WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin discussed Roman Reigns and the road to WrestleMania 32 on the latest episode of the Steve Austin Show. Here are the highlights.
On Reigns getting booed by fans:
“I predicted this all along. The kid has got to have a heel run before he’s going to be universally loved because that’s just the way that I see it. I’ve always said that I think the guy needs to be a heel first, but, nonetheless, that’s not my call. That’s the booking committee’s call or Vince [McMahon]’s call….That’s what’s going to make it fun again because everybody is going to be so onboard with booing him! I’m telling you, once he goes through that process, whether that takes one year, two years, [or] whatever, then, they’re going to end up loving the guy.”
On Reigns’ push:
“To me, it’s like Vince chose this guy and he’s sticking with him. Whatever the fans think, whether it’s the smart marks, or the casual fans, or the fervent fans, I don’t know. He’s sticking with this guy and I don’t know. He’s not going to pick another guy because he has so much invested in this guy, so he [has] got to keep riding him, but he could ride him in a different direction, but you can’t back off the gas pedal. Babyface or heel, you’ve got to keep the pedal to the metal with this guy because if you don’t, he will become an also-ran immediately.”
On Reigns having the support of the locker room:
“I talk to Roman Reigns every time I go to do a podcast [for the WWE Network]. [The] dude’s a great guy. Everybody on the roster supports that guy because he’s a good dude, so everybody loves him. So whatever’s happening ain’t his fault. It’s just his personality, his looks, [and] the way he [has] been pushed. He’s a tremendous cat, but sometimes these things, [in] the business of pro wrestling, you’ve got to walk through that fire first and I still think that’s what he’s going to have to do. But, hey, if Vince can get that kid over as a monster baby, more power to him and swig of beer to Roman Reigns for doing so, but that remains to be seen.”