Episode 245: How The WWE Can Fix The Roman Reigns Popularity Problem

Hiya!

I don’t get why the WWE is so insistent on pushing Roman Reigns as the next big name in the company. Okay, I do have to correct myself. On paper, it does seem as if Roman Reigns ticks all of the checkboxes that would make him a great face for the WWE. He’s a generally good looking guy. He’s got a good physique. And, despite what most fans may say, he actually has some decent wrestling skills. Yet, fans have voiced out their displeasure in The Big Dog climbing to the top of the ladder. The WWE is fixated on making him the poster boy of the company, which does rub a lot of fans who dislike Roman Reigns the wrong way. With Wrestlemania coming and him presumably taking out Brock Lesnar to become the new WWE Universal Champion, you know this will raise the ire of the greater WWE Universe. And since the Money in the Bank briefcase isn’t in play, there won’t be someone like Seth Rollins to swoop in and save the main event this year.

Most of the blame for the hate on Roman Reigns is actually the WWE’s fault. The biggest issue is they pushed him too early when fans were still high on other Superstars. Roman Reigns was still pretty green when he started getting his massive push and fans knew they were shoving him down our collective throats. They also didn’t train him well on the mic so his promo skills are passable at best but way below what a WWE Champion should have. Hindsight is 20/20 and I think the WWE kind of regret this move. But what’s done is done. The WWE has to make a course correction with Roman Reigns, especially if they want the fans to accept him as the main guy. And I just so happen to have a few ideas on how they can do that starting now.

First, let’s address the problem I mentioned earlier, which is Roman Reigns early push to the main event. Fans saw right through the WWE’s plans and instantly knew they were grooming The Big Dog to be the new big guy and reign (pun intended) as the WWE Universal Champion. This already blew up in the WWE’s face at Wrestlemania 31 which is why they made a huge swerve and made Seth Rollins cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase at the last minute. I’m guessing they had him waiting in the wings just in case Reigns couldn’t swing the WWE Universe to his side. Sure enough, he wasn’t able to do so and Seth Rollins was ushered out to save the main event.

It seems like they’re going to pull the trigger this time around and make Reigns pin Brock Lesnar to become the WWE Universal Champion this coming Wrestlemania. Well, as I do believe this would be a bad idea, I say have Brock Lesnar retain the championship in a slobberknocker of a match. I’m not saying The Beast win via pinfall or submission in a fair way. No, I’m saying he wins by some underhanded tactic. Have him do a low blow or two on Reigns while the referee is knocked unconscious or distracted, allowing Lesnar to get the pinfall or something like that. It’s not like The Beast isn’t under doing something like that when he’s desperate.

If the rumors are true, Brock Lesnar will leave the WWE after Wrestlemania. So where does that leave the WWE Universal Championship? This is when, in the RAW after Wrestlemania, they announce that Brock Lesnar has been fired or suspended by the WWE and stripped off his title. They then open a tournament for crown a new WWE Universal Champion, with Reigns supposedly getting a buy in the first round but he refuses because he’s a tough guy and he doesn’t want handouts. You know, the typical tough good guy the WWE likes to shove in our faces. So, he competes in the first round match. I would love it if it was a returning Dean Ambrose but it could be some other big named star.

Anyway, Reigns and, let’s just say Dean Ambrose for now slug it out. We’d all expect that, this time, Reigns would reign (pun intended again) supreme this time around. But, to the shock of everyone, Dean pulls off a surprise roll-up on The Big Dog and gets the win! Reigns is eliminated. Essentially, Reigns is now out of the WWE Universal Championship picture. Now, this will definitely confound everyone as Reigns is supposed to be the WWE’s golden child! How can he lose? This fixes the immediate push issue the WWE did. But we’re not done yet.

After the loss, Reigns still competes in RAW on a weekly basis but he’s a little more vicious in his attacks. He starts getting more rough against his opponents and, maybe, he even gets disqualified for beating up on a helpless opponent or two. Essentially, you know he’s mad about his loss to Dean Ambrose. And guess who wins the entire tournament? Dean Ambrose, of course!

Traditional wrestling fans should see the next couple of events coming but it will still shock them. Anyway, after Dean Ambrose wins the belt, out comes his former SHIELD buddies, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns to congratulate him. They even do the classic SHIELD pose to please the fans. But while Dean Ambrose is celebrating and has his defenses lowered, this is when Roman Reigns decks the new WWE Universal Champ with a Superman punch. Rollins is dumbfounded and Reigns spears him. Shades of Seth Rollins betraying the SHIELD.

On the next RAW, they tease that Reigns will explain his actions as to why he attacked and blindsided his former SHIELD brethren. But here comes the final swerve. As Reigns’ music hits, you don’t see The Big Dog come down the ring. No, it’s Paul Heyman and he will now be talking for “his client.” Yes, I’m saying they should make Roman Reigns a Paul Heyman guy. Having Reigns align with Heyman will cover up his lackluster speaking skills as Heyman will be the mouthpiece. Also, it would be a shame to let Paul Heyman go just because Brock Lesnar isn’t in the WWE anymore, right?

Now, Paul Heyman comes out to explain that “his client” Roman Reigns is sick and tired of playing the good guy. Reigns tried to be the guy that little kids would look up to but it turns out their parents would rather teach their children to boo the role models and cheer on a guy like Dean Ambrose who is a self-admitted lunatic or Seth Rollins who would backstab his friends. If that’s what the WWE Universe wants, well, that’s what they’ll get from Roman Reigns now. This marks the very first time Roman Reigns as a heel since breaking up from the SHIELD. And, honestly, this is what the fans really need from Reigns.

Finally turning Reigns into a bad guy will fix the thing I dislike about him the most: he’s too nice. This “niceness” just feels like an act. And it’s an act Reigns isn’t really all that good at pulling off! It’s like when he smiles while in the middle of one of his matches. It’s supposed to show how confident he is but… it kind of looks like a sadistic smile, as if he enjoys inflicting pain on his opponent. I know even the best face wrestlers smile when beating their opponents down but it’s usually a smile that the bad guy is getting his comeuppance. Reigns’ smile just looks like he loves hurting little kittens.

How shall I hurt kittens? Let me count the ways…

Ultimately, this is how you fix Roman Reigns: make him a heel. But we still had to go through the entire story of Reigns losing at Wrestlemania and him being out of the title picture as this distracts the fans from remembering that he’s the WWE’s chosen one. With Reigns as a heel and with Heyman speaking for him, there’s a far greater chance for The Big Dog to actually get cheered by the fans. Reigns can act all tough and mean all he wants this time around and he’ll still get booed. But this time, the WWE wants him to get booed!

But Reigns’ story doesn’t end here. While he’s a heel, the WWE can experiment and tweak the Reigns character to see what will actually get the fans to cheer for this new bad guy… which is actually what fans in the WWE do a lot of nowadays. We cheer the heels in wrestling because they’re generally more fun and have more personality that the good guys in the WWE! So, while Roman Reigns is “fixed,” they can now focus on finding aspects about the character the fans actually like so, when he does make his eventual transition back to a face, fans will be ready to cheer him.

Byee!

How do you think the WWE can fix Roman Reigns’ popularity problem? Let me know in the comments section below!

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