clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why do you hate Roman Reigns?

Fans wanted a heel Roman Reigns, but now contempt for the Tribal Chief is at an all-time high.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Roman Reigns’ Twitter

If I were to sing the praises of Bryan Danielson or Kenny Omega as I do for Roman Reigns, I’d likely be in better standing with some of our readers. But because I wax poetic over a WWE superstar that many online fans have rejected and sought reasons to detest since 2014, I must be a troll or running a gimmick.

Nope. What you read is what you get.

I’ve been watching wrestling since 1985, so to call Roman Reigns the greatest wrestler of all time might be a slight on my part to men like Harley Race and Strangler Lewis. But compared to Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, or any legend I’ve seen in the last forty years, I absolutely put the Head of the Table at the top of the list.

Reigns is as efficient a wrestler as Hogan and connects with the crowd, albeit negatively, in a way that only the Hulkster has. He’s as masterful a storyteller as Bret Hart while raising the value of everyone he works with in a way not seen since Ric Flair. And he’s quickly becoming an attraction on par with Brock Lesnar or The Rock.

Also, his gimmick as the Tribal Chief is as cool as the produce section at Costco.

Now that you understand me better, I want to understand you. Specifically, I want to know why some of you hate Roman Reigns so much. So much, in fact, that there’s a Wikipedia entry dedicated to the persona and reception of Roman Reigns.

According to the Wikipedia page, early resentment of Reigns ranged from his perceived special treatment, real-life demeanor, moveset, speaking skills, and presentation.

Whatever the reason, not long after the breakup of the Shield in 2014, there were demands that WWE turn Reigns heel.

Then in 2020, the heavens opened up, and Reigns finally gave everyone what they wanted. Yet, some are still complaining. They don’t like that he cheats to win or how he treats his family, calling him a bully.

But that’s what villains do! They cheat, manipulate people, and throw their weight around. A heel’s job is to make you hate him, and in that respect, Reigns is doing a phenomenal job. People wanted to boo him, and he’s giving them every reason to jeer him, and still they’re upset. I don’t get it.

“He’s a part-timer who hijacked the world title, and now he barely wrestles.”

Ah, now we come to perhaps the main issue folks have with Roman Reigns. So I must ask, why does his schedule bother you?

In All Elite Wrestling, Maxwell Jacob Friedman has been the World Champion since last November. He’s wrestled five times since then, defending his title three times. Yet, no one’s calling for Tony Khan to take the championship off MJF, who’s cheated to win in all three of his title defenses.

But I digress. Let’s get back to Reigns.

For those who take issue with Reigns’ light schedule, how often does SmackDown come to your town? Does WWE even visit your city? Because unless the blue brand runs weekly shows at your local arena, I don’t understand the problem. What are you missing?

If you want to see Roman Reigns wrestle, you know exactly where he’ll be: Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and whenever WWE heads to Saudi Arabia. And as his recent tour dates show, he’s not above making special appearances.

But if you can’t make it to those shows, you can comfortably watch Reigns’ next title defense at home on Peacock like everyone else, including your Noble Scribe.

Oh, I get it. You think it’s unfair to the rest of the talent that the part-timer gets to be WWE’s leading man while the full-timers beneath him battle for scraps. I can understand that because it probably affects your favorite wrestler.

Unfortunately, I can’t relate since my other boy, GUNTHER, is killing it as the Intercontinental Champion. I could try to offer you a business explanation as to why WWE sees value in Reigns as Champion, but I doubt that will provide much comfort. All I can suggest is to keep rooting for your guy, and hopefully, he’ll catch a break.

Beyond that last point, I still don’t get the hate for the Great. If you wanted Reigns to be a bad guy; you got it. But now his heel tactics and brutish demeanor are an issue. And unless his schedule personally affects you, I don’t get the fuss.

So what is it? Why do you hate Roman Reigns? What should WWE do differently to make him more palatable to you?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats