Roman Reigns is the most divisive Superstar in WWE history, even more so than John Cena. Reigns’ ascent to the top of the company has been well-documented, and scrutinized by practically everyone involved in the business. Reigns main-evented Wrestlemania on 4 consecutive occasions, and he is undoubtedly the face of the company. Unfortunately, after finally cementing his position at the top of Raw, by beating Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship, the curse of the red belt continued, as Reigns had to relinquish his belt, so he could go on hiatus to battle his returning leukaemia. It was a heart-breaking moment, and in just a moment, Reigns won over the hearts of the WWE Universe. The man in the ring was no longer the former muscle of The Shield, or WWE handpicked top guy, he was just Joe Anoa’i, one of the most consistent performers in the company, who had managed to remain grounded despite being thrust into the brightest spotlight WWE has to offer. Despite being in his early 30s, Reigns had firmly established himself as a leader in the locker room. No matter what position WWE put him in, he just ran with it. Whether he was saying ‘Sufferin’ Succotash’ in promos and winking at the camera, or taking on the Undertaker at Wrestlemania, Reigns has proven that is a WWE Superstar in the truest sense of the word, and deserving of his position as the face of the company. When he returns to the ring, he will definitely pick up from where he left off. Just like Reigns’ love-hate relationship with the WWE Universe, there are some wrestlers that love him and some that hate him. So, let’s check out 5 wrestlers that hate Roman Reigns, and 5 that love him.
- Hate: Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns had a brief feud that culminated in a match at Backlash last year, after the Samoan Submission Machine had moved to Smackdown Live. Backlash has typically been treated as a C-level pay-per-view in the past, and it is usually forgotten as soon as the event is done. Last year’s Backlash was main-evented by Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns, even though the WWE Championship was being defended at the show. The match itself was an 18-minute snooze-fest that resulted in a predictable win for Reigns. The match was so bad that audiences were leaving the arena before it was even over. Joe and Reigns haven’t really crossed paths since then, and if that match is anything to go by, it has probably been for the best. Even though Reigns was playing the face in the feud, he was booed a lot more than Joe was. In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Samoa Joe stated that Reigns gets a lot more heat than he does from the WWE Universe because of how either man conducts himself in the business. Joe stated that his character isn’t very different from how he is as a person, however the disparity between Reigns the man and Reigns the wrestler shows that Joe is a lot more genuine on the mic and in the ring than Reigns can ever hope to be. Those were strong words from one of the most decorated stars in the business and show that there is no love lost between the two men.
- Love: Chris Jericho
Roman Reigns has a lot of detractors in the industry, but he has won himself a big fan in the form of the legendary Chris Jericho. The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla is one of the greatest of all time, and since leaving WWE he has furthered his legacy by having a great run in New Japan Pro Wrestling, and is now poised to be one of the marquee signings of All Elite Wrestling. Jericho has been following Reigns’ career ever since he first broke out as a single’s star after the dissolution of The Shield and has gone out of his way to praise Reigns and his work in various interviews and podcasts. Having someone of Jericho’s stature in his corner definitely must have been reassuring to Reigns, as he spent weeks getting booed out of arenas or getting mixed reactions at best. Jericho is definitely one of Reigns’ biggest fans, and now that he has thrown his hat in with Cody Rhoades and the Young Bucks, there is no doubt that Y2J would love to have Reigns join him in All Elite Wrestling somewhere down the line.
- Hate: Batista
No one is going to forget Batista’s return to WWE in 2014 anytime soon. The second it seemed like Batista would be winning the Royal Rumble, the entire live audience in Pittsburgh turned against The Animal, as his win was one of the most criticized of all time. WWE had to double-back and turn him heel, in addition to inserting Daniel Bryan in the main-event, to avoid mass walk-outs at Wrestlemania. The last man that Batista eliminated from the Rumble en-route to victory was none other than the powerhouse of The Shield, Roman Reigns. The moment it came down to the final two men, the live audience immediately got behind Reigns, because they believed that a very green Reigns was still a better choice to main-event Wrestlemania than a returning Batista. The Animal’s return was doomed from the start, because the WWE Universe only wanted to see Daniel Bryan in the main-event stop. However, the first step on the road to Bootista was his showdown with Reigns in the ring, where he first got booed at the event. Batista himself has stated that he was one of the worst faces in the company’s history, and Reigns’ presence in the Royal Rumble did not help with his image.
