He’s not a good guy, he’s not a bad guy, he’s just the guy...that you absolutely love to hate. If you ask any wrestling fan on the internet what wrestler they hate more than any other in the WWE right now, you’re probably going to get Roman Reigns as an answer. Reigns, who debuted in 2012 with The Shield, didn’t go solo until two years ago. Since then, he has won three WWE World Heavyweight Championships, a Royal Rumble (in which he had the most eliminations in the match’s history) and a Slammy in 2014 for Superstar of the Year.
The WWE wants you to like Reigns, but it just hasn’t happened for most of you out there. Instead, a lot of fans boo Reigns louder than they cheer most of their favorites. It has gotten to the point where they have turned down crowd microphones when Reigns comes out so the boos aren’t overbearing on television.
I was at the 2016 Money in the Bank pay per view and even showing a quick glimpse of Reigns on the Titantron garnered a ton of hate from the crowd. Then, when he came out for the main event match with Seth Rollins, it was deafening (although there were plenty of higher pitched cheers). It got me to thinking “why exactly do people hate Roman Reigns so much?” Instead of just one simple reason, I came up with 15 of them.
So here are 15 of the reasons why fans, especially those that frequent internet message boards, might hate Roman Reigns so much. See if your hatred fits into any of these categories.
15 Franchise Player
Before Roman Reigns, all of the hatred from the internet wrestling community went towards John Cena. Cena was designated as the franchise representative of the company a decade ago and now it appears that the brass at WWE are trying to make the transition from Cena to Reigns as Cena gets closer to 40 years old.
It’s 2016 and a lot of wrestling fans don’t like the old school power moveset in wrestling that was so common 20 or 30 years ago. Internet fans in general have some particular wrestlers that they like because of their movesets. Neville is a fan favorite because of his high flying, Cesaro is another favorite because he shows an incredible amount of power and effectiveness without looking stale and Kevin Owens is an example of showing off moves that most people with his body type wouldn’t be able to pull off.
13 Promo Work
Even if you aren’t the best wrestler in the ring, people will still be ready to cheer for you as long as you are great on the microphone. Even Dean Ambrose, the current WWE Champion, doesn’t have an overly impressive moveset, but when he grabs a mic, people will listen. As long as you’re a strong talker, you can get over with a crowd or grab the heel heat that you want. Even Enzo and Cass were over as soon as they debuted because they connect with the crowd so well.
12 Lack of Depth
Wrestling fans are always drawn to characters that have a lot of depth when it comes to their gimmick. Dean Ambrose has the whole “crazy” thing working for him while Seth Rollins is basically a narcissist and a chicken at the same time. Then you have guys like Bray Wyatt and (at one point) CM Punk that were essentially leading cults, giving them a lot of personality and something to work with.
There is a good chance that you don’t even hate Roman Reigns, you just hate the way that he has been booked so far in his career. Almost everyone associated with wrestling not named Vince McMahon has hated Reigns’ booking. There are even rumors that Reigns has said behind clothes doors that he hates the way that he’s booked because he doesn’t want the fans to hate him.
10 You’re Not a Kid
Now that you’re older, you probably hate Roman Reigns because of the fact that he never loses. If you’re a kid, though, you love Roman for the same reason. Think about it, what age demographic roots for teams like the Patriots or Seahawks in the NFL more than any of the other teams combined? It’s kids. Kids love winners, plain and simple, which is why there are still so many that latch onto John Cena.
9 Shot to the Moon
While Austin and Reigns might have had their booking in common, Austin doesn’t get the backlash for being so protected throughout his career because he earned it in the eyes of wrestling fans. That’s because Austin was in WCW for four years, didn’t work out there, then went to ECW for a short stint before finally making it to the WWE. Even then, it would be a year before Austin finally developed his character and became a fan favorite.
8 Same Look
When factions in wrestling get broken up, those that go solo usually get their own look and their own music. While members of The Shield from 2012 to 2014, all three members wore the same combat gear, came out to the same catchy guitar riff and made their way to the ring through the crowd. After splitting up, Rollins and Ambrose completely changed their look (with Ambrose even wearing a tanktop and jeans) and started walking to the ring via the ramp.
7 He Beats Fan Favorites
You don’t like Roman Reigns, but you like a lot of other wrestlers. Naturally, you want to see those guys beat Reigns, but it just doesn’t happen. While Reigns could have beaten up exclusively on guys that were actually getting heel heat with the crowd, he has defeated just about anyone and everyone. This has included a lot of wrestlers who are fan favorites that ‘paid their dues’ through the years.
6 Unwarranted Praise
Speaking of the match with Daniel Bryan, another thing that rubbed fans the wrong way was the fact that Bryan basically stroked Reigns’ ego by saying that he was indeed one of the best wrestlers around. Bryan isn’t the only one to hop on the mic and go out of his way to give praise to Reigns by a long shot, either. Mark Henry turned from heel to face after losing to Reigns, just to say how good of a wrestler Reigns was (and apparently has magical powers).
It’s not a secret that Vince McMahon has a certain type of wrestler that he likes to book at the top of his promotion. The average main eventer for Vince and Co. is usually quite tall and more muscular than most bodybuilders. Vince also likes former athletes and Reigns fits all three of those criteria (although we found out that the muscle might not be natural). Reigns is listed right around the same height as Brock Lesnar and the former college football player is billed at around 270 pounds.
4 Wellness Violation
The most recent reason that people have taken to hating Roman Reigns is because of the suspension that came on June 21st, 2016, just a day after he dropped the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank. Fans that liked him were disappointed in the news with some turning on him while those that already hated him were getting even more fuel for their fire.
3 Family Matters
Nepotism: Favoritism (as in appointment to a job) based on kinship. That definition comes straight from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and it helps to explain a little bit about why Roman Reigns has been pushed so hard, leading to the hate. Vince McMahon has always owed a bit of his company to the Anoa’i family that has plenty of famous blood and non-blood relatives in the wrestling business.
2 He’s Not a Heel
When they made their debut back in late 2012, The Shield played the role of heels until they attacked Kane and The Authority in 2014. It was then that the group became fan favorites until Seth Rollins turned on the group in June 2014, instantly turning him heel. Since then, Rollins has never had a babyface turn while Reigns hasn’t had a heel turn. Despite that, Rollins has been cheered with great passion by crowds while Reigns has been booed mercilessly.
1 You’re Just Jealous
If you don’t agree with any of the other reasons that Roman Reigns would be hated by wrestling fans, there’s one more and it’s the fact that you might just be a jealous hater. All of us want to be the top guy wherever we work, but maybe there’s always some hotshot that has been sent straight to the top, has some family connections at the office and has the girl you’ve had your eye on talking about him.
Jealousy is a perfectly good reason to hate Reigns, because he reminds you of someone you know. It’s the same reason that we all loved Stone Cold Steve Austin back in the 1990s, because he looked like the normal beer drinking guy next door that did something you never had the nerve to; beat the crap out of your egotistical boss while getting rewarded for doing it.
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