October 17th, 2021
 "WWE’s Universal Champion Roman Reigns Remains Unmatched: ‘Nobody Touches Me in This Business’ | COMPLEX"

For the past 410 days, Roman Reigns has held the WWE’s Universal Championship. In that span, he’s successfully defended the belt against numerous legends. He’s adopted a new entrance theme song that makes him feel like the impossible-to-defeat final boss of your favorite video game. He’s appointed wrestling legend Paul Heyman as his Special Counsel. He’s formed the Bloodline alongside his cousins, Jimmy and Jey Uso. He’s become known as the Tribal Chief and the Head of the Table. Roman Reigns has done many things in those 410 days that have equated to one of the most impressive title runs that we have ever seen in the WWE. And he’s not done. At Crown Jewel, airing Thursday, Oct. 21 at 12 p.m. on Peacock, he faces one of his toughest tests yet, an angry, cut-off flannel wearing version of Brock Lesnar.

One thing is for sure though, Reigns remains unfazed, regardless of his opponent. He’s stacked two legends in Bryan Danielson and Edge on top of each other at WrestleMania 37 to pin them both at once. Just last month at Extreme Rules, he emerged victorious over Finn Balor despite him bringing back his fan-favorite “Demon” persona. Back in August at SummerSlam, he spoiled John Cena’s comeback to the ring when he pinned the all-time great for the three-count. Given Reigns’ continued dominance, it isn’t entirely surprising that he doesn’t appear shaken by his next opponent, even if Lesnar has proven to be one of the most feared professional wrestlers of all time.

“I’m better at this art form than everybody else. And I stand on that. That’s the totality of it. I’m not just talking about, ‘Oh, his spots are so good and he counters real well.’ That stuff don’t mean anything to me,” says Reigns. “When you tally it all up, nobody touches me in this business.”

At a time in pro wrestling where the landscape is constantly changing and WWE has what feels like its first legitimate competitor since the ‘90s (although Reigns would disagree) in AEW, Reigns has been a constant. For over a year, he has been hoisting the Universal championship belt over his head in victory. And that doesn’t seem like it will be changing any time soon. continue reading


0 Comments  /  9 views  /   Share:

August 19th, 2021
 "Sports Illustrated: Roman Reigns Still Aims to Be a Source of Inspiration, Even After Turning Heel – Interview"
Sports Illustrated: Roman Reigns Still Aims to Be a Source of Inspiration, Even After Turning Heel – Interview

By Justin Barrasso

Even with a new edge to his character, Roman Reigns takes great pride in being someone kids can look up to—especially those who, like him, have been diagnosed with cancer.

While it is not possible to see the world through the eyes of Roman Reigns, you will soon be able to wear his sunglasses.

Reigns has partnered with Shady Rays, which has created a new brand of sunglasses that feature his personal tribal tattoo on the arm of the shades. A portion of every sale is being donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a deeply personal cause for Reigns, who is in remission after two experiences with the disease.

“We created something that represents me and my culture,” says Reigns, who is Joe Anoa’i outside of the wrestling ring. “This is a product I believe in. Plus, we’re contributing on a charitable level through LLS, promoting and creating awareness, doing whatever we can to help families through a very tough time.”

Reigns and Shady Rays collaborated with famed tattoo artist Mike Fatutoa, who used his expertise to embed a piece of the WWE star’s heritage into the sunglasses. Reigns was first drawn to Shady Rays by CEO Chris Ratterman’s unrelenting desire to use his product to give back to those less fortunate.

“Shady Rays is using their platform to promote a product and a way of life with a positive outlook, which is my same exact goal,” Reigns says. “There are all sorts of struggles out there. The world and social media can be so toxic, so it’s very important to share the positive moments to create hope. I take a lot of pride in shining the light on the good.”

Honesty and authenticity are central elements of Reigns’s outlook on life. That is no different from the way he has modeled his current persona in WWE as “The Tribal Chief.” The prevailing theme throughout pro wrestling’s existence has been the battle of good versus evil, but Reigns is tweaking the formula with his “Head of the Table” character.

