Roman Reigns' Heel Turn Has Cemented Him as the Best That WWE Has to Offer

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2021


In an ironic sort of twist, WWE finally got what it wanted—Roman Reigns is by far the company's best Superstar out there, the can't-miss spectacle those in charge always wanted him to be. 

And listening to the fans is all it took. 

What a shocker, right? Reigns' long-requested heel turn might have arrived far too late after fans had already soured on his act and character. But the way it has allowed him to blossom, somehow matching every fantasy-booking expectation fans could come up with, has been downright remarkable. 

It's important to note that for the most part, fan angst with Reigns was never about the person, but the act—that's how it should always be. Fans were behind him when he stepped away to deal with health issues. When he stepped away again in the middle of the pandemic, fans would have cheered heavily upon his return, even if it was the old, stale character WWE had run into the ground. 

Instead, Reigns turned heel. There were amazing feuds with former midcard guys like Jey Uso. He turned the audience-less arenas to his advantage, sadistically trash-talking his own family members in range of the mic while picking them apart in the ring, letting television viewers around the world hear how far off the deep end he had gone. 

And just like that, Reigns had occupied the final-boss, big-bad role that Brock Lesnar had left vacant. Funnily enough, he picked up Paul Heyman along the way, and instead of serving as the mouthpiece for a guy who can't talk all that well, Heyman has been used as the guy shocked at just how far Reigns will go. 

Not everything Reigns has done since he's returned has been an amazing experience. But it sure beats the tar out of the vest-wearing good guy who couldn't shake free of his Shield days and did the same thing in the ring constantly, hitting his big punch and spear before winning. 

Never mind how it compares to what's going on with the main-event scene on Raw. That, to put it nicely, is a disaster. WWE mishandled a great thing with Drew McIntyre, then slapped the title on Bobby Lashley. Sprinkle in some Braun Strowman and even some guys named Mace and T-Bar, and you've got a midcard main-event scene that not even Kofi Kingston can save. 

Granted, heel Reigns has been so good that pretty much anything Raw could do would fall short. Not to be hyperbolic, but one might suggest he's on a similar trajectory as The Rock once he finally went heel and earned the adoration of fans. 

It speaks to the ability of Reigns the performer that he's able to instantly make fans forget the endless, Cena-esque run when he was incessantly jammed down their throats, including multiple WrestleMania main events. 

Funnily enough, it's easy to envision where this is going, too. Once things get back to normal with fans in the stands, it's easy to predict that Reigns will have a fateful clash with Lensar, Heyman stuck in the middle. It's not as easy to predict this—but the continued family slant to the stories means he'll have to fight The Rock at some point, right? 

Even if Reigns was stuck elevating guys to the main-event scene like Cesaro and no big Mania-type dream matches happened, he'd still be doing just that—elevating himself, the product and those around him. Two years or so ago, if somebody had told fans the main-event scene would feature Reigns fighting the likes of Jey Uso and Cesaro, those fans might've thought WWE was trying to go out of business, or at least lose television contracts. 

But here we are, thanks to Reigns and the smart decision to finally listen to fans and turn him heel. He's the spectacle in WWE. And because of just how good he is at what he does, any former angst directed at Reigns is gone, and it's hard to see fans starting to think his act is stale—as soon as that happens, he'll use some of this newfound flexibility to mix things up and keep it fresh. 

Not all fan ideas will work out this well, not by a long shot. But it's pretty clear fans had the right idea about this one, and to the company's credit, it didn't make the same mistake it made with Cena. 

Quite frankly, it is impossible to see somebody knocking Reigns off his throne right now