Although many fans are not supporters of the character of Roman Reigns, many wrestlers speak highly of him and support his run as a top name. For instance, Chris Jericho has stated many times how much he feels that Reigns is well-positioned on the top of the WWE ladder, and opposes the hate he receives from fans. Steve Austin is also a fan of Roman Reigns, but feels that a heel turn would be more effective at this point of his career.
Bruce Prichard went on the record to say that the pivotal moment of fans jeering Reigns was the 2015 Royal Rumble in Philadelphia, and how the crowd wanted Daniel Bryan to win the match instead of Reigns. As a result of this, the movement of Reigns getting booed by the masses strongly commenced, and has not dissolved. However, he advocates Reigns, and believes that he will be a star for many years to come.
Ryback had an opportunity to address the antagonists of Reigns during his recent episode of Conversation with the Big Guy podcast.
"A lot of people have forgotten this, Roman [Reigns] was the one people [were cheering]," said Ryback. "Fans were cheering Roman. And then, when they realized that he was gonna get a Cena-like type push, or whatever you wanna call it, they slowly turned against that. But I'm also of the thought process that with these fans, the certain percentage of them, whoever you put in that spot, and push that hard, there's gonna be backlash from the crowd because of the success. You wanna see a guy do good, but you don't wanna see a guy do too good."
Contrary to popular belief, Ryback feels that a lot of people do like Roman Reigns. Proof of this is the various accounts that he gets majority cheers when he competes at house shows. Although Ryback sides with the opinion that Reigns will make a better heel, he also believes that it will generate an adverse effect, and he will begin to be cheered from the crowd.
"And there's a good percentage of [the fans] where they boo just to boo, because it's the cool thing to do" said Ryback. "But it's, again, a lot of those are the ones that go to the shows, but you got to remember, everywhere this guy goes, kids and families, he's the biggest star. Kids and families typically aren't on message boards, for the most part, but it's a very real thing. So, these people are arguing with each other, they migrate towards each other, and they find like minds like theirs. 'Oh, you hate Roman?' 'Oh, I f***ing hate Roman, too.' And then before you know it, it's an army of ants all in one f***ing chat room on Reddit talking about their hatred of Roman Reigns because he's doing so g****mn good."
Ryback did reiterate that a heel turn would be the best option for Reigns at this point, because it would be the "natural evolution" of his character. He added that he would love to see Roman turn "just to watch those same fans start cheering him." He feels that if he was booking, he would tick people off and eventually make him the most "kid-friendly star of all time." At the end of the day, he feels that the Roman hate is not justified, because he is a very nice guy in real life. Ryback feels that people who spend so much time hating wrestlers are not happy in their own personal lives, but focus on something else to mask their own personal issues.
If any of these quotes are used, please be sure to credit Conversation with the Big Guy with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.