There isn’t anyone in pro wrestling with more pressure right now than Roman Reigns. Reigns has been under tremendous scrutiny heading into WrestleMania 31 yet the WWE star is staying positive as he closes in on the biggest night of his career.
Reigns was asked about the criticism over whether he deserves his spot. “We have a very strong hardcore fan base and they go in a bit deeper than just what the storyline is. One thing that kind of confuses me is that it is a performance, it is a show, there is a storyline. When people start doing the “He deserves this, He deserves that”, really did Brad Pitt deserved to be Achilles in Troy? It’s a weird world that we live in; it’s very real but very scripted at the same time. It’s a fine line and in my opinion that’s what makes it so neat.”
He does make a great point. It is scripted and whether he deserves it or not really shouldn’t be an issue. One thing that is troubling is Reigns putting it all on hardcore fans. I tune into RAW every week and I watch fans of all ages remain apathetic towards Reigns. It isn’t just the hardcore fans. They are a small minority. The majority of WWE fans from casuals to kids to hardcore are just not buying into what he is selling.
Reigns elaborated a bit on this perceived hate the hardcore fans have towards him. “I don’t think I’m head butting with them, I feel like they are head butting me. I don’t do anything but go out there and bust my ass every single week…Even when I was with the Shield, I’ve always had the critics and I think a lot of it goes with the background of me not having that independent experience, especially being paired up with guys like Seth and Dean because those guys are journeymen. The things they had to do are second to none.”
I will say this. Sometimes Reigns says something that leads me to believe he has a lack of self-awareness. This statement tells me otherwise. He is right in that the hardcore fan base does have an invested interest in independent heroes like Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins. That said, that isn’t the only reason hardcore fans aren’t buying into him. Plus, when he was with the Shield most hardcore fans loved him.
Maybe the most interesting comments came when he was asked about scripted promos. “I don’t think handcuffing is the right term. I look at it as a challenge. Obviously as a performer, I would love to go out there and go off of impulse, just go off into the arena and feel what’s going, but it is a show, it is a performance, and there is a lot that goes into this machine… For me, I know for a fact I haven’t told my full story. There is still so much more about me that I want to show the world.”
One thing that is refreshing here is that Reigns seems to be handling the pressures just fine. Many others would have cracked under the pressure, yet Reigns is still putting a positive spin on it. WWE officials have to feel good about that.