“Even though the ‘Tribal Chief’ and ‘Head of the Table’ can make me look like a bad guy, I still make it a point to remain very authentic,” Reigns says. “I’m trying to shine a different light on being the top guy in WWE. For so long, the guy in that position was a superhero, someone that was bulletproof. This is different. Seeing the struggle and the burden, I thought that could be something people connected with. We all bond through adversity, we all bond through struggle. We all understand falling down and the process that’s involved in getting back up. So that’s what we’re doing, showing a different view of it from the highest level possible.”

continue reading


0 Comments  /  117 views  /   Share:

August 16th, 2021
 "Inside the ‘top guy’ WWE reinvention of Roman Reigns | NYPOST Video + Article"

By Joseph Staszewski

Roman Reigns isn’t the typical lead performer in WWE — and that’s by design.

He stunningly returned from a nearly five-month hiatus last year at SummerSlam. It was the start of a character overhaul. He went from the babyface “Big Dog” to WWE’s heel “Tribal Chief” and “Head of the Table.” The character, whose story has roots in Reigns’ Samoan family’s deep history in wrestling, has become a WWE game changer and one of the industry’s best storylines.

For six years Reigns tried presenting himself in the same way as past babyface WWE champions — similar to that of John Cena, his opponent at SummerSlam on Aug. 21 (8 p.m. Peacock) at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas — only face great pushback from the audience. WWE’s current Universal champion has now chosen to do it his way and break the mold in the process.

“I think I’ve absolutely changed up the dynamic of the top guy,” Reigns said in a Zoom interview. “Being the face of WWE, and the way I’ve displayed it and the way that we’ve betrayed it.

“As opposed to lying about it and being this superman, bulletproof character who’s got these flamboyant colors on. And come running out to the ring [and] everything’s happy go lucky and saying a whole bunch of stuff with this loud charisma that doesn’t really make that much sense, but sounded good because he had great energy. I did it differently and I made it very real and authentic. I’ve showcased the burden of what it’s truly like to be the face of a billion-dollar company.” continue reading


0 Comments  /  109 views  /   Share:

July 16th, 2021
 "Roman Reigns addresses his ThunderDome legacy and his approach to the return of live fans at SmackDown | CBS Sports"
Roman Reigns addresses his ThunderDome legacy and his approach to the return of live fans at SmackDown | CBS Sports

Reigns said nobody has ever carried the WWE product the way he has in the ThunderDome era

Performing without live fans in attendance can be tough for anyone. Doing so for more than a year can feel nearly impossible, but as WWE looked to keep things rolling throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, some stars shined through. Namely, WWE universal champion Roman Reigns, who has become an elite performer and consistent highlight of WWE programming.

Now, as the promotion prepares to return to full-capacity events beginning with SmackDown on Friday night, Reigns is ready to prove the tweaks to his character over the past year can carry over to the traditional wrestling environment.

Reigns spoke of his legacy from the ThunderDome era ahead of SmackDown and Sunday’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view, speaking genuinely before briefly appearing to slip into his on-screen character.

“The live crowd has always enhanced my presentation,” Reigns said. “My reactions have always been, if not the very best, certainly up there with the very best. I’ve now showcased the layers as a performer to be able to do it without a live audience. I’ve had a strong hold on SmackDown and SmackDown being the very best portion of WWE. It’s shown me as the number one guy.

“That’s my legacy coming out of the ThunderDome. Hands down, without question, it can be debated for great content on social media and WWE.com to put these polls and try to make an argument. But there’s no argument. There’s been nobody to ever carry the WWE product like I have over the past year and I stand on that. You can throw anybody out. We can try and be nice and say, ‘Oh, Bayley! She just got hurt. She was the best.’ Come on, let’s not lie to ourselves. The Tribal Chief has carried the WWE for well over a year now and there’s no denying it.”

Reigns did not perform in the early days of the pandemic, an understandable decision as he has battled leukemia over two different periods in his adult life. His surprise comeback at SummerSlam in 2020 created a momentum that has yet to slow down. continue reading


0 Comments  /  160 views  /   Share:

April 8th, 2021
 "WWE: The best version of Roman Reigns is headlining WrestleMania | Yahoo Sports"

More.

