New WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns is a very polarizing figure in WWE, with a majority of live crowds reacting to The Big Dog in a resoundingly negative way, making booking Reigns a difficult road for WWE to navigate throughout his journey to becoming Champion at SummerSlam.
The internet wrestling community has been clamoring for a Roman Reigns heel turn for the good part of a year now, however, Dave Meltzer noted in The Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Reigns has overtaken John Cena as the number one merchandise seller in WWE, which might make a heel turn for Reigns something the company is not concerned with. Meltzer elaborated on the booking of Roman Reigns in WWE, and the power of his merchandise sales, in the most recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio.
“I never want to think that [WWE is] that out of touch,” explained Meltzer. “I like to think that with Roman and everything they know what’s going on, that they’re just very stubborn. And it’s not even that, the reality is Roman sells a lot of merchandise, people hate to hear that it’s true. Roman is the biggest star, you go to any show he’s gonna get a big reaction. The people don’t like him, and he’s not John Cena. But John’s the role model. [WWE] learned from John that people booing you on TV doesn’t mean crap, so no matter how much you boo as long as you buy your tickets. As long as [Reigns] is gonna sell more merchandise than the other guys [WWE is] gonna put him there and that’s the mentality.”
As seen on WWE Raw this week, The Shield reunited on TV, and despite the trio taking out top babyface Braun Strowman, the group is expected to be pushed as a babyface faction, with Dean Ambrose and WWE IC Champion Seth Rollins remaining top fan-favorites in the company.
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Wrestling Observer Radio