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Steve Austin Explains How WWE Can Get Roman Reigns Over

WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin spoke with former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen about WrestleMania 32 and more. Here are the highlights.

On the fans booing Roman Reigns: “Roman is having a hard time winning the crowd over just because of the way he’s booked. When you sit there, good looking guy, a lot of charisma, [and] easygoing the times I’ve talked to him. He’s one of the nicest guys in the locker room and well-spoken and smart and doesn’t need anybody writing convoluted promos for him, so I just think many people consider him [to be] entitled because of his looks and that [has] actually worked against him, so the kid is in between a rock and a hard place, no pun intended that he’s related to The Rock.”

On what WWE should do to help Reigns get over: “If this is the Reality Era, let the kid go out there and shoot and let the chips fall where they may.” Austin added, “let the kid have some freedom. Let the kid go out there and express himself. Let him go out there and experiment. All he can do is fall down and trip and then get back up if he does and take another shot at it. Vince [McMahon] is going to still try to do the tried and true formula, a traditional babyface push, but this kid is not going to be a traditional babyface because, just going back to politics, people don’t want to be told what to like, why to like him, here’s why you should like him, and, damn it, like him!”

  • D2K


  • Hunter_13

    no one can explain it better. Well done Sir.

  • D2K

    That is an incorrect comparison.

    First of all, Austin was never shoved down our throats as a new star they wanted to push to the moon under any circumstances regardless if the fans liked him or not. Austin was brought in to be a mechanic. A guy that could give great matches to mid-carders to get them ready for the main event. It was Vince that came up with the idea of the “Ringmaster” gimmick which was a historical failure.

    It wasn’t until people like Jake, Hayes, and J.R. that convinced Vince to let Austin be “himself” with the volume turned way up. Once that happen the FANS pushed Austin to the moon.

    I was there in person that night of the 1996 King Of The Ring (what was then called the Mecca Arena but now the UWM Panthers Arena.) I saw the birth of Austin 3:16. You could see the difference in his intensity in the ring and definitely hear it in his post-match interview once the gloves came off.

    Secondly, his popularity soared LONG before he started feuding with Vince. Austin was anti-authority period and was a rebel out to do his own thing. He cussed Vince, he cussed Gorilla Monsoon, he broke Pillman’s ankle, he cost Bret the title, he beat up Mankind while he was trying to be Austin’s tag partner, he feuded with Bret and the Hart Foundation, and after Ken Shamrock came out to help him fend off the Harts, he turned around and stunned HIM! He stunned Sgt, Slaughter, JR, The King, and give Vince a Stone Cold Snapmare (botched-stunner.) He feuded with the Nation of Domination and The Rock, and he feuded with DX.

    Austin was THE main attraction in WWE long before his feud with Vince officially started after Wrestlemania 14.

    Roman Reigns popularity was no where near Austin’s when they decided to anoint him the next big thing. He’s a decent ring worker. His mic skills have gotten better, and he does have a presence about him, but it is all unharnessed, raw potential. Jim Ross said it best when he stated how the Authority gimmick basically has been going on since the Austin/McMahon feud. It has gotten old. It’s time for the McMahons to get off TV.

    Some might say that “Well wasn’t Brock Lesnar pushed by the regime to the moon right away?” Yes he was. So what’s the difference? The one major difference is Paul Heyman. He had him as a mouth piece to fill in the blanks that were left in Lesnar’s repertoire. Another thing was the fact that Lesnar was a legit BA. It was believable to see him get a clean win over Hulk Hogan. It was believable to see him beat the Undertaker in Hell In A Cell, and it was believable to see him beat The Rock for the Undisputed title.

    Not to mention the fact that The Rock had gotten corny. People were sick of him popping in and out going to Hollywood. Even though he admits it was a mistake to walk out on the company, a LOT of people sided with Austin in that and some people took exception to The Rock’s comments about Austin. They came across as pretentious and hypocritical and there he was siding with the “Authority.”

    So when Lesnar faced him at SummerSlam again it was an example of the fans showing their displeasure towards The Rock and the “Authority” by booing him out of the building even though he was the face and Lesnar was the heel.

    My prior statement stands. In addition to the fact that Reigns is not ready to carry the ball, he is being handcuffed by the egos of the McMahon family by not turning him loose and letting the chips fall where they may (like Austin said.) Reigns has taken Cena’s spot of being the very embodiment of everything that is bad about WWE management. He literally is a walking microcosm of the McMahon ego and fans are smart enough to see that and when they are booing Reigns out of the building, they are really booing the Authority.

  • CC

    I don’t really think its that. I mean look at Austin as the prime example. Everyone knows that Vince ran things back in the attitude era, but what really helped Austin get bigger and bigger was his rivalry with Vince.
    As much power as Steph and Trips have, Vince is still the main decision maker.

  • D2K

    Even more so than that, because you have the “Authority” story-line of Triple H and Stephanie running things and the fans hating them, those same fans know that they are the people actually running the show. Even though Roman Reigns is supposed to be against the Authority, the fans don’t buy it and look at Reigns as “their” guy because they know the McMahon family calls the shots.

    So since the fans hate the McMahons story-line wise (and real life aren’t too keen on them either,) that hatred transfers to anyone who is getting a obvious push. The fact that they continue to ignore what the fans want and are trying to jam Reigns down everyone’s throat makes it much worse.

    When you turn people loose and let them do their thing, great things happen.