When then-WWE Universal Champion Reigns announced he would be stepping away from the ring as his leukemia had returned, it shocked wrestling fans around the world. Later that same night, things took a turn.
During the same night, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins defeated Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre to capture the RAW Tag Team Championship. Given the news of Reigns’ departure was heavy in the hearts of the audience, and those watching around the world, it was very much a feelgood moment.
With the whole world watching, Ambrose turned his back on Rollins, Reigns- and the WWE Universe as he viciously attacked his long-time friend and left him and the WWE Universe in a mess, as both he and WWE themselves were booed heavily.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Reigns gave an insight into how he reacted to WWE’s decision to have Ambrose turn heel on the night of a very real and serious announcement.
Reigns noted that he has conflicting emotions on the incident. On one hand, there is the man himself and on the other, there is the man he portrays for the WWE. When factoring in the character, he is perfectly fine for WWE to do what they need to do. When it has to do with the man behind the character, he finds it hard to tell.
“That’s where it’s hard. The majority of the time, we’re just factoring in Roman, the character, but who I really am, Joe, was all over that first segment. We really broke the fourth wall down and it was so real it changed the dynamic of the crowd and emotion. It’s like hitting a wall almost in a car wreck, getting that kind of news.
“For me, as Joe, it was hard to tell, but as Roman, I just thought ‘next man up’ like in any professional sport or form of entertainment, the show must go on. I felt comfortable with that fact that we need to continue to entertain our fans, push these storylines and our product. As long as I was on board with it, it wasn’t going to be tasteless. I think it came off great, it had such a huge impact that night.”
With Reigns back and The Shield back together, it seems as though this is all in the past. Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns are scheduled to take on Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, and Bobby Lashley tonight at WWE Fastlane. This match is being booked as the final reunion for The Shield before Ambrose reportedly leaves the company.
I disliked that they used it, personally. It’s understandable from the perspective of generating heat for Ambrose- but there are other ways of doing that.
Where do you stand on the incident? Do you think Ambrose should have gone about the situation differently?
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