Steve Austin became "Stone Cold" after the most famous and best-executed double-turn in WWE history when he refused to submit to Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13, instead opting to pass out in a puddle of his own blood. In the process, he became one of the most beloved wrestlers in history.
There was an opportunity for another major double-turn recently at WWE Great Balls of Fire when Roman Reigns lost his Ambulance Match to monster heel Braun Strowman fair and square via his own over-eager clumsiness.
In response, he tried to murder Braun. Braun survived.
Because of this, many fans hoped this was another double-turn, but to no avail. Austin thinks Roman doesn't need to be "turned," though, as The Big Dog is already on the path to becoming one of the all-time greats.
Speaking on his own podcast, Austin gave his take on the situation:
“I think he's got a great physique, a good looking guy, a pretty damn good worker. Storylines have been kind of on and off, hot and cold. Roman Reigns, in and of himself, I think he has ‘star’ written all over him. He has still got to find his way. He still has to climb his way up the ladder. He’s built to take the road. He’s always in shape. He doesn't get gassed out in his matches. There’s a lot to like about the guy, so when they came out as The Shield, those three guys, him, Seth (Rollins), and Dean Ambrose, when they came out as The Shield, they were really hot as heels. And all of a sudden, they split them up. And Roman, I don’t know, came out of that… All of those guys had to find their way and Vince kind of picked him to be the babyface and because of the response he was getting when he hit the ring. He really draws your attention. If they get his storylines straightened out, I think the kid’s going to be fine. I just think they need to keep running him like they’re running him. He’s doing good in the ring. I loved his matches with AJ (Styles, at Payback and Extreme Rules 2016).”
But he doesn't think Reigns needs a straight-up, out-and-out heel turn.
“I think you keep him on the road that he’s on and you don’t turn him heel just for the sake of turning him heel to make the fans happy because you’re not pushing him anymore because if you’re going to turn him heel, you’re going to push him even harder. Then, if you were tired of him to begin with because he was over-pushed to begin with, in your opinion, then you’re not going to like him as a heel either. So if he keeps going down the road in the fashion that he is, but then turns, in an organic fashion, heel, when the time is right, or just stays down the road, the kid is going to be just fine.” Austin added, “he still has things to learn in the ring. He still has to work at getting to the top level, but he’s a top guy, in my opinion.”
Austin then joined several others in comparing Roman to the biggest star of the last ten years: John Cena.
“Look at John Cena. Now, he's been on top for over 10 years and has had a career that is absolutely phenomenal, but he still sometimes has those divided chants. But, nonetheless, there’s electricity in the air and everybody is engaged. And he has been able to have such a strong mindset to not get in his head and mess with him. That’s the confidence of John Cena. I think that Roman Reigns has the same type of confidence and self-belief that he is going to weather those bad chants and he’ll end up getting over.”
Austin believes that Roman is moving in the right direction.
“He’s starting to loosen up and show some personality and I like it. And so I’m looking forward to seeing Roman keep developing. To me, here’s a guy who’s starting to get some confidence behind him. Whatever role Roman’s in, he’s really settling into a groove here."