Roman Reigns may be the most polarizing WWE Superstar in history. And Eric Bischoff, arguably the most polarizing executive in professional wrestling, has a steamy take on Reigns' relationship with WWE fans.
In an interview with WSVN-TV Entertainment, the former WCW boss spoke candidly on Roman Reign's character and WWE's strategy in making him a top star.
"Is he a fan favorite if that's what you mean by over? No. Does he have the right kind of heat that is constructive and can be used in order to advance a storyline? Questionable. But I don't think that that's Roman's fault. I think the way he's been packaged and the way he's been presented and dare I say it, because I don't like to be critical but there's no other way to say it, he's been forced down everybody's throats for two years," he said.
The heavy pushes Reigns has received, and their subsequent rejection by fans, have been well documented. But to Bischoff, WWE is making things too hard by refusing to audible.
"But no matter how good you are, I don't care if you're Vince McMahon or you're Steven Spielberg or if you're William freaking Shakespeare, it's doesn't matter. The audience is only going to go so far. You can only force that fish to swim upstream until it just gets tired as has to go the other way. I wish they would turn him heel. I wish they would embrace that," he said.
Despite stadiums full of boo birds, WWE and Reigns have seeming only pushed harder. This stubborness has created a fair amount of resentment among fans but it appears that WWE is betting that fan will eventually give in.
The perpetual stance both Reigns and WWE officials have taken istht no matter what, fans are loud when The Big Dog appears. This is certainly valauble, but it does seem to hamper Reigns' possibilities at times.
“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," Reigns told SunSport.
"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," he said.
However, Reigns reception seems to depend on the city he lands in. In long-time wrestling strongholds like Chicago or Philadelphia, he's treated as a public enemy. But the most recent episode of RAW saw Reign get a hero's welcome in Little Rock, Arkansas.
"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.”