WWE Superstar Roman Reigns reminds me of the iconic Batman villain, Two-Face. He's both a good guy and a bad guy, even if he tells you he's neither.
As we've seen since The Shield disbanded, Reigns has struggled to get the crowd to cheer him on. He's gone through stages of being cheered like a top-notch face, but has mainly been heavily booed despite portraying a good guy character. It's been a long journey for Reigns, who went from playing professional football in Canada to the WWE ring. Despite all of his hard work to be this generation's John Cena, the fans just aren't buying into him.
One problem with this is that the WWE has left him two-faced too much. On one hand, he's the good guy that defeats the bad guy that makes you like him. On the other, he has no personality and can be a major goon character. Here are eight times Reigns was a good guy and seven times he was a real goon.
15 The Guy: Feud With Rusev
It's easy for the general American WWE audience to hate a foreign wrestler like Rusev who does nothing but tell them how horrible he thinks their country is. With that, Rusev is one Superstar who you'll never see fans cheer for. Having his real-life American wife, Lana, play a Russian (who also hates America), makes Rusev that much more despised.
Back in August, Reigns began a short feud with Rusev that saw the former eventually steal the United States Championship from his rival. Though the crowd wasn't fully with Reigns, they obviously chose the American wrestler over the anti-American wrestler. Simple math, right?
Reigns also cut some decent promos where his woeful mic skills came into place for a short period of time. Reigns was the good guy against Rusev, but then the creative team shoved him right back into the main event picture, and the booing returned.
14 The Goon: Attacking Triple H At TLC, 2015
Sheamus had cashed in his Money in the Bank to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion, taking the title away from Reigns who just won it at Survivor Series. Sheamus formed The League of Nations alliance with Wade Barrett, Rusev and Alberto Del Rio and helped him attack Reigns whenever possible.
Reigns got a rematch at TLC in 2015. Sheamus got his buddies to interfere in the Ladder match and help him retain the title. Afterwards, Triple H came out to calm down a frustrated Reigns. For a few minutes, we saw Reigns hit The Game with Spear after Spear after Spear. Reigns brutally attacked Triple H, who in storyline needed medical attention to exit. Reigns kept attacking him and The Game had to be removed on a stretcher and disappeared from television until the Royal Rumble.
Good guys aren't supposed to viciously attack others like this in the WWE. Reigns acted as a complete bully and heel that was hard to cheer for. Sure, it was all in storyline, but isn't the good guy supposed to know his limits? Reigns just came off as a huge heel this segment.
13 The Guy: Helping The Shield Beat Evolution
Hard to believe, but Reigns was once a huge fan favorite that was cheered over three future WWE Hall of Famers. Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose formed The Shield and disrupted just about everyone in their path.
They got over and solidified themselves as a legitimate group when they defeated Evolution (Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista), in matches at Extreme Rules and Payback. Reigns, of course, was a key part of that and was basically the enforcer of the group that was able to handle Batista's major power and strength.
The Authority/Evolution had a great run together as mega heels that the crowd just despised. Though Rollins and Ambrose were the more likeable and charismatic of the three, Reigns was the glue that held The Shield together. That made him a good guy for the audience.
12 The Goon: Snapping On His Fans
You have to feel sorry for Reigns. The man has trained extensively hard to be the top star in WWE. He has Vince McMahon's, Triple H's and the creative team's support, but the crowd has booed him extensively hard. It's easy to see why he would get frustrated with fans, but he's done himself no favors by snapping at the audience no numerous times.
After the 2016 Payback pay-per-view, it was reported that Reigns started yelling at some of the fans in frustration. Also, during a promo with Dean Ambrose on Raw last year, Reigns told the fans who said he couldn't wrestle to calm down, drink their beers and "shut their mouths."
Although we don't know if that was scripted or not, it made Reigns look more like a heel after snapping at his fans. And this was during a time he was being pushed (again), as a face.
11 The Guy: Destroying The Authority
I'm just going to go ahead and state that I grew up idolizing Triple H and The McMahons. There was zero way I was going to cheer for Reigns over them. That being said, The Authority did an excellent job of making you hate them and want to see them lose. It's The Authority, for crying out loud! They're rich, powerful and run the world of the WWE.
