Why and How WWE Should Turn Roman Reigns Heel
Why Turn Roman Heel?
Roman Reigns is in a rut. He's been essentially the same character, with little to no variation, since he debuted with The Shield in 2012. He's gotten better on the mic, to be sure, but charisma is not his strong suit.
The lack of development for his character is even more glaring when you compare it to that of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Both of those gentlemen have enjoyed successful character development and have come to stand on their own as top guys in WWE. Roman is certainly a top guy based on his booking but the most vocal fans have never accepted him as such.
I believe turning Roman Reigns heel will provide an excellent opportunity to supercharge his character development and will give the WWE Universe someone on Raw to truly hate. Because let's be honest, there are no heels on Raw that people actually hate. No one actually hates Owens or Jericho. We all love them because they are hilarious, charismatic, and great performers. Raw needs a true heel, one that everyone actually hates. Roman can be that guy. For a corollary: Look at Smackdown. The Miz is the one truly hated character on that show and Smackdown is better off because of him.
How to pull it off
We know we want Roman Reigns to turn heel. The heat he'd get would be volcanic. Here is how I would pull it off:
Continue to have Roman and Seth buddy up, giving us the warm fuzzies any sort of Shield reunion tease stirs in our hearts. Ramp it up all the way until Wrestlemania when Seth Rollins finally faces HHH, one on one in a "No Disqualifications" match.
During that match Kevin Owens comes out to attack Seth and give HHH an advantage, aiming to secure both his spot as a top guy and a HHH win. This in turn brings Reigns out to even the playing field.
Fast forward to the key moment of the match. Seth is on the verge of breaking, HHH is on the prowl and Owens is stirring outside the ring (after a massive Superman Punch, of course). Only Reigns can save him at this point.
Roman starts to enter the ring, makes eye contact with Rollins, grins as HHH stands behind Rollins, and then walks up the ramp leaving Seth defenseless to the beating HHH and Owens are all too eager to deliver.
In one fell swoop: HHH goes out on top, in what is potentially his last Wrestlemania match, Rollins completes his face turn, Owens refreshes his heel status in what I'm assuming will be a post-Jericho world, and Reigns finally turns heel and does so in a huge way.
The next night on Raw the show opens to an empty ring and brand new entrance music hits. After about 15 seconds of awkwardness Roman Reigns, the Universal Champion, walks to the ring in a brand new outfit. Gone are The Shield music and The Shield clothes. What we see is the NEW, and more importantly, real Roman Reigns.
On the mic Roman explains to the finally satisfied WWE Universe that he's been playing them the whole time...and Seth Rollins too. Ever since Seth betrayed both he and Ambrose, he's been patiently plotting his revenge.
He'd say something like:
"I patiently rebuilt our friendship, baiting him into the belief that I actually forgave him. I regained his trust and then I waited for the perfect time to destroy his world. Wrestlemania, HHH, Seth's one chance to move on and prove that he's "The Man"...and I took it from him.
Heel turn finally complete.
Problems with this proposal
This proposal is not without a few flaws:
- Roman has to be convincingly well spoken to make the turn work
- If his turn is based on conniving, planning, vengeance, and malice he has to be able to back it up on the mic. He can't be "The Guy" anymore. He has to be calculated and ruthless.
- Roman Reigns is a HUGE marketing win for WWE
- The dude sells so much merchandise and WWE is a for-profit company after all. Turning one of your top earners heel is a decision taken very seriously, and I'm sure not a decision left solely up to Creative.
So there you have it, my proposal for turning Roman Reigns into the best bad guy WWE has seen on Raw in a while. I'm sure there are other holes in my proposal, so please point them out. I'd also love to hear your thoughts: should WWE turn Roman Reigns heel? Why or why not??