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Roman Reigns: The People's Champion that the WWE Universe Doesn't Want
Very brief look at WWE Superstar Roman Reigns as a staple, and a theory as to why WWE audiences have a hard time connecting to the wrestler in spite of a number of attributes that characterize him as a champion for the people.
Depending on the city, Roman Reigns gets booed by more than half the audience on average. At times, he'll get the most intense cheers, the crowd's roar almost deafening to the ears -- and that's just watching it on any media device. And at other times, the crowd is bent on jeering at him, even when he hasn't said or done anything wrong. But … why?
Let's look at Roman Reigns' character. His one true mistake since joining the WWE was the inability to pass the WWE's wellness policy test, which has been rumored to be due to a number of reasons. However, he owned up to it and apologized for it like a man.
When he was beaten by Finn Balor in 2016, he didn't lose his cool or storm off hurt like some wrestlers do. Instead, he told an interviewer after exiting the ring that he respected Balor and definitely would look forward to a rematch sometime in the future.
For the past two weeks, he has spoken up about Lesnar's disrespectful no-shows to Raw, becoming the voice for fans who had been looking forward to Brock's appearance. For that, Roman was temporarily suspended, and last night on Raw, in spite of that suspension, he demanded to address Lesnar in the ring about these issues, afterwards complying when U.S. Marshals arrested him for trespassing.
Roman Reigns goes through the worst of times, and yet he doesn't waver in his convictions as a person. He's a regular person, like you and me, who makes mistakes and is willing to admit when they're wrong. He's the guy who constantly takes the crap that his opponents and the WWE dish out, and still strives to be of better moral character.
He's not perfect, which is why he's not the good guy, but he's not a corrupt person either, which is why he's not the bad guy. He's just a guy -- a mortal simply trying to navigate through life while aiming to be the best that they can be at what they do. He's not trying to do more or less. Doesn't that sound like, well, all of us?
So why don't more fans connect with Reigns? Perhaps it's the predictable story writing that McMahon and Co. continue to have for Reigns, leaving fans bored and somewhat resentful of the "Big Dog." Maybe his skill set is limited to repetitive moves. Or perhaps it’s Roman lack of the gift of gab that has audiences unimpressed. But not everyone can be Cena or the Rock; Reigns can only be who he is, and like anyone else, all he asks is that you respect him.
Or maybe the WWE universe just misses the old Roman Reigns: the quietly intense enforcer whose roar once had entire arenas roaring along; the Roman Reigns who used to fly over the top rope to crash into opponents; the Roman Reigns who seemed almost Superman-esque as the DC hero his punch is named after.