Currently residing on Friday Night SmackDown as ‘The Tribal Chief’, Roman Reigns has become one of WWE’s greatest heel characters, but it wasn’t an easy journey. Reigns was previously positioned in the company as a supposed uber-babyface, a role that fans didn’t buy. This, akin to John Cena, brought immense hatred Reigns’ way.
Turning to the dark side upon his SummerSlam 2020 return, however, Roman Reigns has ironically gotten over with the audience, who believe the current Undisputed WWE Universal Champion is on the run of his career right now. The run has included Reigns surpassing two years as champion and surrounding himself with The Bloodline.
Vince McMahon Was Hesitant To Turn Roman Reigns
Needless to say, Vince McMahon wasn’t always open to switching Roman Reigns’ character alignment. Matt Hardy, who spent three years in WWE as a colleague of Roman’s, discussed the ex-WWE boss refusing to execute the change on the latest Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast:
“I remember Vince was so hesitant for so many years to turn Roman into a heel. Roman as the top babyface, which he was being pushed and promoted as during that time, I knew whenever they decided to turn him heel, because fans were already booing, they were ready and it was gonna be easy to do, and all it was gonna do ultimately was make him into a much bigger star.”
Matt Hardy added that he believes Roman Reigns is currently one of the biggest stars in all of professional wrestling, noting his proven success as a top draw:
“Yeah, I think it’s been really good. I honestly believe the biggest difference in being successful as a top draw as a heel nowadays is the fans because they just understand better. It’s kind of been whittled down to a smaller niche of pro wrestling fans, and they really get what’s going on.”
Roman Reigns is next scheduled to wrestle at WWE Crown Jewel on November 5, defending the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against Logan Paul.