The Enforcer, Arn Anderson, was back on The Arn Show recently, and mentioned how he feels that WWE has made some mistakes in their development of Roman Reigns. Arn said there were several mistakes made along the way, and that WWE knew from day one they had something special with Reigns but didn’t quite have the plan on how to utilize him. Arn compared Reigns to Hulk Hogan and said his heel turn could have been as big of a deal as Hogan’s was when he joined the nWo after spending his entire career as a babyface.
“Yeah, when you’re writing his promos for him and you’re having a guy like Roman Reigns, the beast that he is, and the intelligent guy that he is, the athlete that he is, the accomplished worker that he is, and he’s saying stupid s–t like suffering succotash – I think there were a lot of mistakes made along the way,” Arn said. “It was clear to everybody Roman was a star. He walked in the room, every woman in the joint was turning their head. Every guy was going, ‘Jesus Christ, who is that guy?’ When you have somebody special like that, you have to have a goal and a game plan for him, and he should have stayed a heel from the days of The Shield. When they were first brought aboard as heels, you could have turned the other two guys [Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose].
“You should have singled Roman out but as a heel, and he could have stayed a heel all this time and have one turn at the proper time that mattered,” Arn added. “When you flip flop your personality and your characters so many times back and forth, people can’t trust you. They can’t trust a word you say on a promo because last week, they loved you. This week, they’re saying, ‘Shut up!’ And it diminishes your credibility, and when you have credibility with the audience, you’re halfway there. I think he should have started a heel, have one massive turn to turn him babyface, and now, you got something. I’ll point to one guy that is the shining example of that. -Hulk Hogan was a babyface his entire career. When he turned that day and went nWo, it was the shot heard around the universe and it inflamed the entire industry. Roman could have been the same.”
Arn later went on to discuss the Bray Wyatt character and said he feels WWE made some mistakes with him as well, citing how over Wyatt’s character was with the audience, but management had him losing every big match that presented itself.
“I always thought that Bray Wyatt, who had the most creative characters that he came up with it– it was a part of him deep down that lived in him,” Arn said. “That’s the reason he was able to pull it off. It wasn’t him playing a character, it was just a sliver of the real him amped up, and that’s always the characters that get over. I felt like he had a firm grip on it. He was a big, physical guy on top of that, but you’ve got to win the big ones.
“You have to win the pay-per-views,” Arn continued. “He went on a string of just whoever’s bright idea thought, ‘Well, that guy’s character’s over, and he’s doing a great job and he’s a heel, and you can beat him every pay-per-view’. No, you can’t. You should have been shoving him every pay-per-view and have that guy waiting at the end of the rainbow – if it was going to be a Roman Reigns – to pay it off with. But you got to go back and look at those records, and I know he went 0-6 or 0-8 at some time, at some point, but you got to win. You got to win the big one.”
The Enforcer was then asked if he feels like Vince McMahon truly understands the Bray Wyatt character, and Arn admitted he has no idea. But he did reflect on how wild the crowd would go for Wyatt’s entrances.
“I have no idea,” Arn admitted. “You’re asking an unknown that maybe doesn’t have an answer. I know the audience got it, and I know every single night at every house show, whether he was in the middle of his losses, or his first loss, or his last loss, it didn’t matter. When those lights went out on the entrance and the music started, everybody in that arena had their cell phone light on. Now, if they didn’t care– and I didn’t look at that as being a babyface thing. It was a crowd participation thing because they loved his entrance. They loved the character, and it was like a concert deal.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Arn Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.