It’s a sad state of affairs indeed when I can write the phrase, “The Roman Reigns Problem,” and wrestling fans know exactly what I’m talking about. Nevertheless, Stone Cold Steve Austin has offered a solution for The Roman Reigns Problem: turn him heel.
“So what do you do with Roman Reigns at this point?,” said Austin. “For him to have the biggest run…you’ve got to turn him heel and he’s got to perform and let loose. He needs to be aggressive and go out there ‘this is what you wanted, this is what you get…I don’t need your damn support.’ He needs to bring a mean streak and go on a total heel run.” he later continued.
Austin further bolstered his argument by comparing Reigns to his cousin, The Rock, who was initially rejected by fans upon his debut as “Rocky Maivia.” It wasn’t until joining the villainous Nation of Domination that The Rock we all know and love came to be.
Would A Character Makeover Be Enough?
Austin’s idea makes a lot of sense. Crowds relentlessly boo Reigns already, so why not turn him bad? As long as Reigns turns on the right person, it could make a huge difference in fan attitude toward him, and fan satisfaction with WWE overall.
But who is that “right” person? Reigns is genuinely hated, so he’d need to betray someone genuinely beloved by the WWE Universe in order to have an effective turn. When it comes to wrestlers who are genuinely adored by everyone, I think we all know who’s at the top of the list: Daniel Bryan. But given that Bryan is on SmackDown and more than likely headed for a feud with The Miz, we have to go with the next best thing: Seth Rollins.
Rollins is so hot right now that crowds are cheering too loudly for him to cut promos and WWE Hall of Famers are predicting he’s on his way to becoming one of the all time greats. Even better, he and Reigns have history – a history that fans treasure. If Reigns turned on Rollins, it would turn him into an instant villain.
But I have to wonder: would even that be enough? WWE tried in the past to make Reigns into a sort-of anti-hero who was only out for himself, but the result was less “Stone Cold Steve Austin” and more “I don’t care what you think, but you should cheer for me anyway.” So not only would Reigns have to turn on the right person, but WWE would have to follow through and make sure to portray him as a 100%, honest-to-goodness bad guy – not a half-hearted ‘tweener.
I think Stone Cold Steve Austin has the right idea. Hopefully, Vince will listen.
Do you agree that Roman Reigns needs a character makeover? Share your thoughts below!