WWE fans were thrilled to see Roman Reigns return to television on Sunday night when he popped up after the SummerSlam main event and attacked both Braun Strowman and "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt. But, after examining what he did to both men while closing out the show, some fans started asking the big question — did Reigns just turn heel? It's something that a vocal portion of the fanbase has wanted for years, and Reigns' tactics (a surprise attack on Wyatt, beating Strowman with a steel chair, berating him by saying "I made you," then telling Wyatt he "couldn't handle the responsibility" of being world champion) didn't fit the squeaky-clean babyface role he's previously held.
According to WrestlingNews.co's Paul Davis, Reigns' behavior was quite deliberate. While WWE doesn't plan on making him an outright heel, "Vince McMahon wants Reigns to have an 'edge' to him." This was reportedly the direction WWE wanted to take with Reigns' character after WrestleMania, but that was put on pause when Reigns opted to step away from the company during the coronavirus pandemic. "The Big Dog" will likely provide some answers on this week's SmackDown.
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Reigns has explained in numerous interviews why he opted to step away from WWE just before WrestleMania 36, saying that the pandemic posed a massive risk to his growing family.
"The company (WWE) has done everything that they can to make it the safest work environment possible. It is not the workplace that I was necessarily concerned about," Reigns told The Hindu. "The decision was taken mainly because each performer travels so much, and we are all such a diverse group and from all over the place. I'm not convinced, and I can't trust the fact that everybody is taking it as seriously and locking themselves down at home like I am. I trust my life with my co-workers every time I step foot in the ring, but I just can't put the same trust when it has my children, my wife and my family involved.
"But I don't want it to come off as I am taking a stand against the company at all, because I love the WWE. I've been a part of this company just since I was a little boy," he added. "That's why I always take it so personally when I represent them."
What do you think of Reigns' character adjustment? Let us know down in the comments!