I don't mean to place all the blame in your lap. In fact, when I say you, I should actually say we, because I include myself in the large subset of wrestling fans who are preventing Roman Reigns from reaching his full potential as the WWE's number one bad guy. We're all in this together and the blood is distributed equally on our hands.
Ever since breaking with The Shield in 2014, Roman Reigns has been thrust into the main event spotlight, seemingly destined to take the place of John Cena in the minds and happy hearts of Vince McMahon and fans everywhere.
However, it didn't take long for the smarks–those of us who believe reading the internet gives us inside knowledge of the wrestling business–to fall out of love with Roman Reigns once we saw the writing on the wall.
It's possible that 10 years of John Cena had soured us on the Superman who always overcame the odds and never backed away from his principles. We were thirsty for a darker, more complex hero; possibly one that harkened back to the Attitude Era days of Stone Cold and The Rock.
By the time Roman was on his way to win his first Royal Rumble, we had already decided that he was, in fact, not "The Guy" for us. Two years later and you and I are still having the same conversations with all our smark friends:
"This version of Roman will never be accepted by the fans."
"I'm tired of Roman being shoved down our throats."
"He would be such a perfect heel!"
"If only he would turn heel, I would support him again!"
And it's that last sentiment where we are most to blame. If Roman did turn heel, we would not only support him, but we would cheer him!
We've become so beholden to cheering the bad guys and booing the good guys that we've given the WWE zero incentive to change Roman's identity (or anyone's really). We've flipped the paradox so equally that it still remains in perfect balance.
See, the WWE doesn't care whether we boo or cheer. They are only bothered if we sit on your hands and say nothing.
Last night's WWE Roadblock crowd in Pittsburgh is a perfect example of this. Like a majority of wrestling crowds over the past two years, Pittsburgh's vocal disapproval of Roman Reigns was deafening and only rivaled by their approval of Roman's opponent, the dastardly Kevin Owens.
Vince McMahon has gone on record as saying heels and faces no longer exist, but every storytelling mechanism needs an antagonist and a protagonist to thrive. After years of trying to read the crowd's temperature, the WWE has just chosen to let its audience to decide exactly who gets to play those roles.
We booed John Cena vociferously for ten years and never once did Vince waiver. They waited us out–sometimes seemingly out of spite–and they prevailed. We finally gave up on seeing a new John Cena and the poor guy still has to wrestle in jorts because of it.0comments
If you really want Roman Reigns to turn heel or change his character, you have to stop booing him! Say nothing. I promise you Vince doesn't care what words come screaming out of your mouth as long they continue to make a loud noise.
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