The Authority storyline dominated WWE for a while, and Reigns was ultimately the guy that feuded with them and put an end to their run. With John Cena and Randy Orton injured, Reigns was the only guy suitable to take them down. He constantly won championship matches with Vince trying to screw him over. And he did put an end to their Authority (see what I did there), once and for all.
That's what made him a sensational face for some time.
10 The Goon: "THE GUY" Promo
Reigns, a few weeks after beating Triple H at WrestleMania, cut a promo on Raw as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He had these famous words that forever changed his life, all of mankind, the earth and the universe. Okay, that was an exaggeration, but here's what he said.
"I'm not a good guy. I'm not a bad guy. I'm THE GUY!"
It was kind of hard to know what he meant. Reigns was being pushed as the new face but sounded as an anti-hero. The promo wasn't well-received by fans, who kept booing him during the segment. Reigns didn't do a whole lot to make himself more appealing to the fans, and he would periodically keep mentioning that he was "the guy."
And the booing has yet to stop. If Reigns was trying to make himself more likeable, he made himself sound more like a heel with that arrogant and bad guy-like comment. Reigns may be the guy in Vince McMahon's eyes, but he hasn't been to the fans since saying he was the guy.
9 The Guy: Beating Sheamus, Saving His Career
Folks remember Sheamus cashing in his Money in the Bank at Survivor Series 2015 to end Reigns' extremely brief tenure as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Reigns and The Celtic Warrior embarked on a short feud, with Sheamus retaining his title at TLC 2015.
The next night on Raw, Mr. McMahon came out and told Reigns he would get a title match that evening. If he had lost, he would be fired from the company. The crowd was behind Reigns the whole time, not wanting a great career at the hands of The Authority's evilness.
McMahon tried interfering to help Sheamus win, but Reigns overcame it and pinned Sheamus to become the champion and save his job. This kept a relatively entertaining feud against the McMahon family going for a couple of months, prior to Triple H's return.
And even though Mr. McMahon is hilarious and awesome, the crowd was pleased to see Reigns hit him with Superman punches while overcoming all of Vince's plans to get him fired.
8 The Goon: Last Entry At 2017 Royal Rumble
Fans have been sick of having Reigns shoved down their throats for about two years now. Many thought Reigns would win the WWE Universal Championship over Kevin Owens at this year's Royal Rumble. That didn't happen, and fans were finally given hope that Reigns wouldn't be in the main event picture anytime soon.
With the 30th entry coming, fans thought it could have been an epic return. The Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle, first Universal Champion Finn Balor or perhaps Samoa Joe from NXT were among the speculated number 30 selections. But it just had to be Roman Reigns at number 30, because it just had to.
Furthermore, Reigns eliminated The Undertaker who everyone wanted to win. The only reason people aren't complaining about Randy Orton's Rumble victory is because he defeated Reigns last.
There as no need at all for Reigns to be the final entry and ruin all our hopes. It felt like this was Mr. McMahon's plan to get back at the fans for rejecting his goals to make Reigns the guy.
7 The Guy: Feud With A.J. Styles
A.J. Styles was by far the top WWE Superstar of 2016. His entry at the 2016 Royal Rumble became a key turning point for this company, and you can make a case that he put on the top-three matches of the year.
After Styles ended his feud with Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 32, he entered the main event picture and feuded with Reigns for the title. WWE didn't have a lot go on. Cena, Orton and Rollins were still hurt, Ambrose was in no man's land and Kevin Owens wasn't quite ready for main event status.
Reigns and Styles had a series of title matches and they were the only two guys capable of putting on a quality main event pay-per-view given the roster situation. Their matches at Payback and Extreme Rules were strong bouts for Reigns.
6 The Goon: 2015 Royal Rumble
WWE owed it to its audience to put on a strong Royal Rumble in 2015. That's because the 2014 event was a huge disaster, with Batista winning it (as a portrayed babyface), only for fans to boo him and the entire event.
Fans wanted Daniel Bryan to win the Rumble after not even taking place in it last year. He was eliminated after just 10:36 in the ring. After that, most fans lost interest and the crowd started booing the whole event. Though it's hard to entirely blame Reigns for that, having him win the whole event made his image among fans much worse.
Reigns hadn't shown his ability to thrive in the main event party, so fans weren't the slightest bit interested in having him win. It was far too soon for WWE to win. And like Batista a year earlier, the crowd was simply going to boo whoever won the event if it wasn't Daniel Bryan.
5 The Guy: Becoming Champion At 2015 Survivor Series
After Seth Rollins tore his ACL in a house show against Reigns, he had to relinquish his world championship. Reigns and Dean Ambrose were among participants in a tournament to decide who the new WWE World Champion would be. To the shock of nobody, Reigns and Ambrose were the final two.
They faced off for the championship at Survivor Series in 2015, with Reigns winning. The crowd loved both and gave Reigns a positive enough reaction, with confetti coming down and signifying that he truly was THE guy.
That was before Sheamus used his MITB and became the champion. That helped push Reigns as the babyface even more, as he feuded with The Authority and League of Nations. It would be a short few months later where fans really booed him and realized he wasn't their guy to cheer for afterall.
4 The Goon: His Suspension
If there was one positive all WWE fans could take from Reigns, it could be that he at least displayed most things good in the world. The kids love the guy and cheer him on hard; there was a model person for the young crowd to idolize and look up to.
But then Reigns got suspended for 30 days in June after violating the WWE's Wellness Program, finding out he was using an illegal substance. Reigns was forced to apologize on Twitter, but the damage had been done already. A hero we all looked up to (saying this as if I was a kid), was a liar and cheater.
It was an embarrassment for Reigns and the company, who already had a tough time trying to make the crowd love him. This hurt Reigns' real-life image and made us very upset. It was just not acceptable by any means.
3 The Guy: WrestleMania 31
In the past year, WWE fans have been cheering more for Brock Lesnar despite portraying a bad guy image. But back in 2015, he was the company's ultra heel after ending The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak a year earlier. So when Roman Reigns faced off against Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, he had the fans on his side.
The match was solid all-around, giving fans an enjoyable WrestleMania main event. But then Seth Rollins came out, cashed in his MITB and became the new champion. Rollins was a heel for breaking up The Shield and siding with The Authority a year earlier, so this had the crowd sympathize and cheer for Reigns.
Fighting two of the company's ultra heels gave Reigns a much-needed push to win over the fans, though it didn't last long.
2 The Goon: Beating Daniel Bryan At Fastlane 2015
This was yet another night where WWE seemed to show that they didn't care about the audience. Daniel Bryan was the most beloved star and was treated poorly by management when it came to storyline booking. After failing to win the Royal Rumble, fans had hoped that Bryan could at least headline WrestleMania 31. All he had to do was defeat Roman Reigns at Fastlane to become #1 Contender.
But Reigns would defeat Bryan and headline WrestleMania. Fair or unfair, he basically became the scapegoat for fans, who were sickened in knowing that the beloved Daniel Bryan would not be headlining The Grandest Stage of Them All.
Because Reigns beat Bryan and ruined the latter's chances of being the main star at WrestleMania, it began a movement where fans started to reject Reigns. This was where a lot of that hatred begun.
1 1.The Guy: Beating Triple H At WrestleMania 32
This isn't going to sit well with fans, so I ask that you read what I have to say instead of closing the article and telling your friends how stupid I am. I seriously beg of you.
WrestleMania 32 was a huge disappointment. The crowd didn't like Roman Reigns as the top face and everyone knew he was going to win the main event to become champion. How interesting.
But put it this way: Reigns defeated arguably the most decorated Superstar of all time. He beat Triple H at WrestleMania and took home the WWE World Heavyweight Championship as well. This was a passing of the torch moment and a sign that Triple H and Vince McMahon had full confidence in Reigns' ability to lead the company as its top star.
Love the moment or hate it, this was the moment for Reigns. The fans can reject him all they want, but he truly became the guy with this title win.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!