By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE star Roman Reigns was asked about the idea of turning heel in an ESPN interview. “It’s a weird question because aren’t I already a heel?” Reigns said. “If I garner that reaction, what’s the point? It’s already happening. If I’m already being booed, then why try to get booed? I have a great opportunity, because I’m a gray-area guy, to do a little bit of everything. I’m in a good place to do whatever I want and just play with this character and not just be a heel or a face. I feel my character can be so much more than that.”
Reigns also spoke of working against Daniel Bryan: “Y’all wanna see me turn heel? Put me in the ring with him. We can talk about so many different things, about wrestling and the different things that make up the art form and the performance, but when it comes down to it, it’s about making people make a lot of noise. Obviously with the reactions and the way I stir up the crowd, I think it would make up for a pretty dynamic and electric atmosphere. Bryan is one of the best ever to mix it up in the ring, I have a lot of respect for him. To see someone like him on top and have it all taken away so fast, it’s very scary.” Read the full interview at ESPN.com.
Powell’s POV: Reigns is delivering the company line about already already being a heel because he’s being booed. The truth is obviously that Vince McMahon would love for him to be cheered and universally accepted as the top babyface in the company. And while Reigns certainly gets a reaction, I strongly believe he would be even more valuable if he were positioned as a true heel and fans were encouraged to root against him. In fact, taking that approach could even lead to fans accepting him as a babyface somewhere down the road. I’ll never understand why McMahon is so stubborn when it comes to the way he has positioned Reigns. I know the company likes to frame it as if only hardcore fans feel Reigns should be a true heel, but that’s simply not the case. In fact, it’s hard to find many people in the industry not on the WWE payroll who feel the company should stay the course with Reigns. I do hear from people who feel like a lot of people who boo Reigns currently would cheer him if he turned heel. I don’t subscribe to that theory, but even if that actually were true then couldn’t you just apply the same “any reaction is a good reaction” excuse the defenders currently use?