigns went on to WrestleMania to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Championship and in the beginning of the match, appeared deemed to lose. Reigns slowly made his way back into the match and then all of a sudden…..
The WWE Universe wanted anybody but Roman Reigns to be champion, but it was inevitable as the push of Roman Reigns was only beginning. A few months into 2015, WWE World Heavyweight Champion at the time, Seth Rollins was forced to relinquish the title due to a devastating leg injury in November of 2015. There was tournament held for the championship and the victor was and new WWE World Champion was Roman Reigns.
January of 2016, Roman Reigns was presented with a task that was only done one previous time in WWE, which was the WWE Champion had to defend his title in the Royal Rumble match. Most fans did not think that Reigns was deserving of such an honor because there was a feeling that he would walk out as the champion outlasting 29 other men. Reigns did indeed last the entire time in the 2016 R.R. match until he was eliminated by his predicted opponent at WrestleMania, Triple H. Triple H was now WWE World Champion and fans predicted it was only a matter of time before Reigns would win the championship back at WrestleMania 32, which he did.
After capturing the WWE World Championship, Roman would go on to feud with who would become the best wrestler in WWE today, AJ Styles. Styles challenged Reigns for the WWE World Championship twice, once at Extreme Rules and once at Payback. The Phenomenal One was unsuccessful both times, which drew more heat towards Reigns because AJ Styles coming to WWE was one of the biggest signings in recent memory and he was being “fed” to Roman Reigns already.
Fast forwarding to 2017, one of the more direct and blatant pushes of Roman Reigns was displayed at the 2017 Royal Rumble. Reigns had competed earlier in the night for the Universal Championship against Kevin Owens and lost. When the 2017 Royal Rumble match was coming to an end, the #30 spot was a complete mystery and everyone was expecting a huge signing that WWE had kept hidden.
At the #30 spot was Roman Reigns. The boo’s throughout the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, TX showered Reigns as WWE fans were wondering why the company continues to push this superstar. Personally, I was extremely disappointed in WWE for the lack of creativity and once again presenting Reigns as this superman character who can make it anything. Although it was very upsetting to see Reigns at the #30 spot, what WWE creative sent him out there to do next was what triggered most wrestling fans to completely despise him. He eliminated The Undertaker, who most thought, because John Cena had won the WWE Championship earlier in the night, that the WrestleMania main event was set: Undertaker vs John Cena for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 33. Reigns was not the victor of the Royal Rumble, which would have caused fans all over to hate him even more, but because of his elimination of The Undertaker, we all knew the inevitable was coming.