WWE News WWE NEWS: Roman Reigns interview - fan criticism, calls Dean & Rollins "journeymen," his promos, more (w/Analysis)
Mar 13, 2015 - 2:55:35 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
WWE star Roman Reigns was interviewed on "The Josh Podcast" promoting WrestleMania 31. The following are transcript highlights from the interview:
-- ON THE WWE TITLE MATCH GOING ON LAST AT WRESTLEMANIA: "I haven’t talked much about that. My assumption is the championship match should always be last, that’s what we’re fighting for, that’s the biggest prize, as awesome as rivalries are. The WWE Championship, if you have that around your waist you are the man, you are on top of the mountain, you’re receiving the biggest paychecks, you’re going to have the best life, you’re going to create the best future for you and your family. So for me, I think the ultimate prize being the WWE Championship, it should always be on last, not just cause I’m fighting for it."
-- ON BUTTING-HEADS WITH HARDCORE FANS: "I don’t think I’m head butting with them, I feel like they are head butting me. I don’t do anything but go out there and bust my ass every single week. Even when I was with The Shield, I’ve always had the critics and I think a lot of it goes with the background of me not having that independent experience, especially being paired up with guys like Seth and Dean because those guys are journeymen. The things they had to do are second to none."
-- ON "DESERVING" HIS SPOT: "We have a very strong hardcore fan base and they go in a bit deeper than just what the storyline is. One thing that kind of confuses me is that it is a performance, it is a show, there is a storyline. When people start doing the 'He deserves this, He deserves that,' really did Brad Pitt deserved to be Achilles in Troy? It’s a weird world that we live in; it’s very real but very scripted at the same time. It’s a fine line and in my opinion that’s what makes it so neat."
-- ON SCRIPTED PROMOS HANDCUFFING TALENT: "I don't think handcuffing is the right term. I look at it as a challenge. Obviously as a performer, I would love to go out there and go off of impulse, just go off into the arena and feel what’s going, but it is a show, it is a performance, and there is a lot that goes into this machine... For me, I know for a fact I haven’t told my full story. There is still so much more about me that I want to show the world."
-- ON KEEPING THE SHIELD’S STAIRWAY ENTRANCE: "The entrance itself it’s just such a unique thing, somebody had to keep that because it’s part of the show now and I get Tweets and all kinds of social media stuff, “what area are you coming down.” People want those seats now. It’s upped the value of that seating almost to where it’s like a front row situation. Those fans that are on that stairwell that I’m coming down are right on top of me, you get to see me, you can smell me, and people are touching me. You get a very good feel of what I’m like up close and personal. I think that was one thing WWE wanted to do was keep that moment for the crowd."
Caldwell's Analysis: There are several stand-out quotes to pick apart from the interview, but the overall takeaway from his interviews remains the same - an inexperienced wrestler who is saying what he thinks he's supposed to say or repeating what he's heard from agents/management while trying to deflect criticism with weak arguments. The idea that he does not understand why many fans (and wrestlers) believe he has not progressed to the main event of WrestleMania is very telling. Based on Reigns's argument, if it's "just a performance," then guys like Adam Rose or Zack Ryder would be in the main event of WrestleMania if given the same 100 percent backing from WWE management.
The other big item is Reigns describing Rollins and Ambrose as "journeyman," almost like describing two utility infield baseball players who toiled in Double A ball for ten years before finally getting their shot at the big leagues. He doesn't seem like the type to look down on Rollins and Ambrose, but that poor word choice comes across as arrogant. Combine that with a lack of awareness for the criticism and you can see where resentment has built and now been attached to Reigns, fueled in-part because of WWE pushing Reigns through the system and to a top Mania spot before he's ready. Not just in the ring, but in interviews.
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