Arn Anderson spoke about WrestleMania 32 and the Roman Reigns Push that WWE started during the event. Arn spoke about it on his own podcast. WrestleMania 32 took place in Dallas at the AT&T Stadium. Triple H vs Roman Reigns was the headline of that event.
Triple H held the WWE Title during that event. It was Roman Reigns that beat Triple H for the title. It was WWE’s attempt to make Roman Reigns WWE’s top babyface. However, WWE’s plan didn’t go according to plan.
WWE failed to feed Roman Reigns as a top babyface and he always used to get heel reactions from the crowd. He featured in multiple main events but he never got cheers from the crowd until about a year ago.
Arn Anderson on Roman Reigns Being Pushed as a Heel in WWE
In early 2020, WWE changed its plan and turned Roman Reigns into a heel.
He aligned himself with Paul Heyman. Roman Reigns won the WWE Universal Title as a heel and he became the top start in the company. Arn spoke about Vince McMahon’s unwillingness to change Roman Reigns' character back to a babyface.
“The 100% faith in himself that he can make any idea he has a reality and everybody will accept it,” Anderson said. “That Roman Reigns was going to be the lead guy as a babyface for the company, instead of seeing way back when, years before that, that that’s not what they wanted Roman to be.
Roman doesn’t have to say anything, all Roman has to do is come through the curtain and be an ass-kicking machine. “They don’t want him to be a nice guy, they don’t want him to be clever, they don’t want him to be entertaining and they certainly don’t want to see him spear five or six heels in a given time”.
Roman Reign has a 2-2 WrestleMania record. He managed to beat The Undertaker and Triple H, but he was defeated twice by Brock Lesnar. He also stated that Vince McMahon did not like pushing a babyface down the throats of WWE fans.
However, he believes that Vince’s opinion has changed over the years. “One of the things I did learn from Vince early on is, don’t shove a baby face down the peoples' necks if they’re not going to accept it because they’ll regurgitate it,” Arn Anderson said.
“We got away from that theory and we quit listening to our audience because they will absolutely tell you what they want. I used Kevin Owens as an example. When he beat Cena, the first show he was on, the audience was 90% behind Kevin Owens.
That week, creative should’ve sat down and went: I don’t care what you have written down for the next week or month, this guy is a babyface next week. Doesn’t mean we change his style of work, just means that we put him in a position to be the favourite in the match. It was so crystal clear that was what they wanted, give it to them.