WWE: Roman Reigns Really Is The Next John Cena


It takes four sides to make a top flight superstar in WWE. They are: Higher-ups, creative, the talent and fans. Roman Reigns has hurdled three of those four, but it’s the fourth — the fans — that’s creating a roadblock…or are they?

Whether you like him or not, Roman Reigns is one of the top superstars on the WWE roster. His latest conquest, the Intercontinental title, puts him in elite WWE company as the 28th Triple Crown Champion and the 17th Grand Slam Champion.

Not bad for someone who made his main roster debut in late 2012.

As a member of The Shield, he is cheered along with his brethren Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, but on his own, a demographic of fans just don’t like him. Individually, Reigns is most liked by females and kids. The boisterous and social media active male audience boos him continuously.

In this profession, you want a reaction from the crowd. Stagnation is not your friend.

In the case of Reigns, being booed and cheered, eliciting some reaction from everyone is a bonus.

The Rock even tried to help Reigns win over the male grouping, but beating male favorites Daniel Bryan and The Undertaker in big matches didn’t help matters with the male naysayers. That’s when Reigns and company embraced it, learning from another WWE superstar in the same predicament.

The night after WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, when Reigns beat Taker, the mostly male crowd ripped into Reigns on Monday Night Raw at the Amway Center. They booed, chanted and heckled so much, Reigns couldn’t get a word in edge wise. He just stood in the middle of the ring for what seemed like an eternity while soaking in the non-stop crowd response.

It was great.

The polarizing reaction from male fans, females and kids reminds me of another WWE Superstar who has done quite well for himself — John Cena.

Reigns is well on his way to achieving Cena like status. Cena remained a face, a good guy, even though male fans boo’d, berated and bashed him constantly at shows and on social media.

Cena never changed his personality or persona, and he embraced the negativity from those who induced it, using it to his benefit.

That’s what Reigns is learning to do.

As for other similarities:

Roman Reigns like John Cena played college football.

Roman Reigns like John Cena is athletic.

Roman Reigns like John Cena is good looking.

Roman Reigns like John Cena is strong.

Roman Reigns like John Cena is talented.

Their fathers were pro wrestlers.

What Reigns lacks is the gift for gab. If he were in a faction or with a mouthpiece (i.e. Paul Heyman), he wouldn’t need to talk, but since he’s on his own, it’s part of the game.

Reigns. 32, has been active in the business seven years. He grew up around it, too, hailing from a family of pro wrestlers. His father is Sika, one half of the WWE Hall of Fame Wild Samoans tag team. His cousins, many cousins (including The Rock), and uncles also wrestled.

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Like his father and uncle did, Reigns is well on his way to achieving WWE Hall of Fame status.

Being boo’d and cheered simultaneously is a difference maker. Just ask John Cena.