How so much can change in just one year. Roman Reigns went from being booed out of the building after his Royal Rumble win in Philly to getting a massive ovation after capturing the WWE Championship in that very same building, less than one year later. It certainly took a lot creatively to finally get Roman over as one of the front runners in the business. According to rumors, many wrestlers were angered at how much went into Roman’s character creatively. You know when Mr. McMahon shows up on a live show, the WWE’s going all in on that wrestler.
As much as Reigns seems to be like the hottest commodity at the moment, it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows for the current champ. Roman went through some serious hardships, and many questioned why the WWE was pushing him so much. With all his success now, there are a couple of things the WWE wants you to forget about him. Here are 10 things the WWE wants you to forget about Roman Reigns. Enjoy!
10 His Football Career
Wrestling wasn’t always in the cards for Reigns. His initial passion and ambition was to play in the NFL. Coming out of his college days with Georgia Tech, Reigns was a high end prospect. During one of his seasons, Roman was able to set a record for most sacks in the team’s history. Despite all his success at the College level, Reigns still went undrafted. He was later signed by the Minnesota Vikings. After just one month, Reigns was released. He later signed with Jacksonville, only to be released once again. In 2008, Reigns decided that experience was important and was the key to success, and with this in mind he joined the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos, starting three games for the team. After once again being released, Reigns finally switched gears and decided to become a pro wrestler. Roman still pays homage to his football days today, using a spear as one of his finishers.
9 Lack Of Wrestling Experience
After his release from the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos in November of 2008, Roman Reigns felt he had to reassess his situation. He finally decided to take a similar route to his family's, and went on to pursue a career in pro wrestling. Despite his limited experience, Reigns was signed to a developmental deal with the WWE’s former developmental territory FCW, in July of 2010. After just two months of training, Reigns made his debut on September 9th, 2010.
8 Made His Debut Under The Name Of Roman Leakee
Debuting with the developmental brand of FCW, Roman Reigns made his debut under the name Roman Leakee. Reigns would actually wrestle under this name for his entire stay with FCW, which lasted a total of two years. Roman was later repackaged when FCW was re-branded into NXT. Roman made his debut under his current name Roman Reigns. The current WWE Champion was victorious in his NXT debut, defeating CJ Parker on October 31, 2012.
7 Losing In His Debut
Today, Reigns looks absolutely unstoppable. A loss for the current champion is extremely rare. He seems to have been untouchable in the last year or so. Despite his current Iron Man Run, this wasn’t always the case for Reigns. Roman lost his debut match against Richie Steamboat during his September 9th, 2010 debut. His losing ways later continued, dropping his next matches to Idol Stevens and Wes Brisco. His losing streak finally ended in his fourth match when he defeated Fahd Rakman on September 21st, 2010.
6 His First Push Was Given As A Tag Team Wrestler
After a couple of singles matches, Reigns closed out his first year wrestling predominantly in tag team matches. He later found a permanent tag partner in Donny Marlow, but the pair failed to capture the FCW Tag Team Championships after losing to Big E Langston and Calvin Raines. The next year in 2012, Reigns would finally capture the FCW Tag Team Championships with new partner Tyler Breeze. Although, the team would later drop the titles to Jason Jordan and CJ Parker.
5 Loses To Adam Rose For FCW Championship
It was very clear that big things were coming for Roman Reigns after he pinned the FCW champion Leo Kruger, during a tag match. Reigns later went on to win a Triple Threat match (which we will discuss later in this article) deeming Roman as the number one contender for the Championship. Despite this push though, Reigns fell short and lost to Kruger in the following week. In his two year with developmental, Reigns failed to win a major singles Championship.
4 His Family Tree
Many people believe that Roman Reigns was picked as the chosen one because of his family connections to the wrestling industry. Reigns' family tree is quite large. As a matter of fact, Roman is the brother of former WWE star Rosey. In addition, Reigns is cousin to Rikishi, The Usos, Yokozuna and Umaga. Former WWE superstar The Rock is also a part of Roman Reigns' popular family tree. These factors have led many to believe that Reigns was the chosen one because of his connections.
3 His Terrible Promo Skills
One knock many wrestling enthusiasts often think about when discussing Reigns is how bad he is on the microphone. Despite all the criticisms John Cena gets, the guy is an absolute pro on the microphone, and this has really helped John's star power throughout the years. Roman on the other hand, has seen his star power go down because of some uncomfortably bad promos. The promos got so bad that I can recall actually changing the channels out of pity. According to many pro wrestling critics, Roman was pushed too hard, too soon, causing his promos to be "forced" according to wrestling critics. When it comes to being the face of the company, charisma and a good set of mic skills are crucial. The WWE would love for their fans to quickly forgot about Roman's past failures on the mic.
2 The Shield Fought In A Triple Threat Match
As I stated in the number 5 entry, Roman Reigns won a triple threat match deeming him the number one contender for Leo Kruger's FCW Championship. What the WWE wants you to forget was the fact that Reigns defeated his Shield brothers Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Surely the WWE would want to use this type of matchup on a much larger scale. This is something the WWE certainly wants to erase from the minds of wrestling fans, and fast.
1 His Royal Rumble Experience
What should have been the highlight of his career quickly turned into a disaster for not only Reigns, but the WWE as well who put so much time and effort into his character.
Many believed that Roman simply wasn’t ready for the big stage. Fans instead demanded Daniel Bryan win the Rumble following his long awaited comeback. The loud Philly crowd was enraged when mid-way through the match, Bryan was eliminated. The fans booed the rest of the Royal Rumble match in disgust. Reigns was angrily booed out of the Wells Fargo Center.
Following the match #CancelWWENetwork began to trend as the number one trend worldwide. According to reports, the WWE network cancellation page jammed for how many people attempted so unsubscribe to the Network following the event. McMahon tried to downplay the situation by claiming the controversy was “good for business”. He also stated that “Santa Claus didn’t come on that PPV”. The situation turned so ugly that the WWE considered adding Daniel Bryan to the main event for the second year in a row. McMahon finally overruled the situation and demanded that things stayed the same. This was a situation the WWE wants fans to forget in a hurry.