If there is one word that could define Roman Reigns, that would be it and the past eight months certainly proves that when it comes to professional wrestling.

Reigns is returning to the main event stage at WrestleMania after missing last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While he has always been WWE’s top draw, Reigns has spent the better part of the past year turning himself into arguably the best performer in professional wrestling.

‘Everything had to fall in line’
Although it’s been a relatively new shift for Reigns, the 35-year-old star has been laying the groundwork for a move like this for his entire career.

“As far as character building and everything that goes down creatively, it’s been happening since I started doing this,” Reigns told Yahoo Sports. “I’ve heard Paul [Heyman] say it in interviews in the past, this couldn’t have been done two years ago, it honestly could not have been done a year ago, I wasn’t ready. Everything had to be centered. Everything had to fall in line for me to put all of this together.”

When Reigns returned to WWE last August, there was a marked difference in how he carried himself.

Traditionally a babyface, Reigns has been built into a superhero-esque figure and was beloved by younger fans. The character Reigns portrayed until 2020 was more in the ilk of Hulk Hogan and John Cena. The persona that Reigns took on in the early months of his return was a full-on heel. It was a change that many seasoned wrestling fans quickly embraced.

It may seem like WWE flipped a switch, but in reality there’s a deeper psychology behind everything Reigns is doing — and has done — since his return. continue reading


0 Comments  /  646 views  /   Share:

April 7th, 2021
 "Behind Roman Reigns’ Mental Health and Fitness Routine: ‘I Want to Maximize My Potential,’ He Says | People"

“Build a way of thinking, a mental toughness to where you just do it because you know it’s going to benefit your life,” Roman Reigns tells PEOPLE

One of the best ways WWE superstar Roman Reigns has taken care of his mental health during the coronavirus pandemic is by focusing on his physical wellbeing.Recently, 35-year-old Reigns has taken up Y3T (Yoda 3 Training), a progressive exercise program popularized by bodybuilder Neil Hill. The regimen focuses on switching weights and repetitions to create lean, dense muscle, and so far, Reigns — whose athletic inspirations range from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson — is savoring the results.
“Stronger than the last time I posted this lift,” Reigns — who will be defending his WWE Universal title during the second night of WrestleMania 37 on April 11 — wrote in a recent Instagram post showing him pressing two 120-pound dumbbells. “Progress is the daily, mostly and yearly goal. Enjoy the process of breaking through plates to continually get better.”

But, Reigns says he didn’t join the workout program to simply continue feeling confident without his shirt on television. Instead, the father of five had an eye on the future. “I told Neil when we first met over a year ago, that I want to grind it out for the next 15 years,” Reigns tells PEOPLE. “I want to maximize my potential for the next 15 years. And I told him, ‘This is who I am, as a performer, as a talent, but I also am a father, I’m a husband. I wear all these different hats.’ And man, we’ve been on an unbelievable journey thus far.”

At its height, the pandemic forced the closure of gyms around the country, and getting exercise — or not getting enough of it — became a focus for many. Purchases of home fitness equipment have ramped up during the pandemic, creating $2.3 billion in revenue from March to October 2020, according to the Washington Post. continue reading


0 Comments  /  646 views  /   Share:

April 7th, 2021
 "WWE WrestleMania 37: Roman Reigns, Edge and Daniel Bryan reflect on improbable journeys to epic main event | CBS Sports"

All three WWE superstars nearly had wrestling ripped away forever due to individual health scares

On Sunday night, WrestleMania 37 will conclude its two-night extravaganza with a main event featuring Roman Reigns defending the universal championship against Edge and Daniel Bryan. The match is one of the most unlikely in the decades-long history of the biggest event WWE has to offer.

