WWE HOFer Rikishi says there’s only one way WWE can save Roman Reigns
The WWE Universe hasn’t exactly taken to Roman Reigns in his quest to wrest the WWE Championship from Triple H.
So, what can the folks in creative do to get Reigns over in his title match with Triple H on Sunday at WrestleMania 32 in Texas?
Reigns’ cousin, WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi, has some ideas. Rikishi was promoting his upcoming Territory League event on April 1-2 and offered some riveting views on the current direction of the Reigns character, addressing the fans’ disdain of the character and how WWE dropped the ball by not turning him heel.
"All due respect to the fans," Rikishi said. "Without the fans, there is no Roman Reigns. Without the fans, there is no Samoan Dynasty, there is no Triple H, there is none of us. So the fans are entitled to their opinion.
"Again, let’s keep in mind, this wave that’s going through Roman Reigns at the time, he’s not the first, nor will he be the last. He is who he is. As far as the rumors about him not being able to wrestle, well I beg to differ, because I know that he comes from a bloodline that’s called Samoan Dynasty, Anoa’i strong. We all know how they wrestle and I think and know that we do it very well.
"I feel that, in due time, you’re gonna see Roman Reigns become Roman Empire. Let’s take it back to John Cena and Rock back in the day, when people felt like they was just shoved down their throats. Eventually, they earned the people’s respect, and the next thing you know, they were just loved by the whole world. To me, you don’t want to go against the WWE Universe. You never want to do that. To me, what works is to go with the flow. If you hate me so much like that, had it been me, I’d tell Vince, switch me heel right now. Let’s give it to these people. I’d be the baddest frickin’ heel that they’d ever see. And in due time, you would hate me so much, when I do turn babyface, guess what, [you’d love me]. It’s a very simple fix."
Rikishi offered his prediction on the Hell in a Cell match between The Undertaker and Shane McMahon at WrestleMania.
"I have to go with Undertaker," the 450-pound mat star said. "We gotta give the respect to the big man. No doubt I think that there’s going to be an entertaining match. Shane with his crazy bumps, who knows what type of bump he’s gonna take for WrestleMania. We’re talking about the Super Bowl of Super Bowls in professional wrestling, and knowing Shane, he’s gonna bring something out."
One of the biggest moments of the Rikishi character was the heel turn in 2000, which made him a top name and commenced a feud with The Rock.
"I was reluctant at first when Rikishi took off. It was one of the top moments, other than winning the tag team straps with my cousin Samu as The Headshrinkers" he said. "When Rikishi hit that top spot, it was the right timing for myself, pretty much unexpected for everybody. They didn’t see this blond-haired, 450-pound guy wearing a thong was gonna get over so big and be a household name ’til today. When that came about, it was already a no-brainer for me. Number one is to be able to work with your family members is always a pleasure, and always a fun part of the business to where part of your job is to go out there and have fun and create magic with your family. But who better to work with than the most entertaining guy in entertainment itself [The] Rock?"
Rikishi also relived the memorable moment in the Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon 2000.
"I watched a Hell in a Cell before, and I think people don’t even remember who won the match when Mick Foley took that big bump off the top of the cage onto the announcer’s table. So, in my mind, if I had a chance to be able to get up there, which I was thankful that I did, that I was gonna take this opportunity if it came about and do it. I was willing and ready to be able to get up there and do what we do for the fans that pay their hard-earned money to come in there and to watch a pay per view like that.
"I wanted to be the one to take the bump and steal the show in that match, and I’m grateful and thankful that nothing serious happened to me, everybody got to see the fall, the story was made, the fans we happy that there was a big bump as always expected in a Hell in a Cell, and I’m glad Rikishi took that time to take it."
Follow Chris Featherstone @cravewrestling