Roman Reigns is certainly one of the most polarizing figures in all of professional wrestling. Although both his in-ring and mic work have improved substantially over the past couple of years, there is still something about him that does not connect with many fans, as he is generally received with a chorus of boos from crowds around the nation.
Although booing him for his level of workrate could be heavily argued, especially after many fans turned from boos to cheers during his promo about Brock Lesnar during their WrestleMania feud, it is no question that WWE has positioned him to be the heir apparent to John Cena, who also receives a similar response from the crowd.
In fact, following WrestleMania 34, Reigns tied Hulk Hogan with the most consecutive scheduled main event matches. Hogan was a top name from WrestleMania 1-9, but did not main event WrestleMania 4, and was a part of an impromptu match to defeat Yokozuna at WrestleMania 9. Reigns has been in the main event since WrestleMania 31, with a 2-2 record.
Legendary tag team wrestler Bobby Fulton of the Fantastics was a recent guest on the Pancakes and Powerslams Show to promote his upcoming World Classic Professional Big Time Wrestling show occurring on May 26 in Circleville, Ohio. This will be Fulton's final match after 40 years in the business. The show will also feature names including Kevin Sullivan, J.J. Dillon, Tommy Rich, Tracey Smothers, Jim Cornette, "Pitbull" Gary Wolfe, Bobby Eaton, and many more. Being an avid believer of the old school face/heel dynamic, Fulton had this to say about the WWE's booking of Roman Reigns.
"I'ma tell you right now. If Roman Reigns was wrestling back in the day, they would have fired him already," Fulton said. "Because he can't get the job done if they hired him as a babyface. Jerry Lawler told me one time when I was breaking in the business, I was going out to the ring and was wrestling underneath – and underneath means that you're at the bottom of the rung – and it got to the point where the people knew I was gonna lose when I walked to the ring and I was working in Memphis. I said, 'man, the people are booing me when I walk to the ring!' [Lawler] said, 'well, maybe it's time for you to go. You're here as a babyface.' And, like I said, if Roman Reigns was wrestling back in the day, and I mean I give all props to his family and where he comes from and who he is. But as far as getting the job done as a professional wrestler, even as a sports entertainer, he's not getting it done because he is not able to make that connection with the people.
"The people just aren't buying him. He needs to become a heel and just forget about it if Vince is gonna keep him hired. But if they're gonna keep doing what they're doing, then they need to turn him heel or get rid of him because he's not gonna be an asset to the company and whoever he beats he's gonna make them more popular just like Brock Lesnar. The more Brock Lesnar beat on him and bloodied him was the more the people got behind Brock. So, with that being said, if this would have been back in my day, Roman Reigns would either be a heel or be fired right now because he's not getting the job done... Vince is trying to prove a point but he can't prove it because it just ain't gonna happen."
In addition, Fulton feels that the babyface / heel dynamic is still a very important factor of professional wrestling in order to truly get people over, and Vince McMahon and WWE is trying to "reinvent the wheel" but they should not. You can check out the episode in the player below:
If any of these quotes are used, please be sure to credit the Pancakes and Powerslams Show for the transcription.
Source: Pancakes and Powerslams