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The Evolution of Roman Reigns


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I don't know about anyone else but I feel like it's time Roman had his own thread for discussion of him seeing as every thread descends into talk about his character and where either it went wrong or the fans went wrong.


To give a bit of backstory, it all started with The Shield coming in - two indie darlings and a big hoss nobody had really heard of. Over time, he became the most popular guy of the three and fans soon decided themselves he was the next big star - I'm not even convinced WWE had decided this as fans nowadays like to claim. We all said it and he was over like mad for a large period.


WWE capitalised on the fans getting behind him and took him to the record eliminations and second in the Royal Rumble that Batista won. In hindsight, I don't think they expected the reaction to the fans for Roman to win that night and it would have been a great moment had he won it but they weren't ready to pull that trigger yet. A year on, they would and the fan reaction would be the total opposite to the point even The Rock couldn't save it. Some claim it was because Bryan didn't win that Rumble but I remember a loud cheer when fans realised Rusev was still in.


So where exactly did it all go wrong between those 2 Royal Rumbles? Fans were starting to predict he would be booed but however much they kid themselves it's because he's being pushed as the chosen guy, the fans picked him when they started giving him the biggest reactions in The Shield.


Onto today and the boos are still as loud as ever, the guy was taken out of the title picture, lost a title in one of the quickest times ever, been publicly suspended for substance abuse and went down to US title level for a while so it can't be that he is WWE's guy anymore as they've shown a willingness to drop him down. So why are the fans still booing this guy?


Lastly, can it ever recover? Monday on RAW I felt he looked like an absolute superstar. First reaction from my two idiot wrestling friends was that they're gutted Undertakers opponent is Reigns.


So the questions from above that are interesting to discuss -

Is he really a WWE pushed guy or did the fans organically cause his push?

Where exactly did it go wrong between the 2 Royal Rumbles?


Most importantly, will or can Roman ever recover to be the star that most of us all predicted he would be?

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It all boils down to WWE and their inability to let people grow organically. While he was certainly over in the 2014 rumble, it was more a case of he wasn't Batista, the guy everyone and their dog knew would be winning that night.


After the Shield split, they just stuck Roman in title matches for no obvious reason. Didn't go after Seth, didn't try to carry things on with Ambrose, just bang in the main event. Couple that with the Shield gear and music, and it's no wonder the fans turned on him really.


Then in the 2015 rumble, they made it as predictable as sunrise that he was winning, and the final five minutes were a proverbial neon sign as such. No one was watching Big Show and Kane eliminate every other poor bastard thinking they'd do the same to Roman.


He's got a lot better, but he's now got the 'Cena effect' where fans boo him just because. I see people on FB still talking about how shite Cena is, because since 2006 he hasn't done anything different, even though the guy has given us some belting matches in that time period.


They should turn Roman heel ASAP. Batter the shit out of Taker at Mania and start it there. And when he inevitably gets cheered, let's hope they just stay the course, don't blow your load up the wall because of the fans and how they're treating him.

Edited by Jimboski88
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No character depth - Who is Roman Reigns?


Isn't natural when talking, reads off a script and its obvious.


Living off The Shields music.


Living off the Shields attire.


Hasn't been helped by some poor booking, won the title too early, then lost it, then won it again, then lost it and then won it, by that point nobody could care or get behind him.


The thing is that his matches have always been decent, he just needs to be natural without any restrictions, having met him myself at Mania last year he does have that Aura & charm about him (and I'm not a big fan at all) so you can see why the WWE believe in him, they just need to develop his character and let him naturally go about his business. A heel turn would do him wonders. 

Edited by Briefcase
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WWE capitalised on the fans getting behind him and took him to the record eliminations and second in the Royal Rumble that Batista won. In hindsight, I don't think they expected the reaction to the fans for Roman to win that night and it would have been a great moment had he won it but they weren't ready to pull that trigger yet. A year on, they would and the fan reaction would be the total opposite to the point even The Rock couldn't save it. Some claim it was because Bryan didn't win that Rumble but I remember a loud cheer when fans realised Rusev was still in.


In both cases, it was just "don't tell me what to do, Vince, I'm going to my room" wanky rebellion. Reigns was cheered because he wasn't Batista. What went wrong is that by the following year, he was the Batista, and that's why Rusev was cheered.


WWE, by playing up to it for years with Cena and then doing the Daniel Bryan storyline, have created this situation for themselves. Normals are bored of it, and those of us who are left watch a sneaky heel handed a belt and we chant "you deserve it" because they took some head drops in ROH or wrestled on an NXT Takeover or whatever.


Their business right now depends on rinsing the hardcore fans for as much money as we'll give them, and they know that the way they create the big heel to rage against is by anointing a top babyface. The only way the televised crowd reaction turns around for Reigns as the big goodie is if they find a way to entice more normals back, or he sticks around long enough for the next chosen one to come in and be booed.


Or it's because, depending on who you ask, he changed too much or not enough from when he was in The Shield.

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Reigns is outstanding. If he was a world class talker, he'd be one of the best all-rounders they've ever had.


At this point, his reactions are just what they are. It's part of the show now, like Cena.


