OTD two years ago WWE star made career-defining return as a heel

Roman Reigns is now believed as WWE’s top star, but that wasn’t always the case.

Pretty much from the break-up of The Shield in 2014, it was clear that WWE higher-ups saw a lot of value in Roman Reigns.

Less than 12 months after the faction split up, WWE had Reigns win the Royal Rumble and go on to main event WrestleMania 31 against Brock Lesnar.

However, many fans outright rejected Roman. Some viewed Reigns as much more of a heel, and didn’t like the idea that Vince McMahon was essentially forcing fans to cheer him as the company’s top face.

And that pretty much remained the case until 2020, when Roman was forced to take some time away from WWE at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of his two battles with Leukeumia, Roman has a suppressed immune system, so he made the decision to go on hiatus from WWE right at the beginning of the pandemic.

Roman was taken off TV in March, but was back on TV by the summer, returning at the SummerSlam pay-per-view on August 23, 2020.

However, something was different about Reigns this time, as the former footballer actually turned heel upon his return, attacking Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman after their Universal Championship match.

The return, which you can see below, ended up being career-defining for Reigns, as the 37-year-old has been pretty much universally praised for his work since returning to WWE TV two years ago.

Such has been the impact of the heel turn, with Roman holding the Universal title since then, that fans have argued that it may have even saved the WWE Superstar’s career.

Below are some of the comments to the video of Roman’s return, with many fans clearly seeing it as a defining moment in the Tribal Chief’s career.

Roman Reigns' 2020 heel turn was iconic
Roman Reigns’ 2020 heel turn was iconic
Roman Reigns' 2020 heel turn was iconic
Roman Reigns’ 2020 heel turn was iconic
Roman Reigns' 2020 heel turn was iconic
Roman Reigns’ 2020 heel turn was iconic
Roman Reigns' 2020 heel turn was iconic
Roman Reigns’ 2020 heel turn was iconic

Roman is the reigning Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, having unified the Universal and WWE titles after beating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 38 in April.

He will be in action at Clash at the Castle next weekend, as he defends his belts against Drew McIntyre in Cardiff at WWE’s first UK Premium Live Event since 1992.

You can watch WWE Clash at the Castle live on September 3 in the UK on BT Sport, in the US on Peacock and in all other international markets on the WWE Network.


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