Not only is WWE strongly considering changing their mind about Roman Reigns headlining WrestleMania next year and defeating Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship, but the company is very concerned about is declining merchandise sales as well as the fact that he continues to be booed, even at house shows where for a while he was still getting positive reactions despite the negativity on television.
Not only are his merchandise numbers noticeably lower than this time last year, but WWE fan surveys asking current and former WWE Network subscribers why they choose to subscribe or why they chose to cancel have not been king to Reigns either. In surveys asking fans why they canceled, the "other" option is often filled in with comments about Roman Reigns. In surveys asking fans why they subscribe, the "other" option is rarely filled in with comments about Roman Reigns.
While WWE often ignores the live TV crowd when it comes to determining their top babyfaces, they're less likely to ignore merchandise numbers and house show reactions.
Zack Reacts: This was only a matter of time. Even though WWE was trying to replicate John Cena with the way they booked Roman, they just weren't going to be able to bottle that lightning. There are several reasons it was always a matter of when not if. First, people were fed up with years of keeping John Cena face, so when Roman came along and became WWE's next "top guy" fans were already sick of the "face no matter what" mentality. Second, Roman is booked like a face, but acts like a heel. That may not seem like a big deal, but let's break that down. He's booked like a face no matter what, so the smart fan gets frustrated with his booking. Meanwhile, he acts like a heel so kids aren't as on board with Reigns as they would someone like Cena. Partner that with some truly questionable booking decisions and you have a guy who is going to start to fall through the cracks. Roman Reigns is a truly talented worker and has massive star potential, and he already is a huge star, but needs a heel turn to move to the next stage in his career.
I know what some of you are thinking. Well, if you turn Roman heel, then the crowd is just going to start cheering him again. Doesn't that defeat the purpose? Well, I honestly think he'll legitimately get some heat for a while when he turns heel. He beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania, he can use that alone to get heavy amounts of heat. However, yes the long term goal is to get the fans to like him. Being a heel isn't the long term goal for Roman, it's the way to fix his current position. Turn him heel, let the fans get behind him, then flip him back once they realize how much they like him. That's how you end up with a megastar. That's how The Rock became an Icon.
The bottom line is that Roman's success will continue to taper off until a change is made. I know Roman fans will disagree with me, but Roman gets heat and has gotten heat from the crowd literally for YEARS. No one wants Roman to succeed more than I do, he is a total package. He's got the look, the in-ring work, and when he is allowed to be himself he has skill on the mic. WWE needs to utilize him properly and do something to save his career. Roman might be a top talent right now, but they have the potential to make him a legend. The last thing I'll say is that WWE always says they'll listen to their fans. I understand not listening to chants and random reactions because crowds are fickle. However, the reaction for Roman has been consistent for years now and now they're starting to speak with their wallet. WWE do yourselves a favor and don't be stubborn, listen to your fans.