He's not a good guy, he's not a bad guy, but is "The Guy" being booked too safely as someone who's in the "gray area" between babyface and heel? These days, Roman Reigns is in the middle of an intense rivalry with John Cena ahead of their match at No Mercy, and their worked-shoot mic and social media battles between the two are piquing fans' interests like they haven't been piqued before—at least as far as feuds featuring Reigns are concerned. But there's someone who isn't a big fan of how Reigns is seemingly being portrayed as a tweener. Former WCW president Eric Bischoff believes WWE may be compromising Roman's potential by safely booking him as the "Gray Area Guy."
In the latest episode of his podcast, Bischoff on Wrestling, Eric Bischoff covered several hot WWE-related topics, but his comments on Roman Reigns were arguably the most interesting, as he talked about how he feels WWE is making a mistake by not booking him as either a clear-cut heel or a clear-cut face. As a result, Bischoff feels that WWE is wasting the Big Dog’s potential to be one of the best, if not the best wrestlers in the company, saying Reigns has “(almost) all the tools and ingredients” to be a huge success in the main event. With that being said, Bischoff acknowledged that Reigns may have his work cut out in the promo department, but that only represents the “final 10 percent” of his character.
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As quoted by WrestleZone, Bischoff believes the WWE needs to take more risks with Reigns, rather than insisting on booking him as a tweener.
“That’s not his fault if they are writing him to be neither fish nor fowl because they don’t understand how to do it. So the creative team finds comfort in keeping him in that ‘gray zone’ which really is a safe zone because you aren’t really making a commitment because you don’t want to fail.”
A lot of fans haven't been this invested in a Roman Reigns storyline since The Shield's heyday. Of course, Cena deserves a lot of credit for cutting some of the best promos we've heard this year, bar none, but let's face it – Reigns hasn't sounded this good before, and he's come a very long way from the days of "sufferin' succotash" and "Roman and the Beanstalk." If this is WWE's idea of a "Gray Area Guy," then it's the best non-Shield version we've seen of Reigns so far, and it's much better than booking him time and again as the virtuous, conquering babyface who could do no wrong.
Still, there is a chance this could all be part of WWE's broader plan to have Reigns face and defeat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, and another example of Cena passing the torch as he reaches the home stretch of his full-time WWE career. But in the meantime, WWE is doing a good job of subtly tweaking Reigns' character, and while we tend to agree with Bischoff's assertion that it's the safe thing to do, that doesn't mean it's the wrong thing to do at this point in Reigns' career.