WWE Changes Creative Plans Due To Fan Outrage Over Roman Reigns Angle

Ever since Roman Reigns revealed to the world that he had leukemia, the shape of the WWE has been greatly changed.

On the same night, Dean Ambrose turned on former Shield mate Seth Rollins.

The direction of the feud between the two remaining Shield members has apparently been changed due to fan outrage on social media.

Using Reign’s ailment and some comments made by Ambrose, according to WWE insider Brad Shepard, has caused WWE to change up its plans, whether for the better or worse.

In the ensuing weeks on Raw after he turned on Rollins and Reigns, Ambrose made digs about Reigns and said that he’d “have to answer to his maker for all of his past misdeeds as a member of the Shield.”

A lot of fans have been unsettled by WWE’s use of Roman’s leukemia to help sell the storyline between his former brothers. Also saying that Roman should “meet his maker” probably didn’t sit well with everyone.

WWE has often used wrestler deaths or real-life situations to help sell feuds, like Straight-Edge CM Punk and Jeff Hardy’s feud. Hardy’s past troubles with drugs and alcohol are also being used in his current feud with Samoa Joe. Paul Bearer’s death was also used in Punk’s feud with the Undertaker. All of those instances were seen as controversial and going a little too far by fans

Shepard mentioned on his podcast, Oh You Didn’t Know, that because of the outrage online by fans, WWE changed the direction of the feud between Rollins and Ambrose:

“There was such an online outrage that they changed the direction of Dean’s character and now it sucks, it’s terrible now,” Brad Shepard noted on Oh, You Didn’t Know.

Ambrose has recently had segments where he has been in a doctor’s office receiving multiple immunizations.

He also came to the ring in a gas mask this week accompanied by several security guards also wearing gas masks.

Raw has switched up the storytelling in the feud between Ambrose and Rollins
Raw has switched up the storytelling in the feud between Ambrose and Rollins

This past episode of Raw drew the lowest ratings in the show’s history and perhaps might be partially linked to fans being turned off by using leukemia to help sell a feud. It might also not help to say a current superstar battling a disease might ‘meet his maker’.

Ringsidenews.com also mentioned via a report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that revealed that WWE had backed off of using the leukemia in storylines.

It’s easy to understand why fans who be turned off by the use of a serious disease in a current storyline. WWE has a partnership with Susan B. Komen, but haven’t really used a disease like that in a storyline.

But for WWE to use leukemia in the storyline must have meant that Roman was fine with it being used in the feud. Using deaths and diseases in wrestling storylines is always controversial. It can only be successful if the line is walked so finely as to not disgrace those involved.

Since fans were probably blindsided and shocked by Roman’s news, they were probably left with a more bitter taste than normal in their mouths. That might have led many to tune out on Monday nights and the redirection of Dean’s character.

If the result is lower ratings, than that’s something WWE will have to deal with.Turning Dean into a germaphobe who calls every city he visits ‘dirty’ has helped the transition of the feud, but fans have yet to tune back in.

 

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