WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns was on a recent episode of Out of Character with Ryan Satin where he discussed his current run as well as his early pro wrestling memories. Reigns recalls his earliest memories of the business having come from a pro wrestling family.
“I don’t know if it’s just as I’ve gotten older, and I’ve built so many different memories, but I’ve kind of lost a few of them,” Reigns admitted. “When I see those pictures of me with Hulk Hogan or Macho Man, I don’t really remember them that well. I had to be probably three and a half, four-ish, I would say. I don’t know if that’s a bad thing, but my memories don’t go all the way back then.
“I would say watching it on pay per view back in the day, watching the Caesar’s Palace WrestleMania when Yokozuna was in the main event, and then Hulk Hogan came in at the very end, did a little run-in, impromptu match. I think being in my cousin’s, The Usos’, den kind of TV room, we just all piled in and watched it on pay per view and watched their dad and then our other cousins as well. Being a part of the show was always something really cool.”
Reigns is part of the Anoa’i with his father and uncle being Afa and Sika of The Wild Samoans. Reigns recalled meeting his cousin Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for the first time.
“I think it was Biloxi, MS, and this is when Dwayne, I think he had just started turning into The Rock and started to display that persona and I remember seeing him,” Reigns recalled. “I was young, early teens, and I was with the twins, The Usos’ younger brother, who’s about a year and a half younger than them and we’re just kind of walking out of catering. Here comes Dwayne, and man, he was just super nice. This was the first time I think I ever met him.
“Kind of real loud, and just huge ‘hello’, and a big hug and a big greeting and then later on, we’re just sitting on one of the cargo crates, one of the backstage set crates, and we didn’t even realize we were right in front of the set. We’re sitting there for 30 minutes or so waiting on their dad. Dwayne was actually doing a promo on the backstage set right in front of us, so it was pretty funny that we we didn’t even realize what what was about to take place the next couple of decades and how big he’s gonna get, but man, from the very beginning, he was family.”
MLW World Champion Jacob Fatu was on The Wrestling Inc. Daily where he spoke on his part in the Anoa’i family as well as his experience meeting The Rock. Satin asked Reigns if people believed him growing up whenever he said he was related to The Rock.
“Yeah, our family’s so big that it wasn’t just singling out Dwayne. We have so many former former professional wrestlers and sports entertainers in my family that everybody just knew. I’m from a small you know, little beach town Pensacola, FL, so everybody knew who our family was, our last name and everything that came along with it within the wrestling legacy.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Out of Character with Ryan Satin with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.