Audio: Roman Reigns talks his love-hate relationship with the WWE Universe
From Donald Wood Jr.:
Blog Talk Radio Episode: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ringrustradio/2016/04/05/ring-rust-radio–apr-5-w-wwes-roman-reigns-wrestlemania-32-review–part-1
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns Interview Transcription
Ring Rust Radio: You’re one of few men to ever main event WrestleMania in back to back years. What does that honor mean to you and what do you think you need to do on your end to secure a third-straight main event spot at WrestleMania 33?
Roman Reigns: I haven’t really let that set in as much as I probably should have because it still doesn’t feel real. The only thing I can really say on it is I feel very fortunate. I feel so blessed and I hope these last two years aren’t the greatest years I experience in my life but if they end up being that way I can’t complain. They have been incredible, wild, and it’s all felt like roller coaster ride. I have had a few ups and downs here and there. In the long run it’s been a lot of great moments, good memories, and awesome relationships. I think the key for me to lock down another year like this comes down to health. If I can stay healthy and go in that ring to perform every single night, then that’s what I want to do. It’s very tough on the body so the key is to maintain the healthiest body I can possibly keep.
Ring Rust Radio: Many WWE legends have been outspoken about your role within WWE, including Stone Cold Steve Austin who has stated it’d be best for you to turn on the fans that have turned on you. We’ve seen what you can do in NXT in such a role, so have you considered that possibility at all?
Roman Reigns: You know, I don’t look at it as turning on the fans, because I don’t think they have turned on me. I still have a really large fan base and supporters that dig what I do. They love my matches and are entertained by my segments. For me, I think I need to stick with what I have been doing. We live in a world where everybody has an opinion and an opportunity to voice their opinions so it becomes a very critical era that we live in. For me, I know who I am, where I want to go, so I am just going to stick to my guns and keep doing what I am doing. It’s making for a loud reaction and that’s all that matters.
Ring Rust Radio: You recently did an interview with the Orlando Sentinel and touched on the possibility of wrestling The Rock. Have you two ever spoken about wrestling against each other and how would you feel if he came out to celebrate with you if you win the WWE Championship on Sunday?
Roman Reigns: We haven’t spoken too much about wrestling each other. We speak and I do see him quite a bit. We usually exchange different ideas, share different tips, and advice. If I do win on Sunday, there are only a couple of people I want to see and that would be my wife, daughter, mom, and dad. It would be my immediate family. If he comes out there I might be on high alert and he might get it too.
Ring Rust Radio: You’re set to main event your second consecutive WrestleMania, so now that you’ve already had the experience of doing it once, how are things different for you this year in terms of preparation and anticipation, and what are some things you learned from main eventing last year that you have or will be able to apply to this year?
Roman Reigns: The last year was just so busy and I had so many different opportunities and obligations at once. I was filming with the WWE network for the 24 special the whole time. This year I feel like I have a lot more space in a weird way. Just a lot more downtime and able to relax and focus. Having that down time has helped me out a lot. Now I have that time to really focus in on what I am going to do Sunday. I am able to be more mentally prepared compared to last year. Last year it felt everything was going down to the wire and looking like I wasn’t even going to be in the main event with the fight I had with Daniel Bryan at Fast Lane. Everything was kind of being thrown at me so fast that I was like a deer in headlights. It came through and I had a hell of a match with Brock Lesnar but I think with being so busy and trapped in the moment, I lost track with a guy like Seth Rollins and that’s something I can’t do. In the main event of WrestleMania you have to have your head on a swivel and be ready for everything. I think I am a lot more prepared this year.
Ring Rust Radio: You’ve enjoyed a ton of individual success over the past couple years, but you were also part of one of the best and most popular stables of all time in The Shield. It seems like most groups inevitably get back together at some point in wrestling, but do you expect a Shield reunion down the line and is that something that would even interest you now that you’ve established yourself as a top star individually?
Roman Reigns: I’ll always hold the Shield close to the heart. I think we can all say that’s the vehicle that got us out of the warehouse. We spent many hours in that hot, Tampa warehouse trying to get to this point. I definitely one day would want to do it but I don’t see it anytime soon. I think that’s what makes the Shield different is we all broke out and were able to maintain the level of success that we had within the group but now we are doing it as individuals. It’s really nice to be the quarterback out there. You don’t always have to worry and coordinate with everybody else. You just go out there, do your thing, beat some ass, and go home. I always enjoy that part of it. I think the Shield was so special that one day we will have to get it back together.
Ring Rust Radio: Over the past several weeks during the build to WrestleMania it seems like you’ve taken on a completely serious persona, no nonsense, singularly focused on taking out Triple H and winning the world title. Do you feel like that’s the best fit for you character-wise right now and moving forward, or do you prefer a certain amount of levity in your performances?
Roman Reigns: I think where I am at right now is serious business with going after the WWE championship. I think you have to have that serious approach and that’s the way I have done it. I came out and made a statement so if I can, I just want to go out there, wreck shop, and leave. I think that’s the best route to go right now.
Ring Rust Radio: Our guest tonight is WWE Superstar Roman Reigns. You are promoting SNICKERS “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” online videos. Tell the fans where they can watch the videos and support the campaign.
Roman Reigns: You can check the videos out on WWE’s YouTube channel and they are hilarious. You’re going to get to see a lot of these Superstars in a different light. Typically, I am the more serious and bad ass type character but you get to see me act a little iffy in this one. It’s really cool to see these different emotions and it ties right in to what we do in WWE. We tell those stories and pull on those emotion strings. It’s a great partnership with Snickers.
Ring Rust Radio: You are set to square off against Triple H for the world title at WrestleMania 32. After coming up short last year, how much pressure are you putting on yourself and what are you doing to ensure a different outcome?
Roman Reigns: Not too much pressure. My urgency is very high and there is no doubt about that. I am ready to get in the ring and win that thing. As far as putting more pressure on myself, I actually feel like I have less pressure on myself this year because my experience level is so much higher. I’ve been able to do a lot of these things that I have been doing this year from last year. I have a little bit of a jump on the game I feel and I think it has helped me be able to relax and enjoy the ride. These are great things we get to do this week. If I never was with the WWE I never would have had the opportunity to team up with Snickers, be able to be in these situations, do cool things like this, and make new relationships. I really do enjoy the Access experience.
Ring Rust Radio: You have a love-hate relationship with the WWE Universe. How do you feel when you receive negative reactions, and how do you think you’ll be received by the fans in Dallas?
Roman Reigns: I won’t know how they are going to be in Dallas until I start to hear the show. Once I get out there, I will definitely know and be able to gauge off that. That’s the beauty of this business is that it’s changing and evolving. The crowd, the company, the business, the stories, everything is different now. It makes it that much greater of an opportunity to become that much better of a performer. It helps when it’s that tough and that big of a learning curve. It’s intense and you have to have that urgency to learn. I think that’s what makes us better and makes a great performer overall. Dealing with tough crowds has helped me and I am grateful for it. It’s not the perfect situation as far as receiving cheers and things like that but it is the perfect situation to learn and get better with.