Wizard World Chicago 2018 runs from Thursday, August 23 through Sunday, August 26. With Wizard World fast approaching, I am featuring some of the celebrities I have met over the years.
Roman Reigns has had an interesting start to his career. Much like his cousin Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Reigns has been greeted with a large amount of backlash as the WWE pushes him. Maybe it is a bit of fans trying to be cool or maybe they are booing the WWE as much for the situation, but Reigns has been a lightning rod for WWE fans.
Leati Joseph Anoaʻi is part o the famous Anoa'i family. He originally started a career in pro football, but switched into wrestling in 2010. He started in the WWE as part of The Shield, a very popular heel stable. In 2014, the WWE split the faction and started pushes for all as singles.
That's pretty much where the fans turned on Reigns. Of course, in today's wrestling, good is bad, bad is good and everything is stale within months. I can't imagine how hard it would be to become popular and to stay popular. The audiences are so tough on these stars.
For his part, Reigns has stayed above the fray. From all accounts he is working hard at improving his work in the ring and on the mic.
I never had an issue with Reigns. I figure that he is young and needs time to find himself. My real gripe is with the WWE over-managing every aspect of the talent. I'd rather see the wrestlers succeed (or fail) on their own. True talent will rise.
I got to talk to Reigns at last year's Wizard World. No surprise, he was a really nice guy. He thanked everyone individually as they met him. He happily posed and talked to everyone, as much as time permitted. When I asked him about his character's popularity (or lack of), he just said he was going to continue to be himself and it would all work out. I think he's right. I think eventually the fans will get behind him (and boo the next guy). It's all part of the modern day world of wrestling.
Go to WizardWorld.com for all of the info on every show. They have many shows across the country and one has to be near you (or it's worth the drive).
Roman Reigns and me in Rosemont, IL-August 2017.