At the beginning of 2014, WWE attempted to establish Roman Reigns as the face of the company. This was after he made his debut on the WWE main roster in November 2012, as part of The Shield, having performed in its developmental system since 2010.
However, Kurt Angle believes that the current WWE champion should have been made a WWE heel much earlier.
The Shield, which consisted of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns, originally served as a mercenary group for CM Punk and was very well-received by critics. However, the group split up in 2014, and Roman Reigns began wrestling as a heroic main event singles act, which was widely panned by critics and audiences alike.
In response to this, WWE changed his role into heel in 2020, giving him the 'Tribal Chief' persona and making him the leader of the villainous group The Bloodline, which consists of his real-life cousins Jey and Jimmy Uso, Solo Sikoa, Sami Zayn, and Paul Heyman.
This move was welcomed by many fans, one of whom was retired pro wrestler Kurt Angle. In a discussion on The Kurt Angle Show with Paul Bromwell, the 14-time professional wrestling world champion gave his opinion on Roman's growth, saying:
I thought Roman was improving dramatically. I won’t agree that at the beginning of his career he should have been pushed as hard as he was pushed. He was still a little green. But Vince [McMahon] had faith in him. And Vince did the right thing because Roman Reigns turned out to be an incredible performer. I mean Roman Reigns is one of the best workers in the business today and he earned that spot. They should have turned him heel a long time ago. This is the best stuff he’s doing right now today, him being a heel doing the whole family thing, acknowledge me, it’s really good stuff.
Following Jim Cornette's recent sentiments that Roman Reigns' stardom can grow even further if WrestleMania 39 sets him up against The Rock, it seems the only way for the WWE undisputed world champion is up.