Roman Reigns returned at SummerSlam after being gone before WrestleMania 36 owing to COVID-19 fears. His heel turn finally took place as he won the Universal Title. He is now the Tribal Chief on Friday Night Smackdown and has been working with. Paul Heyman. This has proven to be a huge success for Reigns.
Fans have desired Reigns to turn heel for several years but WWE never allowed him to turn heel as it was never the right time. This is despite fans rejecting Reigns as a babyface.
Paul Heyman spoke to Sports Illustrated’s Media Podcast, where he explained why Reigns heel turn took so long.
“I wanted it to happen for a long time, Roman Reigns wanted it to happen for a long time, and Vince McMahon wanted it to happen for a long time. But the timing was never right. Roman Reigns could not pull off this portrayal of the top star in the industry even a year ago. He wasn’t weathered enough, he wasn’t seasoned enough, and he wasn’t experienced enough. He still looked too young.”
“But now, you look at his face, you see some seasoning and some weathering. He was beating the crap out of his cousin inside Hell in a Cell and he says I did this to you when we were kids, and here we are 35 years old doing this, and he looks 35. He looks like a badass 35, but he still looks 35. Before he still looked like late 20s or early 30s, and he still looked too young. He wasn’t grizzled, he didn’t have any scars. Now, you see the wars on his face. Now, you see the pressure and the obligation and the responsibility and the accountability and the sheer burden – I think that’s the core word when it comes to the characterization of the top star in WWE – the burden and the weight of that burden and what it has done to Roman Reigns.”
h/t to 411 Mania for the transcription.