WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle believes that the Stamford-based company should have turned Roman Reigns heel earlier in his career.
After spending two years in developmental, Reigns joined the main roster as part of The Shield. Although the group initially debuted as heels, they later turned into babyfaces. Following their split, the current Undisputed WWE Universal Champion continued as a face despite being booed by many fans.
In 2020, the 37-year-old finally turned heel when he attacked Braun Strowman and The Fiend Bray Wyatt after their match at SummerSlam and aligned himself with Paul Heyman. Since then, Reigns has established The Bloodline alongside his cousins, The Usos & Solo Sikoa, Heyman, and Sami Zayn.
Speaking on The Kurt Angle Show, the Olympic gold medalist addressed Reigns' evolution in WWE. Angle noted that The Tribal Chief was improving dramatically in 2017.
"I thought Roman was improving dramatically. I won't agree that at the beginning of his career he should have been pushed as hard as he was pushed. He was still a little green. But Vince [McMahon] had faith in him. And Vince did the right thing because Roman Reigns turned out to be an incredible performer. I mean Roman Reigns is one of the best workers in the business today and he earned that spot," he said. (3:00 - 3:20)
However, the Hall of Famer pointed out that the company should have turned The Tribal Chief heel earlier in his career, considering the character's incredible success.
"They should have turned him heel a long time ago. This is the best stuff he's doing right now today, him being a heel doing the whole family thing, acknowledge me, it's really good stuff." (3:47 - 4:00)
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WWE United States Champion Austin Theory wants to dethrone Roman Reigns
In August 2020, Roman Reigns captured the Universal Championship after defeating The Fiend and Braun Strowman at Payback. He has now held the title for nearly 822 days. Last April, The Tribal Chief beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 38 to win the WWE Championship and become the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.
While many have tried to dethrone The Bloodline leader over the past few months, including Brock Lesnar, Drew McIntyre, and John Cena, they all failed. However, current United States Champion Austin Theory now wants to be the one to capture the coveted title from Reigns.
"Whoever is going to beat Roman Reigns it's gotta be someone that is really going to beat Roman Reigns and not just by some luck and I think the chapter that Austin Theory is headed now, is setting him up to build to being that qualifier to stand toe to toe with Roman Reigns," he told CityNews Ottawa.
There are four signs that Gunther could dethrone Roman Reigns. Check them out here.
If you use quotes from the first half of the article, please credit The Kurt Angle Show and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription.