Vince Russo on the exact moment WWE should have turned Roman Reigns heel
Former WWE head writer Vince Russo believes Roman Reigns should have turned heel at the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble.
Roman Reigns outlasted 29 other Superstars to win the 30-man Royal Rumble match. Although the former Shield member was booked as a babyface at the time, he received loud boos from the Philadelphia fans. Even a surprise appearance from Roman Reigns’ relative, The Rock, could not stop the negative crowd reactions.
Russo appeared on the latest edition of SK Wrestling’s Off the SKript with Dr. Chris Featherstone. He said WWE’s decision-makers should have told Roman Reigns to flip the bird from the second rope after his Royal Rumble triumph.
“Bro, if that was me and I was writing there at the time, I would’ve done what anybody else in that spot would’ve done. I would’ve called an audible and I would’ve said to Roman, ‘Bro, go up to the second rope, strike your pose, and flip them the bird.’
“Because, bro, anybody would’ve done that. Anybody would’ve said, ‘F.’ Bro, if they would’ve done that at that time, you know where Roman Reigns would be right now? They waste so much freaking time. You know why, bro? They’re control freaks.”
Watch the video above to find out more of Vince Russo’s thoughts on Roman Reigns and WWE’s storytelling. He also explains how Vince McMahon was responsible for the length of time that it took for Roman Reigns to turn heel.
Roman Reigns’ WWE heel turn
Roman Reigns debuted on WWE’s main roster in November 2012 as a heel alongside fellow Shield members Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. After turning babyface in February 2014, Roman Reigns performed as a good guy until he transformed into his Tribal Chief character in August 2020.
With Paul Heyman by his side, Roman Reigns won the Universal Championship at Payback 2020 in a Triple Threat match against The Fiend and Braun Strowman. He has since retained his title against Strowman, Jey Uso, and Kevin Owens.