John Cena vs Roman Reigns - Another attempt to turn the fans in favour of The Big Dog?
Roman Reigns has received a lot of hate from the fans throughout his career. No matter where he goes, or whom he faces, the fans only boo him out of the building, even more, when he wins matches. His in-ring ability is pretty great - he is muscular, agile, resilient, and has all the moves in his arsenal.
His skills inside the ring are something that every wrestler can dream of having. And yet, no arena has ever been appreciative of him. While some say that getting a reaction is most important, whether positive or negative, it is true that the fans boo him loudly, to call him names, and that is a good thing. They notice him at least.
However, WWE has been trying to turn the fans in his favour for a very long period, but have had minimal success at it. "The Big Dog" has all it takes to be the face of the company, minus the fan support, which the company is trying to achieve. But the efforts either do not bear any fruits or sometimes just work the other way.
Feud with Braun Strowman
"The Monster Among Men" Braun Strowman was introduced to the WWE universe as a member of the Wyatt Family, one of the disciples of Bray Wyatt. From the word go, the audience hated him, as he caused utter destruction to Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns in his first appearance on Raw.
Further, it gradually became evident that there was hardly any match for his strength and character in the locker room, and he had to demand some competition, beating down superstars every week, until he finally found a fighting spirit in Reigns. Their feud went on for months, was full of unorthodox offence, physical destruction, tables being broken, and chairs used on bodies like they were meant to have toyed around.
Nonetheless, it was a thrilling encounter week after week, and the fans just couldn't get enough. It brought a lot out of Reigns, so the fans could notice and see him as a super talent. However, the fans enjoyed a beat-down of Reigns at the hand of the monster and started cheering for Strowman instead.
His dominance of Reigns paved way for the fans to believe that he could be the man to dethrone Brock Lesnar and end his long-reigning dominance over the locker room. As for Roman Reigns, it did no good with trying to change the audience's reaction.
Feud with Bray Wyatt
Roman was challenged by the self-proclaimed god, Bray Wyatt, as he took upon himself to remove the Samoan off the top spot. After failing to win the championship gold against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31, Reigns slid down from the main event guy to a regular face in the locker room.
His rivalry with Wyatt was expected to be intense as the leader of the Wyatt Family was a strong in-ring competitor, who would refuse to lay down long enough for the three count.
This storyline was meant to strengthen support for Reigns as Wyatt was coming off a match with the Phenom, where he failed to conquer "The Deadman". However, the WWE universe always found a way to see the negatives in Roman.
Twitter Battle with the Cenation Leader
Cena and Reigns got involved in a battle of words when the Cenation leader tweeted this:
Reigns was quick to respond:
Perhaps this was supposed to set a fire between the two, making it look as a real life grudge, slowly taking it into the squared circle.
John Cena - The young talent promotion machine
John Cena has been known to promote young talent in the company. The primary reason for Cena being capable of doing this is the immense crowd reaction that he gets out of any arena he enters. The WWE merchandise sales from Cena's fruity combinations are the highest, so he is on top there, even though the audience might boo him at the top of their voices.
They just love to do it, they love to respond to this guy, reach out with their thoughts on him, whether good or bad. And that accounts for something - that is some strong showmanship.
His career in WWE, Hollywood, Make A Wish Foundation, and WWE live tours have ensured that he represents the company wherever he goes and that is a huge opportunity for WWE to associate a great many things to this man.
One such strategy is the promotion of young talent. WWE Universe witnessed a lot of character from younger wrestlers in the locker room during Cena's US Title Open Challenge, where week after week we would see competition from youngsters, trying to make a name for themselves.
He has been responsible for the rise of wrestlers like Rusev, Kevin Owens, AJ Styles in the recent past. His match against Shinsuke Nakamura was the most awaited and indeed the young prodigy received a lot of love from the crowd when he laid the Kinshasa on Cena to get the three count and beat the 16-time world champion clean.
Intent to Push Roman
As much as the WWE universe respects Cena, they also like to see him get a beatdown. Cena has set huge benchmarks for himself in the past with matches like the 'I Quit Match', 'Ironman Match', 'Last Man Standing Match', and the world has witnessed his endurance, strength, and character to win big matches.
His recent 'Flag Match' against Rusev was physical, nail-biting and had a lot of patriotism involved, with the entire arena supporting Cena to hold the US Flag high. So the plan with this feud with Roman Reigns is to let the universe see that "The Big Dog" indeed has what it takes to be at the top of the ladder. Reigns can do that by beating the man who has carried the company on his shoulders for over a decade.
However, things are not going as per the plan yet as the audience continues to boo Reigns during his promos with Cena, where Cena verbally destroys Reigns', while Reigns struggles to make a comeback. The crowd loves it, seeing Roman fail repeatedly. This is supposed to be a build-up, making "The Big Dog" look like an underdog and then coming out with a surprise victory at the PPV, to win respect.
When Cena says it, WWE's fans believe it. Hence, if Roman wins some respect from Cena, he would surely make some fans in the crowd. That is what the WWE hopes to achieve from this battle.