It is widely known among WWE fans that Roman Reigns was the choice to be the top guy in the company, and the new face of the promotion. There are many complaints about Reigns floating around the Internet. People say he’s a bad promo, that he can’t wrestle, and that he has not earned his push. Everyone says WWE got it wrong and that he shouldn’t be a top star. The crowd reaction even proves that.
The problem here is that WWE was not wrong when it chose Roman Reigns. He has almost everything one needs to become successful in WWE. He has a great look, he is athletic and has improved so much, that you can no longer truthfully say he can’t wrestle. There could be some improvement with promos, but that struggle could have been hidden.
Reigns was just pushed at the wrong time.
Trying to figure out why Roman is hated so much and why his push has failed so badly is somewhat of a short history lesson. It obviously starts with The Shield. Everyone in The Shield was heavily pushed from the start. They were new, and to the main roster audience, relatively unknown.
Fast forward to the Royal Rumble in 2014. It had leaked on the Internet that Batista was coming back and going to be in the Rumble match. It was also known that Batista was slated to win that match. When the final two men in the match were Batista and Roman Reigns, the crowd cheered for Reigns because they did not want Batista to win. They were angry that Vince McMahon had chosen a part-timer over someone like Daniel Bryan, who had “earned” it.
WWE must have seen this as the sign to pull the trigger on Reigns. Everyone knows the story of what followed with Bryan, Batista, and The Shield in the following months. After The Shield breakup, Reigns was inserted into the world title picture, and no one had a problem with it. Months later, after recovering from a sports hernia injury, he was cheered during his return. He was still being cheered the week before the Royal Rumble on Raw.
Then the Royal Rumble came, and once again the winner took Daniel Bryan’s spot away. And then a month later, added insult to injury by beating Bryan one-on-one. People thought WrestleMania 31 would be Reigns’ coronation, but it ended up being Seth Rollins’ night. Reigns dropped into the midcard in order to restart the push, and while this was happening, fans became indifferent. He had a feud with Bray Wyatt that didn’t exactly elevate either of them.
There was not a strong feeling towards Reigns either way until Survivor Series, when it was obvious that Roman would have beaten a healthy Rollins, and that he would win a tournament for the vacated title. This time around, the hate was more severe, and the booing was louder. The cheers were almost gone completely. And this hate was different. This was directed towards the people in the back that refused to push the people they cared about. Fans wanted guys like Dean Ambrose who had entertained them and earned their respect.
Instead, WWE gave fans a championship feud of Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus.
From Roman’s first title reign until now, he has been the most hated person in the company, including ultra-heel Stephanie McMahon. For months, people wanted someone to pin Reigns, but were disappointed every time. Fans pleaded for WWE to pick someone else. Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, they would have even accepted another John Cena world title reign over Roman Reigns.
And then comes Money in the Bank. A returning Seth Rollins beats Reigns for the title, then goes to a draw with him the next night. Then the suspension happens. For 30 days everyone wonders when Reigns is going to get the title back. Hoping the push will be over, but knowing that Reigns will overcome all odds.
At Battleground, he takes the pinfall from Ambrose. Most think it is probably part of his punishment for getting suspended, and he’ll be the No. 1 contender for the Raw title. Until Finn Balor debuts and pins Rusev, and in the main event beats Reigns clean.
Is the Reigns push over? Only time will tell, but at this point it looks like it is finished. There was a chance to put him back in the main event of SummerSlam and give him the title back, but WWE did not do it. Reigns was given every opportunity to become the top star and did the best he could. This could be another attempt to garner sympathy for Reigns and restart the push once again. But if that happens, it will be met with more hate, and the cycle will continue