All three men have previously faced health situations that have left them to face a life without wrestling. After more than a decade in remission, Reigns, real name Joe Anoa’i, was forced to vacate the universal title in 2018 when he found himself in a battle with leukemia. He would return to action in 2019 when the cancer again went into remission. . Bryan, real name Bryan Danielson, suffered a series of concussions that forced him into an official retirement in 2016. It would take more than two years of evaluations and persistence before he was finally cleared for in-ring competition in 2018.

Reigns’ time away from wrestling was much shorter than that of his two opponents, with a stunningly quick turnaround from stepping away due to leukemia to returning in under a year.

Even with that, he suggested that there is something of an unspoken bond between the three men, rooted in all experiencing having had wrestling taken away from them in cruel, unexpected ways.

“To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever really focused on it,” Reigns said. “I think that’s just due to the experience. I think where we can all be connected and you can parallel all of our mindset is that we are all thankful for today and the opportunity that comes with today. I think in all of our own ways, we’ve experienced that feeling when it’s not there. We’ve all woken up and the show went on without us. While we haven’t all sat down and talked about it, there’s a weird connection and chemistry. I’m not sure if they feel the same way or have experienced the same thing, but I can feel that through them. I can feel that gratitude, that gratefulness of having the opportunity to wake up and do what we love outside of our families and our children and our wives. We all deeply appreciate the opportunity to have the health to wake up and be physical beings, to be athletes, to be storytellers. There’s not a form of entertainment like we do where you exercise every sense, every emotion, everything from the feel, touch, smell — everything is a part of our show. That’s where we are deeply connected.”

continue reading


0 Comments  /  604 views  /   Share:

January 16th, 2021
 "WrestleMania® Set for Tampa Bay in 2021; Dallas in 2022; Los Angeles in 2023 | BusinessWire"

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WWE® (NYSE: WWE) today announced upcoming host cities for its annual pop culture extravaganza, WrestleMania, from 2021-23.

  • Tampa Bay: WrestleMania 37 presented by SNICKERS, Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium.
  • Arlington/Dallas: WrestleMania 38, Sunday, April 3, 2022 at AT&T Stadium.
  • Inglewood/Los Angeles: WrestleMania 39, Sunday, April 2, 2023 at SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park.

Click here to watch the official announcement made by John Cena®, Roman Reigns® with Paul Heyman®, Sasha Banks®, Stephanie McMahon® and Paul “Triple H®” Levesque.

“Florida is excited to welcome back WrestleMania to Tampa in April at Raymond James Stadium. Florida has continued to work with professional sports and entertainment to safely operate while generating revenue and protecting jobs. WrestleMania will bring tens of millions of dollars to the Tampa area and we look forward to hosting more sporting and entertainment events in Florida this year,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

“The opportunity for Tampa Bay to host WrestleMania in April is, in true WWE fashion, the perfect comeback story and marks a clear indication that our beautiful city is poised to bounce back stronger than ever. We can’t wait to once again showcase all that team Tampa Bay has to offer,” added Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.

“We are elated for WrestleMania’s return to Arlington’s AT&T Stadium and look forward to building upon the success from 2016 when more than 101,000 fans were in attendance for WrestleMania 32,” said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams.

“The City of Inglewood looks forward to the opportunity to host WrestleMania in 2023 and celebrates the deferral of this year’s event to Tampa Bay so they can have their rightful WrestleMania moment. Our time will come,” said Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr.

“On behalf of everyone at WWE, we thank Governor DeSantis, Mayor Castor, Mayor Williams and Mayor Butts for their graciousness and flexibility in what was a collaborative effort to bring the next three WrestleManias to these iconic stadiums in their world-class cities,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO.

In coordination with local partners and government officials, WWE will announce ticket availability and safety protocols for WrestleMania 37 in the coming weeks. Information on additional WrestleMania Week events is forthcoming. continue reading


0 Comments  /  225 views  /   Share:

October 15th, 2020
 "Interview: Big Dog to Tribal Chief: Roman Reigns talks WWE character transition, ongoing feud with cousin Jey Uso"
Interview: Big Dog to Tribal Chief: Roman Reigns talks WWE character transition, ongoing feud with cousin Jey Uso

Since making his surprise return at SummerSlam, Roman Reigns has been one of the consistent highlights of all WWE programming. From his sizzling promos to a unique storyline involving his cousin, Jey Uso, Reigns is clicking better than he ever has in his already-impressive career.

