WWE WrestleMania 32: How Triple H Became the Face of Feud with Roman Reigns


Triple H becoming the fan-favorite of the WrestleMania 32 main event may have not been WWE’s intention, but they pulled it off.

At WWE Fastlane, Roman Reigns defeated Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar to move on to face Triple H in the main event of WrestleMania 32. This will be for his WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Reigns isn’t well-liked among the majority of the fan base. This has mostly been due to how he’s been booked, as some see him as the next John Cena, which isn’t working with the present-day audience. That’s partially the problem with the former football player’s spot in the WrestleMania main event.

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Has Reigns become the unintentional heel of the biggest match of the year, though?

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WWE has not had Lesnar pinned in a match in about three years, so they weren’t going to end that streak here. Instead, Ambrose was used as the fall guy for Fastlane. It was expected and could have been pulled off better, but for Reigns to do it clean sent things into disarray.

When the three Superstars were coming out for their entrances, Ambrose got the biggest pop while Roman was booed by the fans. It was clear who was going to be the favorite throughout the match. This showed multiple times throughout, especially when he set up for the spear on his brother that led to the quick pinfall.

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Even before that, Reigns had just taken a beatdown from Lesnar and Ambrose. F5’s, chair shots, suplexes, and the guy just got up from it all and speared Ambrose like nothing had happened to him. It’s the concept of selling and building up sympathy for your character. The former IC Champion is a master at doing this while Roman hasn’t shown any signs of knowing how to work an injury.

So Reigns pinned the most popular man in the match while doing this with no one in the crowd having support for his character. With just six weeks until WrestleMania 32, this is a bad sign. It’s different from last year’s Show of Shows when he simply wasn’t ready, but this is another issue that may be worse.

After all these events at Fastlane, it has made Triple H the babyface of this feud. It would be surprising to see him get booed in AT&T Stadium, which is going to be full of the fans who spent hundreds or thousands of dollars to see the biggest wrestling show of the year. Those fans booed Reigns at Levi’s Stadium in 2015 and just may do so again, except with about 25,000 more people in the house.

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If WWE is planning on giving Reigns his WrestleMania coronation, they may be in for a rude awakening if things don’t change. That doesn’t mean Ambrose has to be in the main event, but the booking of their next Cena (as it seems he’s about to become) has to improve. The old style that worked in the 1980’s hasn’t worked. It was used on Mr. HLR and it led to a declining product. Now WWE is about to replicate it in 2016 at a time when ratings went below 3 million viewers for the first time in 20 years in late 2015.

So whether WWE likes it or not, Triple H is going to be seen as the babyface of the WrestleMania 32 feud. How the company works their way out of this mess will be fascinating to watch.