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Arn Anderson On Fans’ Polarized Reactions to Roman Reigns, Explains How a Reigns Heel Turn Could Work Now

July 6, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Roman Reigns

On the latest episode of his podcast, Arn Anderson discussed fans’ reaction to Roman Reigns and how Reigns could have gotten over massively as a heel when he returns if he’d been established as a clear babyface this whole time. Reigns’ divisive reaction among fans is beyond common knowledge, nearly on par with that of John Cena. While Reigns came in as an ass-kicking heel, it was his babyface turn that caused a vocal portion of the crowd to turn on him and Anderson suggested that Reigns should have either come in as a babyface or stayed a heel the entire time.

Anderson also explained how, if Reigns had always been a babyface, a heel turn upon his return from his current hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic would have been massive. Highlights and the full podcast are below:

On wrestling fans’ reaction to Reigns: “Yeah, it’s got nothing to do with his ability to work. And I’ve seen many, many many house shows where Roman would get the same partial booing. You know, you don’t notice it as much in the live events, because the pro reactions vs. the con reactions are probably 80/20 on the pro side. For TV, a lot of stuff gets pumped in, just because that’s the way they want the audience to react. Even though they’re not reacting that way. It’s for sure, force the reactions on the TV show when they’re really not happening to the degree that it appears they are.”

On the heat that Reigns gets with some of the crowd: “Roman, #1 he comes through the curtain, he looks like a friggin’ movie star. You know, if your girlfriend is sitting beside you, she’s probably gonna stand up at least for the first time of the night. But for sure, she’s gonna go ‘Who is that?’ Which pisses most adult males, which is our audience, pisses them off. And Roman is a hell of an athlete. And he sells well, and he does — he has no weaknesses in his work.

“But the fact of the matter is, Roman should have came through that curtain to this day, if he had a promo it was one or two or three Clint Eastwood lines, uncontested. And then he just kicks ass. He’s a Samoan killing machine, and that’s who he should’ve been. And when you try flipping guys back and forth from heel to babyface, heel to babyface, the audience gets confused. They don’t know who they can trust, they don’t really know what a guy’s attitude is because he flip-flops so much.”

On Reigns’ heel/face status: “Roman Reigns should either still be a babyface from the first time they turned him right now, and with no switches inbetween, or he should still be an ass-kicking heel and you have that one turn that makes you special and different because it comes at a time that nobody expected it.

“Now, I’ll give you an example. Let’s just say Roman had been a babyface all this time. And people used to do it forever … Dusty was a career babyface. Hogan, career babyface until the nWo turn, right? You know, these guys that were bigger than life, and they had that one turn. When Hogan had that one nWo turn, it was just massive. Now let’s just say — and we’re doing our Monday morning quarterbacking here, like we do sometimes. Let’s just say Roman was a babyface all this time. Well, Roman has been out now for a while, you know? With this pandemic, you know, the guy’s taking care of his families and his priorities and that’s his #1 deal. What if when Roman came back — because, you know, he’s had a groundswell of people that support his decision, obviously. What if the guy came back and day one, was his first heel turn? He’s been a babyface all this time, what if that was his first heel turn, with the caveat that ‘How dare you try to second-guess me where my family’s concerned and tell me where I should be and when I should wrestle, when it’s safe and when it’s not, and all these unknowns? Piss on all of you.’ You think you might have some heat?”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit ARN with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.