Roman Reigns is the controversy that doesn’t create cash. As one third of one of the most epic factions in wrestling history (the Shield), Roman Reigns arguably had his surroundings help bolster his value; Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were the runaway favorites for many (not all). “Boo this man” seems to be the common theme at WWE TV tapings, PPV’s and house shows, as he’s been unable to get over as a face, despite Paul “Triple H” LeVesque proclaiming that if we boo him, doesn’t that mean he’s already a heel?
But lets give credit where credit is due, so this doesn’t seem like a total one way street in bashing Roman Reigns – he has things going for him. He isn’t “carried” in most matches like John Cena was for a bulk of his first ten years. In fact, his feud with Braun Strowman has been the best mainstream wrestling feud this year IMO. He has a good look, one that can be further marketable if he drops the altered Shield attire that the other two members have long walked away from. Reigns can look and act the part of a badass if he’s not tasked to cut a promo.
But his biggest problem? As with Cena, he is unable to get over as a babyface, no matter how hard Vince McMahon shoves him down our throats, and where Cena has at least gained the respect of fans, Reigns is just despised by the majority of them. Most fans want to root for who they love the most and not be told who to cheer for – this is why Roman Reigns receives the amount of hate he does. It’s not that he’s an untalented hack, it’s the WWE trying to force us to care.
(and yes, I know there’s a vocal minority that actually like Reigns, that’s good for you, and I don’t hate the man; I hate the character WWE has portrayed him as for the most part and how he is forced into everything)
Throughout the years, we have seen a plethora of wrestlers “get over”, many of whom really shouldn’t have in the ways they did. With WWE 2K18 on the horizon, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at the 5 figures in wrestlers that have gotten over as a babyface moreso than Roman Reigns has. Some of these can be recreated in the create a wrestler suite, some can’t.
Best remembered as an enhancement talent that always patted himself on the back before a match, Horowitz was a heel for a good portion of his career. Throughout the early 90’s he would be the “jobber to the stars” putting over then babyfaces such as Big Boss Man, Mr. Perfect, Virgil and Dusty Rhodes.
Then one day, he actually won a match. Fans went nuts, and Barry Horowitz suddenly became this babyface that defied the odds and became a winner. While that didn’t last long, and he eventually headed to WCW to become a jobber once again for the brief time he was there, Barry managed to get over more than Roman Reigns has. Maybe it’s because fans love a good lovable loser, or defying all the odds. Or maybe the New Generation era was just obtuse like that. Either way. Barry Horowitz was able to get fans behind him for the brief time he was winning matches.
Joe Hennig is a talented third generation wrestler that has been saddled with lame gimmicks and too few chances to break through that glass ceiling. It didn’t help that he went from Joe Hennig in FCW to Michael McGillicutty and the genesis of McGillicutty during NXT season 2. Though it can be argued that when he did get his chance (pairing with Ryback and Paul Heyman), he still didn’t get over.
That is, until Axelmania, brother!
Hennig’s spoof of Hulkamania managed to get over quickly as a babyface and convincingly, even though it wasn’t always a babyface gimmick. It might be tinges of nostalgia from hearing Real American that does it, but Hennig was over to an extent with this gimmick. He even came face to face with Hogan himself. Unfortunately, when word of Hogan’s leaked racist remarks popped up, the gimmick was scrapped and Hennig was back to being a wasted talent. But we will never forget when Axelmania was running wild and got more babyface pops than Roman Reigns outside of the Shield and the 2014 Royal Rumble.
Mitch the Potted Plant
Yes, we are going there.
A potted plant named Mitch, who was a part of Dean Ambrose’s talk show “Ambrose Asylum”, was more over than Roman Reigns.
How does this happen? I don’t know. All I know is there were tributes to Mitch the plant, and even a Fox Sports article about the passing of Mitch, who was shattered across the back of Dean Ambrose’s head by Chris Jericho. I remember seeing #RIPMitch trending on Twitter the night Mitch “passed”.
The fact that a potted plant gets more sympathy and love than Roman Reigns, says a lot.
Midget Dave Batista
Years ago, Hornswoggle was involved in a midget Royal Rumble (mini Rumble?) on an episode of Monday Night Raw days before the actual PPV. He took on such pros as midget Kane, midget Mankind, and of course, midget Dave Batista.
While each of these midget parodies were more over than Reigns, I picked midget Batista for one reason and one reason only – I lose it every time I see a clip of him coming out, summoning the pyro.
Some might say midget Kane was the most over, but you can’t deny the charm of a mini Batista and his pyro, and how sad it is that he’s more over than Roman Reigns.
Oh come on now, like you didn’t expect this one?
This isn’t any sort of political statement or means to bash Trump; you just have to open your eyes every morning for that, but I digress.
Donald Trump, current US president and WWE Hall of Famer, was involved with the WWE for many years. Wrestlemania 4 and 5 emanated from the Historic Atlantic City Convention Hall (then WWF referring to it as the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino), and was involved in the big business “Battle of the Billionaires” match with Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania 23.
While he did garner a more favorable reaction during Wrestlemania 4 and 5, he did get a meager pop during his contract signing for the match. But then again, if Maria Kanellis were coming to the ring with a a half eaten Oreo cookie, you’d get some kind of reaction. Donald also took the second worst looking Stone Cold Stunner in history, right behind the atrocity of a stunner sell his Administrator of Small Business Administration, and former WWE CEO Linda McMahon, took.
WWE 2K18, developed by Yuke’s and Visual Concepts, and published by 2K Sports, will be released on the Xbox One, Switch and PlayStation 4 on October 13th. Check back in with Galarian Gaming for reactions to the latest wrestling title!