WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns recently spoke with BT Sports’ Ariel Helwani about his current run as Universal Champion and being a heel. The 36-year-old said the reaction he’s received from fans has been on point with what he and the WWE expected when they originally came up with the idea to turn him heel.
“I think [the heel turn is] pretty much been on point with what I thought it would be,” Reigns mentioned. “It was always kind of a mixed reaction, depending on where we were, what kind of event it was, it can go either in a negative way or a positive way. I think we’ve really kept that negative loud dislike for what I’m doing from a character standpoint but then we also have those fans that are just supportive Roman Reigns fans that are going to be with me no matter what. Then I think we have a large group of fans that were naysayers that possibly have respected the performance and grind that I’ve been in the past year or so. It’s been what we have hoped for for sure.”
The interview was recorded before Reigns defeated John Cena at SummerSlam this past weekend. Reigns was asked if John Cena should have turned heel once he became a main event superstar. The Universal Champion said that nobody should question Cena for the decisions he made.
“We can side seat drive his career and his life all we want but at the end of the day, he’s done pretty good and he’s still out there hustling and doing his thing,” Reigns said. “I think every man has their own path and their own decisions to influence that path. I think he did it his way and that’s the only way it should’ve happened.”
Reigns was also asked whose idea it ultimately was for his character to come back as a heel and take on the Head of the Table persona alongside Paul Heyman. The Universal Champion highlighted how both he and Heyman had a big part in the decision making process in terms of their partnership for the Reigns heel character.
“If I didn’t want to do it, I wouldn’t have done it,” Reigns said. “As far as whose idea it was, it was a collective idea and something that had to be pitched and chewed on and thought about thoroughly but ultimately it was my decision to do it.”
“Paul was a huge part of that chewing process, that brainstorming process. That was also his decision too. We’re two guys that already did a lot in their careers, already had a lot on the line so it was a decision for both of us. He was coming off a hell of a run with Brock so he was putting quite a bit of equity on the line to flow into this run as well. That decision had to have been made before we started getting into it and trying to flesh this thing out.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit BT Sport with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.