Roman Reigns was on a recent episode of Cheap Heat where he discussed WWE going back to Madison Square Garden. Reigns also discussed his character and he described what he credits to the success of the character.
“Well I think the the rare moments, displaying new layers and elevating the performance every single week, that’s always going to be a part of a staple of what we’re trying to do, but I think what’s it made it so special is the preparation,” Reigns noted. “And that goes individually throughout our careers, Paul and I. Everything that’s had to happen and the journey that we both have been on to get to this point in our careers to kind of collide and make this thing happen, but I think it goes with the similar and the very parallel mindset of trying to be the very best every single week, and this is some stuff I’ve said to Jey and Jimmy on screen.
“But it’s a shoot. It’s for real. This is the only way I want to be remembered is being the the hands down, head shoulders, better than everybody else on the show, everybody else in the world. They’re all trying to catch me. At this point, I feel like it we’re in a marathon. We’re lapping people because we put so much preparation, so much thought into the detail, the nuance and trying to deliver the most sophisticated, not confusing, but very respectful stories as we can. When me and Paul knew we were going to get together, it was immediate, just starting to spit ball.
“We knew it was something that had to be fleshed out in real time, obviously, week to week and be put into the situation and know our barriers, know what we were gonna have to go over, avoid, or just bust right through. But we were game planning everything, and I think that was the common denominator is that we just want to be special. He’d been on an awesome run with Brock for 10 – 12 years, and then for myself, I already had four main events at WrestleMania, multiple championship reigns so there wasn’t much that I hadn’t already done in this industry so far. I think for both of us, it was just really about developing that cherry on top, really solidifying the legacy and cementing this hall of fame portion of our careers.”
Since Reigns returned to SmackDown last August, he has been paired with Paul Heyman. Reigns said that his relationship with Heyman has evolved since then.
“I definitely think the relationship has evolved,” Reigns stated. “Even being on the other side as the opponent of Brock Lesnar and still having that performance relationship with Paul, you build that equity and that common ground between each other, that familiarity between the two to where we kind of know how each other operates. We get a sense for each other’s personalities.
“That’s kind of a testament to Paul. If he’s working with you, then in his mindset, he’s working for you. Everything he does is to cater to that performance, and he’s been around performers pretty much his whole adult life. He knows that he needs to do everything in his in his capability to make the performer comfortable in what they are doing.
“And so for me, ever since we started working together, I think it really shows up, I’m able to wear the skin of my character so much more seamlessly. That’s just a testament to Paul, his professionalism and just how genuine he is when it comes to the people he’s working with and his loved ones for that matter.”
Reigns has been the WWE’s top heel since August. Reigns said that his current run is the most fun that he’s had with the company.
“Oh, without question,” Reigns admitted. “When you’re in this position, it’s a weekly battle. There is a little bit of stress that’s involved with the creative scenario and fighting for what you believe in and really jockeying for your position of telling your story the way you want to tell it because it’s a collaborative situation. You have to be a team player, but, man, it’s fun.
“There’s no doubt about it. It’s a different scenario and a lot of different sub lines of this ThunderDome situation has kind of influenced it in different ways. But when I’m out there, and I’m performing, when I go through the curtain, and Paul will tell you, there’s goosebumps just all over all me, all through my back and my arms and stuff when I’m going out there for a performance that I’m dialed in on. There’s nothing better than that.”
Reigns’ former Shield partners have seen their careers take different paths. While Jon Moxley is now with AEW, Seth Rollins is a part of the SmackDown brand with Reigns. Reigns noted that he is not interested in the group reuniting, although he is looking forward to facing Rollins again.
“No, I mean, I have a lot of respect for everything that we did now, but a lot of that time was really pivotal for me to learn and gain the experience, be around other performers and see how their processes is and how they attack things and how they think about things,” Reigns explained. “Where I’m at now, it’s a one man show I have the family dynamic with my cousins, but at the same time, I call the shots. I don’t think I could share it anymore.
“Seth is a special performer, especially in-ring. It can be a cold situation. You give us a crowd, you give us a ring and we’re gonna make some special happen. So you put us in a scenario like a WrestleMania, a SummerSlam a big PPV, no question. That chemistry, that ambition for greatness between the both of us, it’ll always be there so that’s what’s gonna always make it special. That’s easy. That’s like an insurance policy. When in doubt, throw me and him in there.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Cheap Heat with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.