There has been a silhouette of Roman Reigns appearing on some kind of video package showing at NXT live shows on the current tour that is consistently getting booed. Every night they’ve played this thing on the tour so far there have been people on Twitter that comment about how negative a reaction just the outline of The Big Dog gets from fans.
#NXTPhilly just booed a silhouette of Roman Reigns
— Sad Flesh (@anarchobama) February 10, 2017
Even Roman Reigns' silhouette gets booed. Tremendous. #NXTAsburyPark
— Steve Feitl (@SteveFeitl) February 11, 2017
Roman is the guy, he is probably always going to be the guy, and even though he might turn heel (hopefully) he will still be pushed as one of the top faces of World Wrestling Entertainment whether fans like it or not. But, the truth is that there are so many more superstars that fans would rather see in that spot other than Roman.
Daven Meltzer reported that WWE officials don’t really mind the negative response from fans at bigger shows because just like in John Cena’s case, Roman is still receiving a much better reaction from fans at smaller house shows than he is on television and pay-per-view events.
Roman is apparently still selling loads of merchandise, but of course those numbers are nowhere near where Cena is now or was when he was in the same position coming up. The big difference is that when fans boo Cena there is still an aura of respect involved, but when fans boo Roman they mean it and don’t want him to be in the position that he’s in.
Vince McMahon has somewhat of a wonderful grenade on his hands with Shinsuke Nakamura. WWE needs to be extremely trepidatious and methodical about how they book Nakamura once he finally makes it to the main roster. These diehard fans want Nakamura to be the guy, and they won’t settle for anything less.
Nakamura’s fans are intense and he has carved out a niche with one of the most vociferous portions of the fanbase and they are extremely passionate about the Japanese superstar. Their fandom could only be compared to the Yes Movement, but some could argue that Nakamura’s fans are even more fervent.
Remember when the Yes Movement hijacked Monday Night Raw? It was a great moment in WWE history, and it will be replayed for years to come as one of the most impactful nights in recent memory. But the hijack Raw segment was staged. Everyone was wearing the same t-shirt and they even recruited staff from catering to fill in the empty holes.
If WWE botches the booking for Shinsuke Nakamura when they finally bring him up, the Raw hijacking will become a shoot. After all, no security guard makes enough an hour to get trampled by 12,000 angry wrestling fans because Nakamura ends up losing clean in ridiculous fashion.
The fact is that WWE can’t afford to miss the first pitch with Nakamura, they need to hit a home run right off the bat. It’s not a sink or swim situation on Nakamura’s part because he will most likely always pull off an angle in a way that only he can. WWE just needs to use him well or Nakamura’s army of fans will revolt. His fans won’t put up with the same treatment that other NXT stars have gotten in regards to treading water, and they certainly won’t stand for second-best in regards to their hero.
The King of Strong Style needs to be booked strong. If WWE officials thought that they needed to book Samoa Joe like a destroyer during his first angle, then they need to book Nakamura like a god. It could mean dire consequences for the loyal fanbase that Nakamura has been able to establish if creative doesn’t heed this warning. Fans won’t sour on Nakamura because his energy and ring work will always shine through as superlative, but hell hath no fury like a fanboy scorned, and WWE needs to realize that fact.