Vince McMahon Was The Only One In WWE Who Didn't Want To Turn Roman Reigns In 2018

August 2020 marked the first time since 2014 that Roman Reigns, who now approaches 1,000 days as WWE Universal Champion, turned heel. But if you ask Brian "Road Dogg" James, that turn probably could've come a couple years earlier. In fact, if you asked anybody except Vince McMahon, that turn almost certainly should've come a couple of years earlier. Speaking on "Oh You Didn't Know," James recalled the WWE Chairman being the only one decidedly against turning Reigns in 2018.

"Probably everybody, everybody but Vince," James said when asked if this was the time everyone thought he should turn heel.  "Because Vince's timing is more on point than everybody else's." The particular night in question was WWE Backlash on May 6, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey, which featured Reigns defeating Samoa Joe in the main event in just over 18 minutes. Various chants erupted throughout the match, ranging from "This is boring!" to "Rusev Day" to the obligatory at the time "CM Punk" chants. People were also leaving throughout the match as well as immediately after, despite WWE's attempts to capture fans cheering after the contest.

Five years later, complaints about Reigns persist, though there has certainly been a colossal shift as to how the WWE Universe views their Tribal Chief. James maintains McMahon had his reasons for keeping him a babyface at the time, adding "The minute you start feeling like 'Oh, he's a heel,' it's like 'No, wait a second. Wait, it'll heat up worse.'"

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Oh You Didn't Know" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.