Roman Reigns failed to win a place in the Money In The Bank ladder match in a qualifier on Raw last week
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin believes it is time for WWE to turn Roman Reigns heel, and that such a character change could lead to his best run in the company.
Reigns continues to receive mixed responses from WWE crowds, a reaction Austin has compared to those given to The Rock during his problematic early days as a fan favourite.
Speaking on his podcast The Steve Austin Show, the Texas Rattlesnake underlined his belief that Reigns should now be turned to the dark side.
“People are making the case, from what I’ve read, that you’ve got to run Roman heel, and other people are saying he’s already a heel so that’s not necessary,” he said.
“He’s not been accepted 100 per cent by the audience. Four or five years ago I’d have said to turn John Cena heel but obviously they couldn’t do that because he’s beloved by the kids.
“With Roman, for him to have the biggest run possible – and there’s still work to do on his end to make it work – they have to turn him heel and let him just let loose.
“They want him to be aggressive. To say ‘this is what you wanted, this is what you’re going to get’ and people are going to pay now. When I start thinking about it I get fired up.
“I think he will have his greatest run if he turns heel.”
The Rock struggled as a babyface in his first run with the then-WWF, with the fans responding in a highly negative way, before transforming his entire career as a cool heel.
Austin feels Reigns needs to undergo a similar transformation if he is to win over the support of the crowd.
“He needs to bring a mean streak, go through a heel run and it’s just like The Rock, it’s a very similar situation,” he said.
“He came in as a white meat babyface and people didn’t like it, then he turned heel and people didn’t like it.
“But he turned up that charisma and that magic that he had and become one of the most over babyfaces in the history of the business.
“Can Roman do that? I don’t know. He’s below The Rock’s ceiling at the moment but give him that heel run and then when it’s time to turn him, turn him.”