SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Roman Reigns, in an interview with the CBS Sports podcast “In This Corner” (LINK), said he and Cena have “never been close friends by any means.” It was said because one of the hosts said he assumed he and Cena were good friends.
Reigns said although Cena has taken liberties in their promos in recent weeks, it doesn’t affect him because “if you care about somebody and they knife you, it’ll hurt your feelings and can depress you, but if you don’t really care about somebody’s opinion it won’t affect you, and that’s how it is with me and John.”
Reigns, who faces Cena in a main event match at No Mercy this Sunday, stopped short of any compliments for Cena. Regarding the promo exchanges getting tense, Reigns said “for someone like Cena to use that stuff, it was a little strange, but it spiced things up.” He again said it didn’t bother him. “It’s not a situation where I’m taking anything he says to heart because I don’t really care what he thinks about me.”
“It’s a little weird breaking down that fourth wall,” he said. He said he believes fans think “it’s cool as hell” to hear things they’ve heard about from behind the scenes make it onto the air. “It is nice to be able to change gears and get better at something. I think I’ve gotten better on the stick working with John. Either you step up or you step aside.”
He said when he won the Superstar of the Year award a few years ago, he said he didn’t care who was on top, he was going to step up and whoever was on top when he gets there, he’s moving them aside.
“I’ll be completely honest,” he said. “Me and John have always been cordial, but we’ve never been close friends by any means. That’s what makes this all special, we’re really competing against each other and I think people see that.”
Keller’s Analysis: In listening to the entire interview, I didn’t sense at all Reigns was working the hosts and listeners to try to build up the match. I sensed he was just being open and honest about his relationship with Cena, which apparently is far from close based on these comments. Reigns knows he can’t compete with Cena on the mic, and he seems like he’s content to “wait out the storm” since it’s clear Cena isn’t going to be stopping him from making it to the top. Cena probably sees what he’s doing as sharpening Reigns’s knife, even if it comes through as “tough love” by putting him on the spot and testing him.