Roman Reigns is almost guaranteed to be the top guy in the WWE over the next few years because of the huge push he has received from the company over the past year and a bit.
At some point, the former Shield member will eventually get over with the WWE Universe, but right now, he isn't because he isn't the star the fans want to see at the top of the ladder. The fact the WWE is force-feeding him to fans is making the situation even worse.
Stone Cold Steve Austin knows all about this kind of reception. He wasn't liked straight off the bat when he made his WWE debut. Neither was Reigns' first cousin, The Rock. Austin has suggested that Reigns' career path in the company should follow a similar trajectory to The Great One.
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He said on The Steve Austin Show, according to Wrestling Inc: "When Rocky Maivia came in, he was a white meat babyface with the streamers and got over bad and dude got booed out of the building, 'Die Rocky Die' chants. Put him in the Nation [of Domination and] boom! He ousted Faarooq.
"He became the focal piece of that faction. Then, all of a sudden, we know the rest. He had one of the greatest runs in the history of the [professional wrestling] business. But he had to be hated first before he was universally loved. And I keep saying that Roman's going to have to go through a heel run before he is going to be universally loved."
A lot of people have suggested Reigns needs to go through a heel turn before he eventually becomes liked by the majority of the WWE Universe. He could even become the anti-hero like Stone Cold and fans would appreciate him more.
How The Rock was able to connect with the audience was through emotion and charisma, and he was able to do this in abundance. The Texas Rattlesnake has also said he would like to see more of 'The Samoan Badass' from The Big Dog but is concerned that the former Shield member doesn't convey this as he is worried about making mistakes.
"With respect to Roman Reigns, dude, you just got to go for it. I think you just throw caution to the wind and say, 'what the f-?', and just go for it."
Austin added: "There's not enough fire and it's not just within his promo. I would dare say it's also within his work, so, dude, just channel it out. And be offensive with it. That means, like [Vince Russo] said, be on offense. Don't be on defense. Don't be afraid. Just go out and do it."
Reigns will have one of the biggest matches of his career at WrestleMania 32 next month when he faces Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The way he performs in this match and building up to it will be key as the whole world will be watching.
If he fails here, it's difficult to see how fans will stick around with the WWE after two failed matches for him to win the championship at WrestleMania. Even if he does win, and he receives boos, then it's also tough to understand how the WWE can keep pushing a guy the crowd simply doesn't want to be there.
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