Back at SummerSlam, Roman Reigns returned to WWE TV after five months away with a new edgy persona. Fans were initially unsure if The Big Dog was a heel but Reigns established his new character after he revealed he had aligned himself with Paul Heyman. Reigns then used underhanded tactics to defeat Braun Strowman and "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt at Payback to become Universal Champion once again.
Fans had been clamouring for WWE to turn Roman heel for a number of years and many have praised his new persona over the past couple of weeks. Even Reigns himself wanted to change up his gimmick as Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the Universal Champion asked the company to turn him heel upon his return.
A report from Paul Davis at WrestlingNews.co previously noted Vince McMahon didn't push back against the idea of turning Roman heel as he believes fans will likely cheer this new version of Reigns once they can attend shows again. The Big Dog will then be able to firmly establish himself as a top tier star on the level of John Cena.