Just days away from WWE’s flagship event, and I’m still fretting over the main event. What can say? I’m a worrier. Perhaps it’s wrong for me to cringe every time Roman Reigns hits a milestone within his WWE career, only to get booed out of the stadium. But as I sat watching the WWE Network this weekend, catching up on an old episode of Total Divas, I took a breath, and realized a few major points.

Not EVERYONE needs to like Roman Reigns.

Not EVERYONE needs to cheer him incessantly whenever he wins.

And not EVERYONE needs to be a fan, for him to be considered top face.

I swear I’m not going crazy, but perhaps the reaction Roman Reigns gets, is the exact reason the WWE keeps pushing him so, continues to book him as a main eventer, and keeps him in the title race picture.

Now what does Total Divas have to do with Roman Reigns. It was this clip where Eva Marie was talking about her NXT debut, and how she got booed out of the stadium. While the parallels aren’t the best example, she made a point when talking about fan reaction; and the point was quite valid. Who cares what kind of reaction you get from the live crowd, as long as you get one?

Eva Marie providing such pro wrestling insight when it comes to audience acceptance and being interactive? Who knew? But, the #AllRedEverything star had a valid point.

Which brings me to Roman Reigns. Sure, there was a point in late 2015 where it seemed like Reigns was winning over the entire WWE Universe, and then things came to a crashing halt when the 2016 Royal Rumble hit. I’ve always said, it could just be the venues, or the Road to Wrestlemania season, but sadly (or not so tearfully if you are a Reigns hater), but Roman has been getting more jeers from the crowd than applause as of late. Not breaking news, but one must remember: the man gets a reaction, and a loud one at that. Yes, he’s a face. Yes, Triple H is the so-called heel in this program (although HHH does walk a fine line time and again due to his history with the fans, and the respect many have for him); but does it really matter in the end? Are jeers and cheers really an afterthought as long as you are getting a huge reaction? Fans are still passionate about this feud, and I’m only basing this judgement on crowd reaction, when watching WWE programming.

Still, getting back to Reigns. This polarizing popularity has worked very well for the WWE when it comes to John Cena; a superstar who still might be hated by a specific demographic of the WWE Universe, but sells tons of merchandise for the company, acts as a reputable spokesperson, is well-known amongst non-WWE fans, and still happens to get a huge reaction whenever he enters a WWE arena. I’ve written about this in the past, I believe Cena to be the invisible heel of our era; and Reigns might simply be following in his footsteps.

We have most certainly entered a new day and age when it comes to the WWE, and targeting certain demographics. When you look at the WWE main roster, no two superstars really look alike; and that’s including the female roster (Bella Twins excluded!) Gimmicks and characters are produced so that there is a plethora of personalities that many within the WWE Universe can choose to identify and relate with. While the roster is split into three to four tiers (lower mid-card, upper mid-card, main eventers, part-timers with incredible legacies); it’s only natural that some superstars will be chosen to be in the title picture and main event RAWs/SmackDowns, pay-per-view events, as well as Wrestlemania and SummerSlam. However, the ones that truly get the fans going; whether that negative or positive, will be given top opprotunities. Then there are the disputable talents (i.e. the Zigglers and Cesaros of the world) where fans and media alike cannot understand why they aren’t placed in the spotlight more, but who am I to speculate when I am not privy to backstage information, and all sides of the proverbial coin.

If Reigns is selling his merchandise well, obviously putting the work in, doing as he is told, keeping his nose clean, and getting a reaction? Why wouldn’t he be main eventing two Wrestlemanias in a row? And the man is not only getting a reaction from each arena he enters, Reigns the wrestler, Reigns the WWE character, and Reigns the person continues to be surrounded by a certain buzz on the internet. People want to know more about him; whether you love or hate the guy.

Furthermore, while I don’t believe in using the word ‘never’, the truth is, the days of one wrestler erupting a live WWE crowd are long gone. The days of one wrestler carrying the company are gone. I do believe Daniel Bryan was the last of this type of legacy, simply due to the fact that there are so many different pro wrestling fans now, with differing opinions, insight; and trying to fit one character and one catchphrase into a gimmick box might just *almost* be impossible. Am I downplaying Roman Reigns’ success or potential for success? No. While I am a fan, I still feel he has some way to go, and unfortunately in a lot of ways, he’s been given a bad rap by some fans. The fact that he keeps going, and doesn’t let the negative reaction get him down is a testimony to his attitude.

But I think Reigns should be satisfied with the reaction he is getting. The lines continue to blur when it comes to good versus evil in the wrestling world; heel versus face, and this is something that continues to evolve. The days of appeasing the mass majority of fans with one talent is gone, and Reigns has been able to accomplish something that only one other man before him has done; and it’s the man the WWE wants Reigns to replace. In a lot of ways, Roman Reigns hasn’t failed at the goal of being top face, he’s succeeded in a far less amount of time – and yet is still angered and hated by a segment of the WWE Universe in much the same way John Cena is.

So, to answer my question, does EVERYONE need to LOVE Roman Reigns for him to still be considered the top face for the company? I say … no.

WNZ fans … what do YOU say? Leave your comments below!

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