Roman Reigns appears on Ariel Helwani Meets w/BT Sport to promote SummerSlam
Video: Ariel Helwani meets: Roman Reigns 8/2021
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
Roman Reigns appears on The Pat McAfee show to promote SummerSlam and he talks about his rise in WWE and life challenges.
Galleries: The Pat McAfee Show 8/11/2021
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The Head of the Table shows up and shocks SGG and the Cheap Heat Universe. CORRECTION — MSG tickets go on sale Friday July 9th!
WWE superstar Roman Reigns goes Sneaker Shopping with Complex’s Joe La Puma at Solefly in Miami and talks wearing Jordans in the ring, admiring Ken Griffey Jr. and having the best sneaker game in wrestling.
Roman Reigns Always Wanted To Be Heel 1/21/2021
By Ryan Satin |FOX Sports WWE analyst
WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns has been on the run of his life since returning over the Summer as a heel (aka a bad guy, for you non-wrestling fans).
The character overhaul reinvigorated Roman’s WWE persona and validated his position at the top of the card in a new way.
For years, fans, wrestling legends, critics, even the wrestler himself felt like he’d be more compelling on-screen in a villainous role, and over the past six months we’ve learned that we were all even more right than we realized.
“The Head of the Table” character is perfect for Roman.
How did the long-awaited turn come about, though?
Reigns spoke openly with us about it this week in an interview covering how long he’s wanted to be a bad guy, why the pandemic era was the best time to take a gamble on it and how he’s changed the dynamic to his matches/in-ring storytelling in order to connect more with the viewers at home, instead of fans in an arena.
He also revealed his thoughts on when a potential WrestleMania match against his cousin The Rock makes the most sense.
RS: First I want to discuss the main thing we’re here to talk about and that is this weekend’s announcement regarding WrestleMania.
How do you feel about WrestleMania 37 being relocated to Tampa, where last year’s show was originally scheduled to take place?
REIGNS: I just think it’s awesome.
I think the commitment the WWE has to the communities that we pinpoint, those locations, means a lot to the economy and what we do for a city. Obviously, it was terrible being in a pandemic, going through these COVID times, but to not be able to put on a WrestleMania for Tampa was tough and to have to do it in the PC was – I wasn’t there – but it was quite different for everybody else, I know.
So, to be able to go back and bring that experience to the Tampa Bay area … I’m not exactly sure how it’s all going to go down as far as the attendance and all that. I know they’re still working that out, safety and keeping all the protocols up to par. Beyond that, obviously, is gonna be number one. It just feels good being able to go back to Tampa Bay and say we’re going to be able to do it.
RS: Totally. You mentioned the ticket availability thing and safety protocols and how they said all that will be announced in the coming weeks, but what will it mean to you and all the other performers if fans are able to come back to this show in some capacity. What will it mean to you to have all that energy back from the fans?
REIGNS: It would mean everything, to be honest.
It’s been tough. My whole career has been based off of reactions. Everything is due to interactions. That’s kinda always been my measuring stick.
Even when the fans hated me, it was still louder than everybody else. Everybody else can complain. They can bitch and complain about, “Oh, I don’t get this opportunity,” or “I should be like this,” or “I should be here,” “I should be the main event.” But, when it came down to it, my reaction was always way louder than everybody else’s.
There’s only one guy. Cena. That’s it, for obvious reasons … and he’s no longer here any more.
That’s the difference is we don’t have that. So, you have to be able to pull out different tools. You can’t be a one trick pony, and I feel like people called me that quite a bit during the first part of my career. Limited move set, what have you.
Being in this time, in these pandemic times, you gotta be able to pull out different layers to your performance, different attributes and show different tools. And that’s what I’ve done over the past six months is show a different side of me as a performer. Completely change the dynamics to my matches and the way people perceive my storytelling in-ring.
Added so much more dialogue; to now everybody cuts a promo while they’re wrestling … and they can’t! Because I’m the one that’s doing it at the top level.
So, when it gets compared to what I’m doing … I cried in the ring, for Christ’s sake! To be able to tap into these emotions and to be able to put on these type of performances, I just feel like I’m doing it at a different level and I’ve had to do that because I don’t have that security blanket of the reactions being really loud.
Hell, if I ever got to a point where it’s like, “Man, I don’t know what I want to do,” all I gotta do is sit still and look at the crowd and they’ll make some kind of noise, you know what I mean?
But, I don’t have that vehicle there any more. So, you have to really be smart about how you put on your performance nowadays.
RS: Without fans there, I feel like you guys have all had to really rethink the craft as a whole in general for all those reasons. You’re not making a person in the crowd pop anymore, instead you’re doing stuff that’s more focused on the TV viewer.
When you were away for a little while, did you kind of reconstruct how you were going to think when you returned to the ring and how you’d do things differently? Because, like you said, everything about you has been just a totally different character.
You changed everything. The nickname, you’ve added more moves, you talk in the ring loudly now. Like you said, you cried once. Was this something that subconsciously you thought about while you were away to figure out how you were going to apply it to wrestling once you came back?
REIGNS: Yeah, I watched a couple of the shows. I did not follow it thoroughly. I tried to use as much of the time to be with my family and just really focus in and be present here at home, but on a few of the shows that I saw, I was just like, “Man, this is trash.” Like, you know what I mean?
And that’s me, from the very top, thinking this because I always want to be way better than everybody else. This is no disrespect to what they were doing. They were busting their ass working really hard.
But, for me, I was like, “Man, I just know when it’s time to pull my trigger, I know exactly what I want to do. I know exactly the kind of stories I want to tell and the different tools I want to utilize in order to connect with our crowd, our audience that’s watching at home.”
But, I knew it was all based off of emotion. I knew I had to be emotionally connected to what I was doing to be able to wear the skin of the character that I’m trying to convey to our audience. So, that was the most important thing is that I could completely focus in and concentrate 100% on what I was trying to do and the emotions that I was trying to convey throughout my narratives.
RS: This weekend WWE also confirmed WrestleMania 38 will take place in Dallas, Texas and WrestleMania 39 will happen at SoFi Stadium in L.A., instead of 37 as planned.
One match that people want to see at one of those three WrestleManias is you versus the Rock. What do you think about all the chatter over that possible match and fans talking about how badly they want to see it happen?
REIGNS: I think it’s great. I think any time our fans are buzzing on a matchup, or buzzing on an event, I think that’s important. That’s what it’s all about is that water cooler talk, that fantasy warfare. Creating that escapism for our audience to discuss and debate and criticize and bring positive energy towards.
So, I would definitely think this one would be the one to wait for – and they might have to wait for it. Especially due to the lineup that you just spoke about.
This year, obviously we’re in Tampa. Next year, we’ll be in Dallas, and then we’ll go to Hollywood for [WrestleMania] 39, and I think it just makes sense. He’s the biggest movie star in the world. He’s the biggest box office attraction for the big screen out there.