Roman Reigns was thrust into the main-event spotlight by the WWE higher-ups, resulting in his victory in the 2015 Royal Rumble match.
This was a major turning-point for fans who clearly felt that Reigns was not the right man to be in the main event of Wrestlemania 31, where he would take on the Beast Incarnate and conqueror of the streak, Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
As a result of this, WWE changed plans and had Seth Rollins cash in his Money in the Bank contract, much to the delight of the majority inside Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
So why exactly was Roman Reigns rejected by the majority of fans in the WWE Universe? There are a few possible reasons for this.
Fans' desire to see Bryan succeed
Daniel Bryan is no-doubt a fans favorite in the WWE Universe, and the YES! Movement carried Bryan to a massive WWE World Heavyweight Championship win in New Orleans at WrestleMania 30.
The events that followed was a major disappointment with Bryan needing neck surgery and being stripped of the title. After nine months out, he returned to compete in the Royal Rumble, and fans wanted to see the YES! Man overcome the odds and win the rumble, and then be the man to beat the 1 in 21-1. A great story could have been told.
Unfortunately for Bryan, and also the fans, especially those at the Royal Rumble in Philadelphia, Bryan was unceremoniously dumped out of the Rumble half-way through by Bray Wyatt, and fans were denied the feel-good moment of seeing their guy main-event WrestleMania again.
The obvious two to win the rumble were Bryan and Reigns, and with Bryan out before Reigns entered, it was predictable that Reigns would win, and fans turned on Reigns as he took a spot that another person deserved, in their eyes.
Since then, Bryan did win the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 31, which did please the fans somewhat. However, with rumors of Bryan's injury problems coming to light, it does seem as though going with Bryan for the WrestleMania main-event would have been the wrong decision, with a repeat of the previous year on the cards.
Roman Reigns is not ready
Roman Reigns had long-been touted by most as the future of the company. His role as the enforcer in The Shield got him over with fans, along with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose.
Demonstrated at the 2014 Royal Rumble, where he broke Kane's record by eliminating 12 Superstars in a single rumble match. He was in the final two with Batista, who fans rejected, and as a result, fans egged on Reigns to win.
Since the break-up of The Shield, Reigns has had his problems, with a lack of big wins under his belt. He defeated Randy Orton at SummerSlam 2014, but then suffered a hernia injury shortly after.
His return at WWE Tables Ladders and Chairs 2014 was underwhelming to say the least, and apart from cheap wins against Seth Rollins, and a victory over Daniel Bryan at WWE Fastlane 2015 has not beaten other big names. Adding to that the infamous 'Looney Tunes' promos, Reigns lost the majority of his appreciation by the fans, culminating at the backlash from his victory at the Royal Rumble.
WWE telling fans who to get behind
This is a major mistake by the WWE. Fans pay their hard-earned money to come and watch live WWE shows, and therefore should have the right to get behind who they want. Despite this, WWE has insisted on telling fans who to support, even before Reigns, with John Cena the prime example.
Cena has been the face of the company for over a decade, but as far as most fans are concerned, his character became stale several years ago, and a character-change, or even more a heel turn has been touted as desirable by fans. Cena himself has admitted he would be open to the idea.
But the WWE higher-ups have continued to push Cena as the never-say-die Hustle, Loyalty and Respect character, which a lot of people have come to despise. With him constantly being in the main-event scene till recently, fans have gotten sick of seeing him as a main-eventer.
The fans view is that Reigns is being pushed as the next John Cena, which fans do not want to see for Reigns. This culminated at the Royal Rumble, with all the fan favourites simply discarded out of the match. With example of Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler and even Bray Wyatt, who lasted a long time only to be just chucked out by Big Show and Kane, WWE simply said to fans that these guys are not the ones you should follow, but Reigns is the one. Especially with the following endorsement by The Rock, who fans popped for when he came to his cousin's aid, only for Reigns to be booed again as soon as The Rock held up his hand in victory.
What do you make of Roman Reigns and can he become the face of the WWE? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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