- Love: Braun Strowman
If anyone wants to point out exactly when Braun Strowman became a main-event player in WWE, look no further than the Monster Among Men’s crazy feud with Roman Reigns. Strowman’s penchant for flipping vehicles began during his feud with Reigns, where he flipped over an ambulance with Reigns inside the vehicle. The feud was also when Strowman coined his trademark phrase ‘I’m not finished with you.’ Strowman was already exhibiting massive potential before the feud, but was far from the finished product. The feud with Reigns allowed Strowman to show off his skills in the ring and on the mic, in addition to giving him the time he needed to refine his character. His matches with Reigns positioned him as a main-event level threat in WWE and helped him become one of the biggest Superstars in the company (before WWE screwed all of it up, of course). Even though the two men have squared off as rivals on multiple occasions, they are good friends backstage. The two keep showing up on each other’s social media and often travel together as well, which just goes to show how close they are.
- Hate: CM Punk
CM Punk has a laundry list of problems he has with WWE. Chief among them was the company’s handling and booking of its top stars. The Shield ascent to the top of WWE coincided with the worsening of Punk’s relationship with the company that eventually resulted in him leaving the company. In a number of interviews since leaving the company, Punk has stated that he hated WWE’s insistence on making Reigns look strong when the Cult of Personality was crossing paths with the new faction. The dislike it mutual, as Reigns mentioned that he would watch an upcoming Punk MMA fight if it lasted more than 30 seconds, which was a clear shot at Punk’s poor showing in the Octagon.
- Love: Titus O’Neil
Titus O’Neil hasn’t really achieved much in WWE in terms of championships, but he is one of the most respected figures in the company for his humanitarian and charity work. So while he isn’t going to go down in history as a great wrestler, he will definitely be remembered as a fantastic man. O’Neil is a big fan of Reigns’ work, and the two men share a good relationship backstage. There are videos online of O’Neil sitting with Reigns’ young cousin backstage on Raw, and the two have often been pictured sightseeing together during their travels. O’Neil even got in trouble a little while ago when he uploaded a picture of Strowman and Reigns together, while they were in the middle of their intense rivalry.
- Hate: Enzo Amore
No one missed Enzo Amore once he left WWE. The Certified G had a reputation for rubbing people the wrong way, and his booking on 205 Live was one of the biggest reasons behind Neville leaving WWE. Amore was most recently seen being escorted out of the arena at Survivor Series last year after he made a big scene at the event. The two-time Cruiserweight champion has a pretty bad relationship with Roman Reigns, because he was reportedly thrown off a bus by The Guy during WWE’s tour of Europe, because he was being disrespectful of his colleagues. Amore has strongly denied the rumours, but it would be fitting with his character, as he was believed to have heat with a number of backstage officials and talent during his run with WWE.
- Love: Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan got the best out of Roman Reigns early in his single’s run when they faced off in a 20-minute match at Fastlane in 2015. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Reigns stated that if anyone believes Bryan isn’t the best, they are an idiot. Reigns credits Bryan for helping him learn the importance of putting in the hours in the ring. Reigns also appreciates Bryan because he can talk to The Beard about anything under the sun. The two clearly share a wonderful relationship and Reigns states that he is blessed to have a friend like Bryan in his life.
- Hate: John Cena
The WWE Universe never really got to see the feud between John Cena and Roman Reigns it deserved. The two men are quite similar in a sense; they were criticized for having limited move sets, winning too many matches and being divisive personalities in general. The two had a mediocre match at No Mercy a while ago, which saw Reigns go over the former Franchise Player. While the match was disappointing, the promo work was fantastic, as Cena and Reigns got intensely personal. Cena arguably cut deeper as he destroyed Reigns on the mic, and Reigns stated that the only reason the two men could get so personal without developing real beef is because the two didn’t share a relationship. There is a professional respect between the two men, but they have maintained their distance backstage. So, while Cena probably doesn’t hate Reigns, there is definitely apathy there.
- Love: Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins
This entry is pretty self-explanatory. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are all Grand Slam Champions in WWE, but they first made their mark as a team in the form of The Shield. The three men spent all their time together and helped each other develop as WWE Superstars. With Dean Ambrose leaving WWE after Wrestlemania, we will probably never see The Shield together again, but that won’t lessen the love the three men share.