Reigns was sidelined at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a product of an enlarged spleen making it unsafe for the leukemia survivor to compete in an uncertain environment. As Reigns told CBS Sports, the locker room leader being forced to sit out during a difficult time for the company and its performers was a double-edged sword.

“You know, it was tough, but I tried to just focus on things I could control and the time with my family,” Reigns said. “For a long time — and I think maybe the reason people consider myself a locker room leader is the dedication to my craft and to the performance and to our locker room and being there for those guys and not only being where I worked as far as my character but really being there in the locker room and being approachable and going through the grind with those guys. I think I was able to earn the respect when they saw how I carried myself and how I operated on a daily basis and the work output that I put in. But, for me, it was either dwell on the negatives because, yeah, I wanted to be there and wanted to help the team and help the product, but it was also very nice to be able to help my family and be there for my children and my wife and create a little bit of a solid foundation and structure in these crazy times.

“For me to be home when everything is in question and it’s scary just to go to the grocery store, I think that was something critical for my household to see that mom and dad are doing this together and they’re spearheading this thing and taking it on as it comes. But I won’t lie, there’s something very gratifying about going to work and doing your job at a high level and earning and providing for your family. Luckily, the work that I put in in the past and up to that point, it built a good equity with WWE all the way to the fact that nothing changed for me. I was still fortunate enough to receive my paycheck and take care of my family. We’re in a very blessed situation to be able to stay home and still operate as a household and family but have security and food on the table.”

Reigns’ return saw “The Big Dog” become “The Tribal Chief,” shifting from a longtime status as one of the company’s top faces to a role as its top heel. Reigns paired off with advocate Paul Heyman and made it clear he had returned to action with no concern for how he was perceived as he recaptured the universal championship.
continue reading


0 Comments  /  565 views  /   Share:

October 15th, 2020
 "Paul Heyman Speaks Out | Fox Sports"

By Ryan Satin

Paul Heyman is never at a loss for words.

The former Executive Director of Raw, who recently re-appeared on WWE TV as “The Special Counsel” to Roman Reigns, has been a key component in the Universal Champion’s new heel persona.

This week, “The Tribal Chief” will once again be put to the test during the season premiere of Friday Night SmackDown, when he defends the Universal title against Braun Strowman in an epic clash of behemoths.

But before that happens … Heyman sat down for a chat with FOX Sports to talk about everything transpiring lately around the champ – and, as you’d expect, he had lots to say.

Paul also spoke candidly about working as the Executive Director of Raw and how his time in the position ended with a mutual appreciation between he and Vince McMahon.

RS: Right off the bat, since returning, I just want to know how it’s felt seeing the work you and Roman Reigns have been doing be so universally praised by everyone watching. 

PH: We’re very worthy of it. As a matter of fact, I think the praise is understated. I think Roman Reigns and I both continue to be quite unappreciated by the sports, the entertainment and the sports entertainment world. But we’re starting to get there now.

RS: In what way do you feel he is unappreciated? 

PH: I don’t think people understand just how far ahead Roman Reigns is from everybody else. I don’t think people really appreciate how great of a Universal champion Roman Reigns is.

I don’t think anyone, besides FOX, understands the enormous box office appeal of Roman Reigns. Which is why Roman Reigns is main eventing the season premiere of FOX this Friday against Braun Strowman.

This is part of the convergence of circumstances that led to Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman appearing together on television, is the fact that Roman Reigns is so remarkably unappreciated.

That so many people have taken Roman Reigns for granted over the years and don’t really acknowledge the level of performance that he brings forth in WWE.

RS: I think, as of late, especially since he’s come back on TV, I think it’s been very evident that he is “the guy.” For a long time, people wanted to push back on that. But I don’t think there is any denying now, when you see how he’s being presented with you by his side, that Roman Reigns is the biggest performer in all of wrestling.

continue reading


0 Comments  /  326 views  /   Share: