Roman Reigns has been subjected to plenty of boo-fests in recent years. However, his most jarring rejection came after his 2015 Royal Rumble victory.
And Daniel Bryan knew it would happen.
"When they told me what was going to happen, I was like, ‘This isn’t gonna work out well for you guys. But, you can do what you want. Like, I don’t run the company, right? If it’s bad – I feel bad for certain people who were negatively affected by that. The year before, 2014, Batista was negatively affected by it," he said."
In January of 2015, it was clear that WWE was ready to strap their rockets to Reigns. Fans grew keen to WWE's intentions and began to dig their heels into an anti-Roman movement. And the capital city of the We Hate Roman Club was Philadelphia.
WWE tried to smooth over Reigns' protested victory with a cheap promotion from his cousin, The Rock. However, not even the Great One could save Reigns, and he too was booed.
"So like, I always try to say like, ‘Hey, I think this is gonna happen,’ and sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong," he said. "But I think, like in that specific case, like I had said that, like I don’t think this is a good idea, and it doesn’t matter what I think, right?"
At the time, fans were clamoring for Daniel Bryan to sneak out a Rumble win and reboot the Yes Movement for WrestleMania 31. That obviously didn't happen, but from Bryan's quotes, that doesn't appear like it bothered him. Instead, Bryan was simply arguing that Reigns' win was going to be met with considerable resistance—the same way Batista's win was rejected in 2014. To Bryan, being booed like that in such a huge moment can damage a WWE Superstar.
Turns out, he was exactly right.
While Reigns will still have his Hall of Fame career, WWE doubling, tripling and quadrupling down on him at WrestleMania has permanently scarred his character. They'll tell us that any reaction is a good reaction, but their actions say differently.0comments
By reuniting the Shield, pumping up Brock Lesnar as a villain and now pairing Reigns with Jinder Mahal, it's clear that WWE wants Reigns to be cheered. However, he's been vehemently rejected by entire stadiums on too many occasion for this babyface dream to ever come true.
And Daniel Bryan saw it coming.