Roman Reigns, speaking less than 24 hours after claiming victory in the 2015 Royal Rumble, has admitted that the boos that accompanied his triumph were not what he expected - but backed the right of WWE fans to boo or cheer as they saw fit.
Speaking on Monday night's unorthodox RAW broadcast, Reigns took the opportunity to address what is a worrying situation for the WWE. With much of the Well Fargo Arena unhappy with the Rumble at its conclusion Reigns opened up about how he saw the situation.
Not such a happy ending
"“As a little boy, picturing myself winning the Royal Rumble, going on to headline WrestleMania…I was obviously hoping for a warmer response," explained Reigns.
"We’re just in the blizzards, we’re in the cold. Is life fair? No. I learned that at a very early age, life isn’t fair. "
With Reigns having initially burst onto the scene as a popular Superstar it seems the WWE's insistence to push him hard and early has backfired, with much of the WWE Universe now against his inclusion in the WrestleMania main event.
Roman Reigns though isn't about to turn on the fan base who pack out arenas across the country.
"All those fans in Philly, they paid their hard-earned money to come to that show and watch. So the way I look at it, if you in that arena, you can cheer or you can boo whoever you want."
Only the beginning
Reigns is right not to agitate the WWE fan base by calling them out over their reaction to his Rumble victory. As Jim Ross explained today even The Rock encountered critics in his early days in the limelight and the backlash to the rumble was largely caused by Daniel Bryan's early elimination rather than Reigns being the last man standing.
The fact that the WWE Superstar has risen so quickly to main event WrestleMania will irk some people but Reigns is backing himself to swim rather than sink.
With several months to go until the biggest event of the year, and with the WWE under fire from all corners, it remains to be seen whether the higher ups in the company continue to share Reigns enthusiasm as tensions build.
What do you think? Were the WWE right to back Reigns so early? Can he overcome the backlash at Royal Rumble? Let us know in the comments section below...
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