Roman Reigns talks comparisons to John Cena, favourite matches, working with Rusev, more
The WNS Podcast hosted an interview with WWE Superstar Roman Reigns prior to competing in Beaumont, Texas on a number of topics including his thoughts on returning to the ring following injury, being compared to John Cena and his reaction to being named Superstar of the year. They sent us these highlights:
Returning to in-ring action
"Man, I'm happy to do a lot of things. Having that hernia surgery and the first couple of weeks of recovery was something I had never experienced before. I've had some injuries in my day and I've been able to work through the rehab process but I mean the requirements for hernia surgery is sit on the couch and do nothing. Which you know, it sounds like what's he complaining about? But for the first couple of weeks it was pretty cool. I'm not going to lie I did some pretty good couch work. Til about two and a half, three weeks oh man. You start getting so antsy you just want to get out. I want to get in the gym and I want to work ad sweat and I just couldn't do anything like that. It's nice to be able to move around. run, jump, wrestle, everything man. I'm very fortunate."
If 2015 will be his year
"I think so. I think everyone's thinking that. I think everybody goes into these type of matches thinking they're going to be the guy. It can happen. Whether it's 30, 40, 100 people in this match. Everybody should be going in with that mindset. 'I'm the guy. I can change my whole career. I can change my whole life if I just dominate tonight and that's what I'm going to do.' Fortunately for me I have some experience with this match. I have a record of eliminations and I'm taking last year making it all the way to the end and coming up short as a mistake I can learn from. As a good experience. Hopefully, I can capitalize on it this year and correct that wrong and go onto the big one."
Being compared to John Cena
"When I first started wrestling, I got a lot of comparisons to a lot of different people. Razor Ramon, The Rock. I had a bunch of different qualities and characteristics of former guys. I'm not trying to be the next anybody. I'm trying to be the very first Roman Reigns that's all I can do. I'm not out to be somebody that I'm not. I know who I am and I know where I come from and I know where I want to go. It's very flattering to be compared to someone who's worked so hard and been so successful. I don't want what he has, I want what I'm going to get."
Transition from The Shield to singles competition
"I was fine with it. People don't realize that I was wrestling singles towards the end of The Shield's run. I main evented a whole year of fighting Randy Orton while I was still in The Shield. I had multiple matches without the boys. It's just one of those things, I'm a sports entertainer. I'm a wrestler. I'm a worker. I can wrestle in a team situation. Before I got in The Shield I was wrestling singles so you gie me a squared circle, ropes and someone to beat up and I can do it."
Any country he's not yet got to perform in but would like to
"There's quite a few places I'd like to go. I've been so lucky to go to so many different cool places all over the world. Places I never would have thought of going or even knew about. But I think the one continent that I haven't been to would be South America. So, I would love to get down there and just do a tour and go country to country and tear it up for the South American WWE Universe."
The most bizarre thing that's happened when he's walked through the crowd
"There's been a couple of situations. There's one time a few months ago this little girl came out and wave slapped me. Just a big bear hug on me and I didn't even notice. She was on me before I even knew so when I looked down this 7-8 year old little girl who was as cute as can be. Not too long ago, I think last week i saw those little short films they do on the internet some girl just feeling my arm up and holding my hand. There's so many people and I'm trying to take in the crowd and see what I'm working with with the people that sometimes I don't even notice things like that. We have an awesome job, they're so feisty and emotional and outspoken. But they've been awesome with me. They haven't done anything too crazy to where we put the entrance in jeopardy."
Possibly being a comic book fan and some of his favorites
"As a younger kid, I've read comic books. I was really into the Spiderman vs Venom and the Superman comics and things like that. But I'm not one of those grown men comic book guys like a few people I know. I got a kid, I don't do little kid stuff. I like to think I emulate a comic book character with the things that I do. My look, my gear, the moveset that I have. Try to emulate that of a Superman-Spiderman mix or something like that."
Facing Rusev in Beaumont, Texas
"I think it's a great opportunity. What better place to win the U.S Title then right there in Beaumont, Texas. I think he's been on a bit of a hot streak. I don't even think anyone's beaten him thus far."
The emotions going through him at WrestleMania
"It's unlike anything else in the world. Our first one one was in New York/New Jersey and last year down in N.O. and it was awesome and just the whole tour, the whole week we get to do a lot of different things at Axxess and do a lot of meet and greet and signings with the fans. So, to have. To be able to interact and hang out and have a little time not only with the fans but your family it's almost like a bit of a vacation up until it's time to kind of get your game face on and remember why you're there. To perform on the grandest stage of them all. For us it was cool because you can feel all those people and you know they're out there. Fortunately for us, going through the crowd we legitimately got to walk through them."
His favorite match
"Yeah, I'd have to say my favorite match was the first Wyatt match we had on pay per view. I still haven't watched it back. I want to leave it to what I remember. The vibe and the emotion we had out there. The response. The manipulation of the crowd just going in and out of stuff. All the different chants and things like that. It was an unbelievable match.
"Also, I gotta say for me personally. I really dig my match I had with Randy Orton at Summerslam. I thought we did some pretty cool stuff especially down towards the end of the match. Incredible exchanges, signature moves and stuff like that. He had an RKO caught me out of the Superman Punch no one's ever done that and that just speaks to the type of competitor that guy is and not only that I had enough in me to beat a guy like that."
Feeling pressure being the ambassadors for NXT along with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins
"I don't know if it was extra pressure. There's always pressure. Pressure almost becomes like another emotion. Most people are happy, sad, angry just all the different emotions you can feel and pressure is just one of them. That time I'm alive. If i'm not nervous or feeling butterflies then like what am I doing. For me, it was a cool responsibility to be given, to take on. I think that's just part of the process. Being the first few to come out of NXT, we felt it but everyone behind us all the way from The Wyatts to Rusev and the list is just going to continue to go on. You've got great talent down there that are going to come up and make a big name for themselves. The Ascension, Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville. There's even newer guys, international stars from the independent scene so it's a good time to be a wrestling fan."
Being named "Superstar of the Year"
"To be honest I was shocked. I didn't even look at it like I was going to win. I was in The Shield for a little bit of the year. When I came out of there, I came out with a rocket on me and I was able to do some cool stuff with the Rumble and Survivor Series. What you saw on live TV, was what I was going through at the time."
You can listen to the full interview here.