Given Chris Jericho’s uncanny ability to reinvent himself, we can safely assume that Y2J poses one of the better minds in professional wrestling. And Jericho is using that brain of his to help Roman Reigns get cheers.
In an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Jericho points out that the disconnect between Reigns and WWE’s fanbase comes back to a fundamental pillar of professional wrestling: good vs. evil.
Reigns have only been exclusively positioned as a good guy in WWE, however, he’s never truly had an evil counterpart. And according to Jericho, this has hampered Reigns’ trajectory.
“He needs some good, good heels to work with, heels that want to be heels, or can be heels," said Y2J.
Sure, WWE has plenty of heels, but Jericho’s distinction of a “heel that wants to be heel” really narrows down the candidate list for Reigns.
”A guy like Samoa Joe, I mean, he’s a big, tough ass kicker who is a great promo. He looks tough. What’s to hate? What’s the heel about Samoa Joe? I’m not saying that in a bad way but dude, I loved Samoa Joe before I ever met him
Jericho says that Brock Lesnar is the same kind of character, one who destroys and thusly, attracts the admiration of WWE fan.
“It’s like Brock Lesnar -- how can you ever cast Brock Lesnar as a heel? He’s a big, giant, ugly guy who beats the hell out of guys and wins all the time. What’s to hate about that?”
By Reigns being pitted adjacent these semi-heels, it muddies the psychology of his matches. With guys like Lesnar, Joe and even Braun Strowman, WWE is enabling their audience to side against Reigns in favor of these ugly ass kickers.
To Jericho, Reigns needs a purer heel. However, those are hard to come by.
”Honestly, if it was me as a heel, I could get it over. Maybe Miz, like those type of heels. I don’t know if people would buy The Miz in that place, though. But you need some kind of a real
If anything, Jericho’s stance is novel. Since Roman Reign’s launch, he’s mostly been assigned to morally ambiguous heels. However, his brief Intercontinental feud with The Miz looked like it carried some maths, but WWE is clearly more fond of feeding The Big Dog monster heels. And if not big bruisers, then it’s beloved figure of WWE like John Cena and AJ Styles.
How is a WWE crowd supposed to get behind Reigns when he’s constantly fighting Superstars they love?
For the immediate future, we’ll be getting more of the same: Roman vs. Joe and Lesnar. However, once we’re past this hopefully WWE will take a lesson from Jericho and give Reigns opponents who are less formidable and more hateable.