5 unexpected times the WWE Universe rejected face stars
In WWE, matches and feuds are the most effective if there are clearly defined heels and faces. The good guys try to stop the bad guys from doing whatever villainous things. Whether it's for revenge or respect, feuds are easier to follow if they have elements of good and evil.
That used to be easy to do, but the way fans cheer has changed since the early days of Hulk Hogan. Once he started to win every match and title, some fans started to turn on The Hulkster. It was part of why his heel turn as Hollywood Hogan was so effective.
Since the 2000s, fans have started cheering or booing for any star, match, or the angle they don't like. The shifting influence forced the bookers to adjust storylines so that the WWE Universe wouldn't take over the angle.
Fans were upset that Daniel Bryan got screwed out of the title, so he was added to the match at WrestleMania 30. Due to the evolution of the WWE Universe, the audience has become an important part of the show.
Due to this, several faces have seen the crowd reject their push. Here are five unexpected instances from WWE history where that happened.
#5. Liv Morgan's rollercoaster ride as SmackDown Women's Champion
As the only member of the Riott Squad left in WWE, Liv Morgan has had a tough road to traverse. She didn't join the company as an indie wrestler but managed to learn enough to become a believable star in the ring.
Over the last two years, she's also built up a relationship with the fans. Morgan has improved and it has paid off with loud cheers from the audience. Her cash-in at Money in the Bank was well received. However, that changed as her defense against Rousey at SummerSlam ended messily.
Fans started to boo after the match as the referee did not see Morgan tapping out while Rousey's shoulders were on the mat. On the following episode of SmackDown, fans booed their once-beloved performer.
It would be hard to see Morgan turning heel after being so loved by the fans, but fans cheered for Rousey on the latest SmackDown.
#4. Seth Rollins saw his stock change against the Fiend
Seth Rollins has bounced back and forth between portraying heels and faces. He's great at both, but it was during his last face run that he experienced something new.
After taking the WWE title from Brock Lesnar, Rollins was beloved by fans. He was scrappy and brave and took on any challenger. Once the Fiend emerged, however, things in WWE shifted. A large portion of the audience loved the unique and different nature of Bray Wyatt's alter-ego.
The Fiend's quick popularity inevitably led to a title program with Rollins. Due to how over Wyatt was, fans started to turn on The Architect. As Wyatt absorbed all of the punishment during their match at Hell in a Cell, fans booed when Rollins eventually won.
That instance led to the former Shield member turning heel and creating the delusional character he still portrays to this day.
#3. Roman Reigns' early pushes elicited boos
Reigns was placed alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins as members of the Shield. Rollins and Ambrose were seasoned veterans of the wrestling business due to their time on the independent scene. The Big Dog, however, came from the football field and was known as a relative of The Rock.
Once the Shield broke up, it became apparent that Reigns was going to be pushed to the moon. He soon won several big matches but was nearly booed out of the building after winning the 2015 Royal Rumble.
It was so bad that even the Rock couldn't get a favorable reaction after coming out to raise Roman's hand after winning the Rumble. Fans have already witnessed stories of over-pushed faces in the past with both Hogan and John Cena.
#2. The Rock was booed out of the building under his first WWE gimmick
Rocky Maivia was The Rock's first moniker as a member of the WWE roster. He was a stereotypical face who always smiled and said he did what he did for all of the fans. The Wrestling World was changing when he debuted, and so were the audiences.
It didn't take long for the WWE Universe to reject this character as it didn't seem authentic. The character's future was heavily in doubt as the audience routinely chanted "Die Rocky Die" whenever Maivia came out to the ring.
His introduction to the wrestling world didn't start favorably, but he certainly turned it in his favor. He took off once he turned heel and the rest is history.
#1. John Cena's WWE career was a love-hate relationship
John Cena debuted in 2002 and eventually became the new Golden Boy. He defeated JBL in 2005 at WrestleMania 21 and won the WWE Championship. The former star would go on to win 15 more major titles in his WWE career.
Due to his dominance in the main event scene, fans quickly turned on the Leader of Cenation. The level of hatred was never more evident than at the ECW One Night Stand in 2006. One fan in attendance held a sign that read, "If Cena wins, we riot."
The moment went on to define the rest of his career as fans were tired of his constant presence in the title picture. Things got so bad with fans that dueling chants of "Let's Go Cena" and "Cena S*cks" would take over any show where he appeared. He eventually embraced the chants and how the fans expressed their feelings at the events.
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