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Paul Heyman reveals why Roman Reigns "wasn't ready" for a heel turn two years ago

Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman
Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 18 Mar 2021
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Paul Heyman has spoken his mind about Roman Reigns' heel turn at SummerSlam 2020, and why he feels The Tribal Chief "wasn't ready" for this type of character change until last year.

In a recent interview with Esquire Middle East, the special counsel to the Universal Champion explained how Roman Reigns' development over his time in the spotlight has prepared him for his "best presentation."

Heyman also said Reigns' age might have been a factor as to why turning him heel earlier may not have been a successful move.

"Roman Reigns is a subject and a category all unto himself. Roman Reigns had to main event for nine years, had to main event WrestleMania multiple times, consecutively, in order to find the best presentation of Roman Reigns. And he also needed some seasoning. He needed some age in his face. Roman Reigns could not have pulled off this presentation even two years ago, he wasn't ready for it. He didn't look the role. He was still—he still looked too young."
"Now, when you look in his face, you can see some of the wars that he's been through. You can see the years of main eventing have presented a burden to the man behind the persona, that he has to carry not only his family, but as the top star in sports entertainment. He has to carry WWE, and indeed he has to carry the entire industry in terms of public perception. And you get to see that in his face now. And you couldn't see that in his face, even if it was true, just a couple of years ago." - Esquire Middle East

Paul Heyman on Roman Reigns' connection with the audience

Paul Heyman also went on to say that Roman Reigns' apparent connection with the audience - now that he's turned heel - is a result of being able to express how he truly feels on screen.

"So what allows Roman Reigns to resonate today? The reason why the connection to the audience and with the audience is so strong is because you're seeing how this man actually feels. And he looks the part when he says these words. He could have said these words with the same delivery and the same greatness two years ago, but it wouldn't hit home as much because now he truly looks the part as well."

Paul Heyman will likely be ringside this weekend at Fastlane to see Roman Reigns face off against Daniel Bryan for the Universal Championship.

Published 18 Mar 2021
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