On Monday Night Raw this week, the crowd in Chicago expressed their displeasure with Roman Reigns in the show’s final segment, but much of their reaction was removed from the YouTube clip posted the following morning.
At the conclusion of March 6th’s broadcast, Braun Strowman called on Roman Reigns to come out to the ring, but instead, The Undertaker entered. Strowman then left, but a few moments later, out walked Roman Reigns, who told The Undertaker, “This is my yard now.” The two of them then stared each other down and looked up at the WrestleMania sign before The Undertaker delivered a chokeslam.
In the version of the show that was broadcast live on USA, the Chicago crowd begins loudly chanting “Roman sucks!” as soon as The Undertaker turns his head to look at the WrestleMania sign. The chant lasts for 15 straight seconds, ending only when The Undertaker delivers his chokeslam, and it was by far the loudest crowd reaction of the evening. The fact that this chant was not muted from the live broadcast lead some fans to speculate that Roman Reigns is finally about to turn heel.
But in the clip posted to the WWE YouTube channel the following morning, the “Roman sucks” chants have been heavily edited. Once Roman makes his way to the ring, the video itself is exactly the same in both versions, so it’s not as if the end of the show has simply been trimmed down for length. In the YouTube clip, when The Undertaker turns towards the WrestleMania sign, no “Roman sucks” chants can be heard at all. By this point in the original broadcast, the “Roman sucks” chant was just beginning to build but could clearly be made out.
The camera then cuts back to a shot of Roman and The Undertaker standing and looking at the sign. Once again, in the YouTube version, not a single “Roman sucks” chant can be heard. Yet in the original broadcast, by the time the show cut to this shot, the chants had become utterly deafening.
Finally, the video again cuts to the closeup of Roman and The Undertaker looking up, followed by another shot of them standing with the sign in the background. By this point in the YouTube version, a “Roman sucks” chant can be heard, but it’s much quieter than in the original broadcast, and it only lasts for about three seconds. When The Undertaker chokeslams Roman Reigns, the audio in both versions syncs up again.
The original, unedited scene, complete with the roaring, 15-second-long “Roman sucks” chants, is present in the Hulu version of the show.
WWE frequently edits their YouTube clips to keep things brief and to give viewers an incentive to watch the full show. But in this case, the edit was clearly not made for time purposes, as the staredown on YouTube is the same length as it was when broadcast on Monday night. Rather, the edit was presumably intended to play down the extreme hatred for Roman Reigns felt by the crowd in Chicago, making “Roman sucks” sound like a less unanimous opinion.
Still, fans are continuing to debate whether Roman Reigns is intended to be the heel in this storyline with The Undertaker. The writing of this segment certainly suggests as much, as Roman’s incredibly arrogant statement directed towards a legend who is universally beloved couldn’t have possibly generated anything other than a visceral negative response from the crowd. But then again, it was just a few months ago that Roman was the face in a storyline in which he repeatedly insults a man’s wife for no reason.