Roman Reigns looks back on 2017 promo segment with John Cena, says he blanked but it made him better

Originally published at Roman Reigns looks back on 2017 promo segment with John Cena

Reigns dives into his growth over the years.

For two years, Roman Reigns has been in possession of WWE’s Universal Championship and this past April at WrestleMania 38, he defeated Brock Lesnar to capture the WWE Championship and unify the two belts.

Reigns’ most recent title defense took place at Clash at the Castle in Cardiff, Wales and he received an assist from the newest addition to The Bloodline stable, Solo Sikoa, to defeat Drew McIntyre. Reigns dove into his growth over the years when he sat down with Logan Paul for a recording of ‘IMPAULSIVE’.

He spoke about the varying crowd reactions he’s received throughout the years. Reigns felt he had to earn the respect of the audience and he did so by being consistent and eventually finding his rhythm.

So I didn’t come in as a ‘Logan Paul’ or like, you know what I mean? I came in as an ex-failed football player who had to go to a warehouse and figure it out and then they brought us in as a group as The Shield early on. Then, once I started finding those broad strokes, the basics of how to A, wrestle and then B, wrestle on television, you know what I mean? And all those details that you’re learning. Then we split and once we went on our own, that’s when it got hectic because they were into me, then they saw, oh, they’re pushing him to the moon. They want this guy to be the guy so they rebelled against me and then there was a nice little gap of probably anywhere from two-to-four years of me — it was almost like a competition with me and the crowd to where it was like, I’m gonna earn this respect every single night and in our business, we have a saying that you’re either gonna work to get over that night or you’re gonna work as if you’re over and if you’re over, if you go out there with a huge response, you’re gonna be able to get away with different things. I can go out in Madison Square Garden and let ‘em buzz because I know they’re gonna make noise. Okay, like what are they doing? Okay, I got it, I got. I’m gonna sit. Now I’m gonna go into it…

One of those learning curves for Reigns was in 2017 when he was moving towards his singles match with John Cena at No Mercy. On the lead-up to it, there was a promo segment between the two when Cena taunted Reigns about needing to learn how to talk on the microphone among other comments. Reigns admitted that he blanked in that situation but thinks the overall experience made him better as a performer.

Trying to think back. Yeah, I believe I did .

I think just being in that position and going through that experience made me better. I don’t think it was anything like John specifically, you know what I mean? Because I take from everybody I’ve worked with, everyone I’ve competed with. I always try to take something that I learn from them… If you’re an offensive coordinator, I’m working under you as a quarterback coach or something and it’s like, man, that offense was good. I take everything that I like from it, then I’ma add a little bit to my own playbook and then now I got my own formula here. I took a little from you, a little from you…

It was after Reigns returned to WWE at SummerSlam 2020 that he and Paul Heyman’s on-screen working relationship was revealed.

When discussing how that came about, Reigns said Brock Lesnar was in between contracts and Heyman was free to work with in a on-screen capacity although Heyman had been assisting Reigns behind the scenes.

Brock was kind of wide open, and it just fit, you know? He had that open creatively. He was still just working behind the scenes from a creative standpoint and then once it opened up — I mean… when you’re working with someone like Brock for as long as he did with the success that they had, you need to have something that’s legitimate come through to make that move and I think I was the only one that he wanted to work with, otherwise, I think he would just stay kind of plugged in and be helping from an overall directive standpoint but yeah, once he knew, oh, I’m gonna be with Joe, it’s all good. I’m going to be with Roman, it’s all good, then we knew it was on.

The aforementioned newest member of The Bloodline, Solo Sikoa, headlined the 9/9 Friday Night SmackDown against Drew McIntyre. That match resulted in a disqualification when Karrion Kross ambushed McIntyre.

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit the IMPAULSIVE podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.