WWE To Turn Roman Reigns Or Dean Ambrose Heel?

Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns

There’s never a good time for a WWE World Heavyweight Champion to go down, but the knee injury to Seth Rollins last Thursday at a WWE live event in Dublin, Ireland exposed just how little depth the company has on top.

With Daniel Bryan out due to concussion issues, Randy Orton out due to shoulder surgery and John Cena on sabbatical — he is believed to be hosting a network reality television show — WWE, on one of its biggest house show tours of the year, was left with two star babyfaces — Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, and with Kevin Owens as the closest thing to a main star heel.

Dave Meltzer reports in this week’s issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the WWE World Heavyweight Match at WrestleMania 32 was slated to feature Reigns going up against Cena before Rollins went down. Whether Reigns would have gone heel, or this would be a face vs. face match with Cena doing the ultimate passing of the torch, has not been made clear.

It is also unclear who The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar will be facing at WWE’s biggest show of 2016. While PWInsider.com reported late last week that Cena was slated to face “The Deadman,” a WWE source immediately denied the rumor to Meltzer. By process of elimination, that would lead to Reigns facing Lesnar, which could happen given the tease on Raw of the idea that we don’t know who would have won that main event match at WrestleMania 31.

While Vince McMahon has been adamant about not turning Reigns since his goal was to establish the 30-year-old as WWE’s premiere Superstar at WrestleMania 32, the injury to Rollins has complicated things for the immediate future. Since Rollins is out for six to nine months, the company is now in desperate need of a heel with star power. The face side will be getting Cena back next month, and has Lesnar likely working more dates in early 2016. Therefore, McMahon is giving serious consideration to turning a top face heel soon, and the names being discussed are Reigns and Ambrose.

The idea of a Reigns heel turn and aligning himself with The Authority, particularly since Reigns shot it down on Raw this past week, makes sense on one hand. There is a feeling within WWE that if Reigns were to become a hot heel, that when he turns back, there won’t be the crowd resistance to him that there was before WrestleMania 31, and, at some televised events, continues to be. Ambrose could also turn, since it’s unlikely he’ll ever be the top face in WWE, but he can be positioned as the lead heel.

Reigns turning heel comes down to the fact that he’s just starting to gain momentum as a face and is currently the No. 2 merchandise seller in WWE, behind Cena. But if he or Ambrose doesn’t turn, that means, almost by default, Owens would be the top heel and have little backup, since the other top heels would be Del Rio, who the audience has been largely apathetic towards, Bray Wyatt, who has already worked a program with Reigns, and Big Show, who fans are very tired of seeing. At Monday’s Raw in Manchester, England, fans chanted “Please retire” and “You fat bastard” at Show during his match against Reigns.