More than any WWE Superstar in history, wrestling fans are unsure about Roman Reigns. That may be putting it lightly, but for nearly three consecutive years, Reigns has been met with considerable resistance.
And Bobby Lashley doesn't understand why.
Having just wrestled Reigns in consecutive big matches, Lashley is perplexed that the proverbial book is still out on The Big Dog. He discussed this issue during an interview with GiveMeSport.
"It kills me to be out in the ring with somebody of his level and the crowd be divided as to whether or not he deserves to be in the position he is - and I don't get it. He has the look, he's a great athlete and he's a great in-ring performer," he said.
Lashley is just the latest WWE Superstar to take the stand in defense of Reigns. AJ Styles, The Miz, and Chris Jericho have all recently backed The Big Dog's reputation as an elite WWE Superstar.
However, the hate for Reigns doesn't have anything to with his ability. Instead, fans rejected him after getting a whiff that he' been dubbed WWE's next top star. Fearing another uninterrupted term of dominance a la John Cena, fans have been kicking and screaming for the better part of three years.
The argument that Reigns isn't talent it doesn't have "it" is one that only fans make. But this criticism is base in frustration, not fact. Fans don't want to see Roman atop WWE, so anytime he takes a step forward fans push back.
But WWE has remained steadfast in their plans.
While they have certainly postponed Reigns run as Universal champion, it looks like SummerSlam will finally see him crowned. But that moment will likely be drowned in a tsunami of boos.
The case of Reigns is certainly fascinating. Fans think that the best way to fix the issue is to turn him heel. But that may be too simple of a fix. Regardless, WWE seems intent on sticking to their course, no matter how much it may agitate their fan base.
In an interview with SunSport, Reigns discussed his polarizing relationship but thinks that the reaction he's getting, albeit mixed, is still healthy.
"As long as fans are showing up and as long as they're making noise, I've done my job. I've done what I'm supposed to do and that's draw people into the building.
I think the way I can fight is to just continue to do what I do – to continue to show up. What I and everybody in WWE thinks is to go out there and work hard and continue to show why I am the guy. It's not easy doing this every single day, going to every single town, and getting a reaction. And that's what I do regardless of whether it's all cheers, a mixed reaction, or heavy boos.
We have to look at it as a global company. We're not just worried about the one town that we're in, we're covering our entire fanbase. The WWE Universe is humongous. We have to keep that in mind."