Following this past Sunday’s Survivor Series, former WWE Champion JBL discussed his overall take on what he liked from this iconic event. When looking at the big picture, he says that Roman Reigns’ transition from being “The Big Dog” to becoming “The Tribal Chief” is one of the best gimmicks he’s seen in over 20 years. He compliments Reigns’ new character and title reign since his return.
“I think the thing that has impressed me by far, and anything I’ve seen in the last 20 years, is Roman Reigns,” JBL began in his interview on WWE’s The Bump. “Roman Reigns, to me, is the most compelling character I’ve seen on television in 20 years. It’s unbelievable how good of a character he is. The way it’s just transitioned and becoming this head of the table – I’m a huge fan.”
In the main event of Survivor Series, Roman Reigns – with the help of Jey Uso – gained the victory over the newly crowned WWE Champion Drew McIntyre. JBL praised this matchup as the best match on the card.
“To me, it lived up to every bit of the hype, which is hard to do when you talk about having a true heavyweight matchup like they did,” he noted. “You had two great champions, and both of those guys are in the prime of their lives and the best conditions in their lives. I don’t know if everyone expected something that great, but that match was outstanding.”
In the 5-on-5 Men’s Elimination Match, Team RAW came out victorious being captained by AJ Styles. Now, three of those former teammates: Styles, Riddle, and Keith Lee, will compete in a triple threat match for a shot at McIntyre’s World Championship. Despite complimenting Styles’ wrestling performance, he is looking forward to seeing what Riddle and Lee will pull off during their main event match next week on RAW.
“You know what you have with AJ Styles? I’ve said this for some time, but AJ Styles is this generation’s Shawn Michaels; he just doesn’t have a bad match. Every time you put him out there, he performs incredibly well. Anyone he’s against has one of the best matches in the year at least, or in their career. I think the world of AJ Styles, so we all know what we have in him.
“I’m really interested in Riddle and Keith Lee. Those are two big unknowns, and I would love to see them get their opportunity. Keith Lee has limitless potential. When you put that moniker on somebody, that’s huge pressure to have on somebody. I certainly think that he can handle it. Riddle, to me, has this innate charisma that you can’t teach. You couldn’t draw Riddle on the drawing board and come up with what he is, which I think is very compelling for television.”
Since winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship, Sasha Banks has been on a roll on the blue brand. Although this wasn’t the first time they met in the ring, Banks beat the odds when she defeated Asuka with a roll-up. JBL believes Banks really needed that win to cement her standing both in the women’s division and as a top champion in the company.
“I think that’s a defining moment in her career,” he said boldly. “You know, what you do on pay-per-view, especially in the big four, matters. I thought what Sasha did was a defining moment; she needed that. I believe she’s a great champion, but there’s been a lot of speculation and guessing about her and her big matches. I thought she answered all of those questions against one of, if not the best, women performers of this generation.”
Lastly, JBL mentioned that he found Sami Zayn and Bobby Lashley’s match to be fun, but he is more invested to see where Lashley’s career will go. To him, he sees the United States Champion as the new guy who could become the face of WWE in the future.
“Sami Zayn, what a great character he’s become. He’s a real talented guy… because very few people could pull off that; he’s also an annoying guy, too,” he joked. “But Bobby Lashley, to me, this guy is going to be the world champion. There’s no doubt in my mind. This guy is going to carry the company one day. I saw it the first day he came in; we all said the same thing. His first U.S. Championship came from me. I knew then that this young guy was going to be the foundation of this company going forward, there’s no doubt.”
You can watch JBL’s full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.