Roman Reigns did an interview with Sam Roberts days before last week’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view that came out while I was on vacation/holiday. Brooks Oglesby recapped the most controversial part here on Wrestling News World and I went back and listened in its entirety (the first 16:25 of the podcast that you can listen to at this link).
I originally typed up a lengthy article but my response can be recapped in bullet points.
- Reigns stating his critics have no clue what they’re talking about is classic high school jock mentality. Fans today tend to reject people that espouse this mentality.
- I understand Reigns being frustrated because the IWC is a tough and very critical crowd.
- Things an up and coming WWE wrestler should never say: I don’t care about critics Non-wrestlers critiquing is asinine Hopefully I’m just the guy getting rich
Ryback’s push a couple years ago was derailed when he took a similar approach, with horrible media interviews. He gained the perception of being “entitled” and “overconfident” in his abilities. The fans refused to accept him and he’s been fortunate to get another chance. However, I don’t think I have to tell anyone that he’s gone out of his way to alter his perception.
It was smart for Reigns to distance himself from the nursery rhyme promos (he made a clear distinction earlier in that interview that he could only make the most of what he was given) but overall the interview with Sam Roberts will only fuel resentment directed towards him.
At this point WWE has two options with Reigns. They can either turn him or abort his push. I don’t see the latter happening, so something from a storyline perspective has to be done to salvage the Wrestlemania 31 main event. As if Brock Lesnar possibly leaving WWE after the show in March wasn’t enough pressure, the writers have a major problem on their hands.
The fact that Reigns supports the high school jock mentality is disappointing in and of itself but the fact that no one in the WWE office thought enough to "tutor" him for media interviews is what is truly asinine. They hand-picked Reigns, yet damaged him when he was out with the incarcerated hernia, mocked him with promos suited for children's books, put him over in the worst booked Royal Rumble match I've ever seen and now have a situation where he's candidly disparaging the people they want to be cheering for him.
Had these comments happened after the Royal Rumble, I would have said they were kayfabe and it was part of a turn. Now I'm forced to believe that Reigns has no clue how to connect with the fans and WWE doesn't care enough to help him learn. What a mess.