Roman Reigns sees a win over Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania as a victory not just for him, but the majority of the WWE roster.
“It wouldn’t only be huge for me. It would be huge for this whole locker room,” Reigns said in a phone interview. “This is a team thing that we do and I represent this new generation.”
Reigns will face Lesnar for the Universal championship at WrestleMania in New Orleans on Sunday. It will be the second time in four years the two will be in the ring together at WrestleMania with a title on the line.
In 2015, Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to beat Reigns and Lesnar for the WWE championship at Levi’s Stadium. To Reigns, his current match is a completion of his work this year, but also his journey back to that moment with Lesnar.
“I think it’s a little bit of both to be honest because I do have that unclosed box, you know, between Brock and I that we don’t have any closure on, and it’s really cool to see it come full circle now three years later,” he said.
Reigns has made a point during his promos for the match to voice his displeasure with the way the former UFC heavyweight champion goes about his part-time status. He said it adds a “legitimate beef” to the build, bringing up the fact the majority of roster is on the road year-round, while Lesnar, even during his year-long reign as a champion, only has to do limited appearances because of his contract. Lesnar’s contract with WWE is reportedly up after WrestleMania, and there is talk of him returning to the UFC. Lesnar’s friend and advocate, Paul Heyman, said The Beast is “most likely” not returning after his match with Reigns.
“So for me it’s very simple: Not only will it help fuel this fire between Brock and I, it will get some truth that needs to be said a little bit,” Reigns said of bringing up Lesnar’s infrequent appearances. “Some people need to hear this stuff because this has kind of been a thing. Brock’s not the only part-time guy. But there are a lot of full-time guys that are never gonna, as a collective, reach our potentials if we are dominated in this portion of the year by part-time guys.”
Having a full-time performer as champion is better for the company and the talent’s bottom line, according to Reigns.
“Whenever you have a champion who is on every single live event, every single house show, every single appearance that’s scheduled, it changes numbers,” he said. “It’s true. I’ve seen it before. The tour we had after I beat Triple H in Dallas [at WrestleMania 32] the numbers didn’t lie and it’s not going to be any different [this time].”
Reigns is heading into his fourth straight main-event match at WrestleMania. He’s perfectly happy with his position as a polarizing figure to the WWE’s fan base, with boos usually outweighing cheers.
Reigns did notice he was getting more positive reactions during The Shield’s brief reunion late last year. He said it was likely a product of association because “Seth and Dean [Ambrose] are cool dudes, so oh, Roman’s a cool dude.”
Still, he’s fine with how he is received and doesn’t feel the need to change in order to appease his detractors.
“I’ve kind of always been that way, even before I wrestled,” Reigns said. “You kind of even like me or you don’t. The people that like me, I make sure there is a reason for you to like me. I’m kind to those who are kind to me and I live a life where I think it’s nice to be nice, so why not be nice? “With that being said, if you’re not for me I’m not just going to shift my day and, ‘Oh God, what can I do to make you like me?’ No, I’m gonna do my thing and stick to my guns. I’m going to be the man I was raised to be and do my thing.”
One of the points of contention around Reigns is his ability to deliver a good promo. It’s something he believes he has improved on since his feud with John Cena leading into their match at No Mercy last September.
Cena, one of the best wrestlers ever with a microphone, called Reigns’ struggles out in their opening segment together. The program pushed Reigns to be better. He called it a “launching pad” and said that experience helped him during the weeks leading up to WrestleMania.
“I honestly think that if I didn’t have the battle I did with John that I wouldn’t have been able to deliver the promos like I did against Brock, you know, and truly connect with how I felt and be able to deliver it in the manor and the sentiment that I wanted to be shown on live television,” Reigns said. “John absolutely 100 percent helped me.”
Getting to cash in on all of that at WrestleMania was never in jeopardy, according to Reigns, even with steroid allegations stemming from jailed steroid dealer Richard Rodriguez. Reigns, as well as actors Mark Wahlberg and Josh Duhamel, were accused of being clients in Rodriguez’s steroid distribution ring.
So far, no link has been made, and Reigns said the claims haven’t affected his standing with the company. Right now, it’s not something he is concerned with.
“Once again, I don’t know who that guy is, I couldn’t even tell you his name right now,” he said. “But that is literally nothing that me or any of my family think about or worry about.”
His ax to grind is with Lesnar at WrestleMania.
“Sometimes, you know, we as storyteller and creators can be so tricky and think that there has to be this like wild turn and twist,” Reigns said. “But nah, man, it’s real simple. I don’t like him.”
source: New York Post