Not since John Cena has their best a star on WWE's main roster that draws a more polarizing response from the fans. Just like Cena, Reigns does have a vocal contingent of fans who do love him. However, the boos seem to nearly completely overshadow the cheers, unlike with Cena where the cheers were at least noticeable.
The fan's frustrations with the continual push of Reigns even lead to a small walk-out during the Backlash main event between Reigns and Samoa Joe.
So yes, WWE has failed to get the entire crowd behind their hand-picked star of the future. However, it can't be denied that Reigns does draw a great amount of interest from the crowd, both negative and positive. His video segments on YouTube are consistently among the most viewed in the company and he does sell a lot of merchandise.
In an interview with SunSport recently, Reigns spoke about the negative reaction he gets from fans and explained why he thinks that the boos are a good thing and proof that what he's doing is working.
“As long as fans are showing up and as long as they’re making noise, I’ve done my job. I’ve done what I’m supposed to do and that’s draw people into the building.
I think the way I can fight is to just continue to do what I do – to continue to show up. What I and everybody in WWE thinks is to go out there and work hard and continue to show why I am the guy. It’s not easy doing this every single day, going to every single town, and getting a reaction. And that’s what I do regardless of whether it’s all cheers, a mixed reaction, or heavy boos.
We have to look at it as a global company. We’re not just worried about the one town that we’re in, we’re covering our entire fanbase. The WWE Universe is humongous. We have to keep that in mind.”
Reigns has improved as a performer immensely since the rocket was first strapped to his back by WWE a couple of years ago. However, the timing of that push is what has continued to plague Reigns. He was originally pushed, in the fan's eyes, at the expense of Daniel Bryan.
Reigns has simply never been able to overcome all of the ill-will many hardcore fans had toward him due to the overlap between his push and Daniel Bryan's perceived lack of a push in 2014 and 2015. Most of this can be traced to the Royal Rumble in Philadelphia in 2015 that Reigns won despite fans clamoring for a Bryan victory. When Bryan was eliminated that night, WWE completely lost the crowd. Reigns simply never had a chance.
While Reigns continues on as a tweener (not completely a heel or babyface), the question will always remain: what would happen if he were to go full-on heel? Perhaps 2018 will finally see that experiment play out.