The transparent rocketing of Roman Reigns has been in session for about four years. While Reigns' resume has fattened, his relationship with WWE's fanbase has never been this tenuous. How did this happen?
While the antiquated criticisms of Reigns still linger, WWE, in their efforts to make us love him, has ironically given fans more justification to reject him.
So let's count them up, here are 10 Reasons Fans Are Still Booing Roman Reigns in 2018:
For the most part, the ascension of Roman Reigns has been unperturbed by other Superstars. While fans clamored for someone to usurp Reigns, WWE simply did not have a candidate in 2015.
But they do now.
It took a little bit of time, but Seth Rollins is routinely having loud moments as a babyface. It may already be so, but the Intercontinental Champion is a few more highlights away from being an undeniable option as WWE's top guy.
This warm acceptance of Rollins is making it easier for undecided fans to abandon Reigns once and for all.
Remember when Roman nearly murdered Braun Strowman? Or when he was cool with Seth and Dean again? Or that time he beat both John Cena and The Undertaker in six months?
He WWE makes Roman do things—typically without any clear intentions. Sure, Stone Cold Steve Austin did horrible things to Vince McMahon, but he had a story-line reason to invoke those classic actions.
Stone Cold had a villain. Roman Reigns does too, but it's not as tangible—he's been a poorly written character for nearly half a decade.
WWE has tried a few stories, but have pulled the plug in favor of having Roman viciously attacked. They were weaving a whopper with Brock Lesnar before WrestleMania 34, though. Lesnar turned up his aloofness to 11 and suddenly, Reigns seemed like our guy.
Instead of following that, WWE elected to have Lesnar turn a handcuffed Reigns into goo. This episode of destruction porn reminded fans that they love to see Brock Lesnar hurt people.
Let's say this second era of hating Roman Reigns began after WrestleMania 32. Here's a list of his rivalries since that boo-fest at Cowboys Stadium.
A debuting Finn Balor
While some of these names were playing heel at the time, only Kevin Owens is a true villain. One that has a loud enough to throw off any Roman Reigns entrance. We can't criticize WWE for putting Roman in big matches, but the chemistry behind these is a little wonky.
By now, John Bravo's attempt to oust Roman Reigns is the epitome of Fake News. However, it was scrutiny that Reigns character couldn't withstand.
Having already failed a WWE drug test, simply being connected, even in a dismissable case, erroneously confirmed many fans' bias. Despite the hollow accusations, there's a section of fans who can only see Reigns as guilty, thus even less worthy of their devotion.
Stone Cold has long been a proponent of Roman Reigns turning heel. In fact, a lot of our beloved Hall of Famers share the same sentiment. And if we see it, and they see, then why can't Vince, right?
It's probably not that simple.
But Stone Cold did share a recent quote on Reigns status on his podcast.
"So what do you do with Roman Reigns at this point
John Cena may be the greatest WWE Superstar of all time. But that greatness was a heavy pill to swallow for WWE fans.
So when we caught wind of Roman being the next Cena, our digestive tract began to quiver in fear. Another heavy heavy-handed dose just seemed impalatable after Cena's era, but that's what we've gotten.
While Reigns and Cena's arc have been distinctly different, but the intensity behind their rocket boosters is the same. And fans' refusal to buy Reigns like they did Cena has made this a patchy 4 years.
Reigns still isn't a great guy to watch on the microphone. He's improved greatly, but his ugly phase may WWE alter his character a bit.
Smack talking was out in favor of more a solemn Reigns. While he's certainly more brooding, he's still not saying anything of particular interest. Strong and silent is a tough gig to work, especially if you're not Sting in 1997.
Reigns' personality is somewhere between one and two dimensional. If he and WWE can figure out how to add a layer, I'll be writing a much different article in 2019.
Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns 2017 summer rivalry were great for both Superstars, but it was better for the Monster Among Men.
They both went on to SummerSlam where Strowman proved to us all that he is, in fact, capable of carrying the company Ever Since, Strowman rise as one of the best things in WWE to watch, while Reigns has been stuck in his status quo.
It's a lot easier to hate Roman Reigns if you can find a couple people to share the experience. With social media, fans can pile on The Big Dog by the hundreds and may think they are staging an uprising WWE cannot ignore.
But it's a futile effort.
While WWE has balked in the past on Reigns' push, they seem dedicated to staying the course. This process of ignoring a minority of fans, albeit a sizable one, leads to increased resentment.
It's not that Roman Reigns can't be WWE's guy, it's that WWE is trying to time his coronation perfectly.
We won't really know if Roman can be the face of WWE until he gets a long run as Universal Champion. But WWE spent all of April pivoting away from long-term plans. Why can't we just make the jump? It's not like fans can boo him louder.
Give him the title and let's see what happens, but this limbo is making everything complicated.