If your crowd are booing the man you want to be your next big babyface, if they’re practically rioting in the car park after your pay-per-view, if one of the top Twitter trends across the world urges people to withdraw money from your company…you’ve probably got a PR problem.
This isn’t about Roman Reigns, who took the brunt of the crowd’s disgust in Philadelphia after the Royal Rumble. I’m fairly sure that nobody genuinely dislikes him. It’s about the way WWE run roughshod over crowd reaction and attempt to rewrite history, about the way they throw in nostalgia trips (like the Rock) in an attempt to manipulate their audience, and about the way they scorn the very people who pay for their product.
It seems misguided at the least when their business model seems to be to shunt all their content online and expect people to subscribe.
People aren’t going to subscribe to programming they’re not engaged with.
And sure, there’s a long way to go until the showcase event of the year. Anything could happen. But the Royal Rumble tends to be a reliable indicator of the quality of the coming months. And three months of Reigns’ awkward promos, still green main events, and being shoved in our faces with all but a flashing neon sign saying LIKE THIS MAN, HE’S OUR NEW CENA is unlikely to herald a classic Wrestlemania.