They've got two choices. They can turn him heel, which he will be fucking awesome at, and hope that when he turns back, theven environment is different.


Or, and much more likely, they can stick with him, accept that he's pretty much a tweener and can work with anyone, never stray from the wholesome Cena-esque character and use that to keep him a hero to kids and the charities and groups.

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The crowd were booing bloody Goldberg on Monday, because he beat the midcard fat lad by being Goldberg, instead of doing a kickout fest. For all of WWE's faults, I've finally come to the realisation that this group of fans are impossible - Goldberg's probably getting booed at 'Mania, for example.


I just want Reigns to turn heel because it freshens up Raw.

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Reigns has grown on me this past year and he's now one of my favourites to watch in-ring. However, he really needs to ditch the Shield gear and music as it's only holding back his development at this point.


Fans that chant "you can't wrestle" at arguably the best wrestler on Raw at the moment, they can just fuck off.

Edited by Love-Wilcox
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WWE are stubborn dicks. Just turn him heel.


They seem to have this mad idea that he can't ever be the Cena level "Top Guy" unless he remains a babyface seemingly forever. It's total bollocks. Steve Austin was bullying Bret Hart's geriatric parents a year before he was the hottest Face on the planet and The Rock was a Main Event Heel before turning and becoming one of the biggest stars ever!


Make the most of an already hate-filled crowd and turn him into a SuperCunt! 

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See to me I'm not sold on it being the same as Cena. To me the Cena boo's are "Oh here he comes, this is going to be fun we get to boo him and do the boo/yay chant", almost light hearted in it's nature, certainly recently. With Roman I get a much more vicious tone from it, like "Oh fucking hell it's Roman, just FUCK OFF you over pushed shithouse, your 3 moves suck and we don't like you. Go away".


I think Roman's in ring instincts are fantastic, the subtleties and body language are spot on. To me the issue is when he gets a microphone, he is absolutely shite, like not even average, but shite. Now how much of that is writing and creative, to me it's a part of it but I firmly believe as a top guy he must surely go to the top brass and say "No, no fucking way, you want me to say Tata Tots!!!???", Austin would have, Rock would have, Hunter would, Jericho would. I have put in another thread, he openly said he's here to get rich and do as he is told, and that attitude to me seeps through ever pore, I'm not sure he WANTS to get to the next level enough, he is happy picking up a million a year and blaming any negative reaction he gets on the fans, as he has in media interviews.


Anyway, despite all the boneheaded quotes he has made in the press I like him and want him to succeed, I find myself subconsciously rooting for him in his matches. His performance on Monday was brilliant.

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Roman has really grown on me. I liked him as the silent killer in The Shield but wasn't a massive fan, didn't like the smiley babyface stuff but over the last year or so he's been consistently one of the best wrestlers they've got (minus the promos). He's got this badass heel attitude but WWE don't look like they're keen on having him fully turn as such and he seems set to walk that tweener line where Dem can boo him but he can still be the face of the company, do the talk shows and the charity work when Cena fully steps away.


He's always going to get booed against Taker Mania by the dickheads so now would be the perfect moment to cement the turn, change the gear, change the music. Imagine if he came out at Mania in trunks to a slightly different music and embraced the boos and fully heeled it up, I think he'd be great at it. Fully change the entrance theme a month or so later. Give him a year as top heel. No doubt Dem would start to cheer him after a while so you could even use a Shield reunion to turn him back face after a couple of months of Rollins and Ambrose trying to make him a goody again. I doubt even the boo boys would be against cheering a face Shield against some super evil heel faction.


Whatever they do with him it still frustrates me talking to mates who are supposedly "smart" wrestling fans who still churn out the same "he's being shoved down our throats/ he can't wrestle/ he's Cena 2.0" and won't listen to any argument to the contrary.

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I don’t enjoy Reigns for the most part but even I agree that he is 100% the right guy for them to build raw around. Has good to great matches against a variety of opponents, great look, reliable.


For me it comes down to:

  1. We are too smart. Reigns hasn’t had a feud where he looks like he is the underdog because the company have tried way too hard to get him over rather than doing it naturally. For me this has made it difficult to enjoy.
  2. Not developing/being allowed to develop a character after leaving the Shield. Most of the time when they split up a singles wrestler from a tag team to give them a push they try and separate that person from their team as much as possible. Whether that be a different gimmick, different look or music whatever. With Roman they kept every single thing about The Shield intact but had just one guy which made it a constant reminder that The Shield was way cooler than Reigns doing it on his own. It also didn’t really make sense with the Cena role they were trying to give him.
  3. The biggest one: Lack of good antagonists. Everyone he has been put up against is likeable in some way (Lesnar, Owens), well respected (Taker, HHH) or is not that good in the role of antagonist (Big Show, Rollins, Wyatt).  It is so hard to get a top guy over without someone you really want them to beat. Austin had McMahon, The Rock had Triple H, Cena had JBL, Triple H, Edge. Hogan had Piper and a whole cast of supporting heels.
  4. That wrist cocking thing.


In retrospect I wish he had become the Authority champion at Survivor Series 2015 and feuded with Rollins when he came back from injury.

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