Paul Heyman believes WWE made the decision to turn Roman Reigns heel at the perfect time, with the burden of carrying the company creating a 'genuine and authentic' Head Of The Table persona.
Since his return to WWE at SummerSlam 2020, following a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, Reigns has been aligned with Heyman as a heel on Smackdown, carrying the Universal Championship and feuding with the likes of cousin Jey Uso, Kevin Owens and, most recently, Daniel Bryan and Edge.
Reigns is unquestionably conducting the work of his impressive career so far, with fans and pundits alike hailing 'The Tribal Chief' character the 35-year-old is presenting.
Some feel being a heel was the role Reigns was always meant to play, but Heyman believes conducting such a switch in his character two years ago wouldn't have worked in the same way because it wouldn't have been as believable.
Speaking to GiveMeSport, Heyman said: "There’s an old expression in this industry: 'timing is everything'. This was the time to pull the trigger because this kind of presentation wouldn't have worked two years ago.
"The core of this presentation is the burden that is placed on Roman Reigns to either feed or supplement the income of every member of his family and to be the centrepiece of the WWE Universe. He has to set the example for every WWE Superstar. If you are in this industry, you are represented by Roman Reigns.
"That's an enormous burden to place on any human being. He has to be the example that is set for everyone else to follow.
"Two years ago, his face wasn’t weathered enough, he still looked too young, he wasn’t in enough main events - even though he main-evented four WrestleMania’s in a row.
"When you look at Roman Reigns, you can see the wars he’s been through. You can see the burden of carrying the industry on his back. When those cameras come close up and Roman Reigns says the words he truly believes, you know this is genuine and authentic.
"Two years ago you'd think it was just a script. Today he looks the part and delivers the goods. You understand this is not only believable and credible, but this is real.
"I would submit to you that this couldn't have happened before and the moment it was time to pull the trigger, that trigger was pulled."