It’s fair to say that Roman Reigns isn’t the most popular superstar amongst the WWE fans right now. But why is that?
He was part of one of the most beloved wrestling factions in recent memory in The Shield, and even Reigns’ harshest critics have to admit that he’s been in some great matches over the last few years, particularly against the likes of AJ Styles.
Roman is far from the finished article, but he is a more than capable worker, as his track record shows, so why does he get such a hard time from the WWE Universe?
Perhaps the booking of his character is to blame; there have certainly been many questionable decisions in that respect during Reigns’ career thus far, honourable mention goes to his infamous “suffering succotash” promo, which was just painful to watch.
But that incident alone does not explain the prolonged and intense disapproval that he has received since breaking out as a singles superstar, there are much more ill-advised choices that have added to this.
With that in mind, here are 5 incidents that made the fans dislike Roman Reigns.
As I eluded to, the problem with Reigns isn’t solely down to his own doing; it’s more that the situations he has been put in have worked against him. The first of which came at Royal Rumble 2015 which ended with him being universally booed by the crowd in attendance.
To understand the reasons for this, we have to go back to the previous year’s Rumble which was also negatively received by the fans. The consensus at the time of the 2014 Rumble was that it was Daniel Bryan’s year, he was the most over babyface the company had seen in years, and it seemed right that he should win the match and be given the resultant main event spot at that year’s WrestleMania, which he eventually did get but through an alternative route.
Therefore, the fans voiced their displeasure when Bryan not only didn’t win but wasn’t in the match whatsoever.
Fast forward 12 months and Bryan had just recently been cleared to return to the ring after injury and announced his entry into the 2015 Royal Rumble, so this would surely be Bryan’s year, or so the fans thought.
By the time the event came around, fans were hoping and expecting Bryan to have his moment, but he was eliminated early in the match, much to the ire of the crowd. As the match progressed, the fans had a growing sense that Roman was going to be the man to win and headline WrestleMania; therefore it was ‘The Big Dog’ who became the scapegoat for the fans’ anger and boy, did they let him hear it!
Roman was met with a chorus of boos every time he tried to do anything; the fans even got behind anti-American heel Rusev as the match got down to the final two participants. Unsurprisingly, Reigns’ victory was not well received by the crowd, not even an appearance by his cousin The Rock could stifle the intense displeasure that the fans were voicing.
It was a bad Royal Rumble for Roman, but hey, there’s always next year, right? Oh, wait…