He’s not a good guy, he’s not a bad guy, and he’s not THE guy. Roman Reigns is just A guy. He is very good in the ring but so bland and vanilla outside, that it is borderline painful to watch. “The Guy” has no character. He’s just the big dude from The Shield; he looks and acts the same, and he enters to the same music.
He’s literally just the big dog from the Shield, just with zero motivation.
He wants to be a Champion, but his character lacks the palpable motivation and intensity you would expect from a man whose sole purpose is to hit people and win titles. On Monday Night RAW before defending his United States Championship against Kevin Owens, he gave the belt a kiss and Michael Cole acted like it was the utmost sign of his love for the belt.
The issue is that we’ve seen no other indication that he cares.
When he won the title from Rusev, the feud was about Roman defending himself after bullying Rusev and his wife. It wasn’t about his drive to become US Champion; the belt was secondary.
That’s not the main point here, but it’s important to bring up because it is a representation of him as a whole. The direction of the character is to focus on everything except for what’s really important. He’s always too busy, at this moment, making fun of the relationship between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens.
It’s not about the Universal Title, but rather how smug he can look while making fun of the champ and his right-hand man.
Reigns has two emotions. Indifference and crushing sadness. His indifference is displayed by how aloof he acts at all times. For a guy supposedly running over the brim with intensity, he sure is incredibly laid back.
The crushing sadness has been shown every time he gets screwed or falls short (which happen to coincide). He looked distraught when he failed to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 31. He looked forlorn when Sheamus cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase at Survivor Series 2015.
Why doesn’t he get pissed off? He’s supposedly an alpha male. Alpha males don’t sob. They pick up the pieces and immediately take action. And they do it with silent vengeance.
When he lost the title shot at WrestleMania, he should have come out the next night on RAW, speared Seth Rollins, and walked back up the ramp without saying a word. When Sheamus did the same to him at Survivor Series, Reigns should have Superman punched Sheamus into the next zip code and in five words or less expressed that he wanted his belt back.
There’s no sense of urgency. There’s very little about the Roman Reigns character that screams “BADASS!” There is only a stupid-looking outfit that’s a remnant of his former badass nature and a wry smile befitting of a guy who has to use his wit instead of his power.
Roman Reigns is a bargain-barrel John Cena. WWE wants him to be the eventual replacement for John Cena, so they have him act the same way. He’s getting similar responses from the crowd that Cena got around this time in his career. But he’s not John Cena and will never live up to the expectations or fill those shoes. And he shouldn’t.
Reigns needs to be a silent killer. That’s the role that got him over as part of The Shield, and now that he has gone solo, it’s a role that he needs to make his own.
Drop the outfit, stop the smiling and grinning at the camera, and start showing that while you were intense as a member of a three-man group, the world doesn’t know the meaning of intensity until they see you.
The sooner he stops trying to make the crowd like him, the sooner they will begin turning their attitudes around and actually start liking him.