Roman Reigns On Why His Match With The Undertaker Didn’t Meet Expectations, Facing Brock Lesnar, The Shield’s Reunion StallingRoman Reigns was a recent guest of the In This Corner podcast; you can read a few transcribed highlights (transcription credit to Bill Pritchard of Wrestlezone.com) Reigns comments on the physicality of his Wrestlemania 31 match with Brock Lesnar, how it affected him moving forward:
Right off the bat you can see it, I hit him right under the eye and split him a little bit, so he got a bit of color. From there, I knew I messed up. He scooped me up and rammed me into the [turnbuckles] and cracked my ribs. A lot of people don’t realize after that match, I wrestled for a quarter of the year with messed up ribs where I could barely breathe. If it appeared that I was blown up through that portion of my career it was because I really was. I wrestled Big Show, he was my next rivalry after that, and I wrestled him for a month or so and the whole time I was feeling the repercussions of stepping into the ring with Brock Lesnar. We’ve all seen it, we all know it, so any time you have a one on one match with a guy like Brock, you have to bring a different mentality. You have to understand the story is simple—we’re performers and we’re here to put on a show—when you’re in there with a guy that has a huge bravado and a huge reputation like Brock, and it’s legitimate — he did a crap ton of work to get there, with a lot of doubters, I’m sure— but he has to protect himself. And it has to be another level of physicality. I think we did that a couple years ago, and hopefully we’ll be able to come back and deliver another great match.Roman comments on the possibility of main eventing Wrestlemania a fourth time, and what goes in to creating good relationships with his peers:
It’s hard to look at it that way. I mean, that’s definitely a portion to it, there’s no secret that there’s politics to this, and there’s the backstage presence. I always said this to a lot of the young guys, and this is one of the toughest jobs ever because not only do you have to be a great performer, but you have to be a likable human being. You have to have some sort of power of persuasion, and you have to be able to handle yourself in a locker room situation, in a business office situation. You have to be able to negotiate for yourself, and you have to be a jack of all trades. I always tell the younger guys to quit sitting in the locker room, get out of the locker room, quit playing video games and go and network. That’s what I learned in college; make relationships. Even if you’re doing really well in a class, get to know the professor because who knows what’s going to happen after you’re done with that class. once you pass that class with flying colors and you’re looking for a job, it’s going to come down to that ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. And it’s not really who you know, it’s how you know them. I’ve always been big on building relationships, and I think that comes from my family and my upbringing, and my mother and having all of my cousins and my father and how they did it. I think that’s how we’ve managed to stay in this business for so long as a family because we just understand that. I think for the most part we’re genuine people who enjoy what we do, and the people who are around, so it makes it really easy to enjoy your job and your coworkers. I think that’s what has helped me the most.Did his match with The Undertaker live up to his expectations?
I don’t think that it ever could, really. It’s a hard spot to be The Undertaker, to have such a storied career, to have such — a huge list of ridiculously good matches, and to have that respect and that mystique, to have that repuatation as ‘The Godfather’ of the professional wrestling and sports entertainment business. Everybody has thought about what would it be like to be in a match with The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. You hype it up so much that it’s almost unfair to him. For me, what made it really hard was how heavy it was. If I wrestled Undertaker 20 years ago in the beginning of his career, the middle of it—would it be like that? Probably not. The position that I found myself it just felt really heavy and so much more emotional than I was ready for it to be.
I think that was the hardest thing, but [also] the coolest thing. I think that just shows the gravity of the situation and the responsibility of the placement, and just who I was sharing the ring with. That’s how special of a character, and kind of what we were talking about before, the politics, the backstage —obviously nobody navigated that path better than The Undertaker. Everybody that you could think of in this business, as far as WWE is concerned, has a huge amount of respect to that man. I just feel like in some way I wasn’t good enough. Maybe it could have been better on my behalf, but I always hold Undertaker so high in that regard that I just feel like maybe I could have been better. I enjoyed it, I really learned a huge amount in the ring with him, to only be in there a couple times and one singles match, and especially to have it at that level — to be able to just pick something up out there in 30-40 minutes from another performer just goes to show how good he is. I’ve shared the ring with a lot of really good wrestlers, and to be able to pick up on stuff he does, and to see the difference first person, up front and personal, it really was special.
I’m very proud of that because I’m going to be one of the only guys who said they’ve been in the ring and wrestled with The Undertaker. John Cena gets the opportunity to do it this year, and it’s not the same for him because he’s been in the locker room with [Undertaker]. He’s shared a tour bus with him, they’ve been around the world together and shared the same locker room. A lot of guys in our locker room now can’t say that.Reigns comments on the stalled reunion of The Shield:
That was one of those things that I just chalked up to be ‘if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.’ That was in the past and that’s just what happened, and it is what it is. Like you said, we couldn’t get off the ground with it, and I’m kind of glad we didn’t to be honest. I know I think we had it where it wasn’t going to be an extended thing. I think we were just going to do a one or two night deal, and then do our separate things, just because of the time of year we were getting into. Unfortunately for me I got sick, and Dean, that’s the part that really sucks for us, because not only did we lose a third member of The Shield, but the whole locker room lost a leader. He’s a workhorse and a guy who shows up, and to be honest, Dean has been the guy who’s been on the road longer than all of us. We’ve all experienced injuries; Seth blew his knee up and I had the hernia, the nose, stuff like that. So [Dean] was the only one who still hadn’t had time off in like five years. A lot of props to him, he’s an iron man for sure.Read more at http://www.mandatory.com/wrestlezone/ne ... rpbjO6z.99