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April 1st, 2016  | Posted by: | Filed Under: Articles,Interviews

At WrestleMania 32 on Sunday, Roman Reigns will challenge Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but there has been speculation about his potential heel turn in the main event.

One way to turn Reigns heel would be for him to attack The Rock following a victory over The Game. During a promotional tour for WWE’s partnership with Snickers, Ring Rust Radio asked Reigns if The Rock would come out during his championship celebration if he were to win.

Reigns answered candidly, teasing a possible attack and heel turn if The Rock were to show up:

“We haven’t spoken too much about wrestling each other,” said Reigns. “We speak, and I do see him quite a bit. We usually exchange different ideas, share different tips and advice.

“If I do win on Sunday, there are only a couple of people I want to see, and that would be my wife, daughter, mom and dad. It would be my immediate family. If he comes out there, I might be on high alert, and he might get it, too.”

Over the last several months, a vocal portion of the WWE Universe has rejected Reigns as the top face in the company. To combat the negative reactions, WWE officials should embrace the hate and turn Reigns heel after he wins the world title.

With The Rock being one of the most popular wrestlers in the history of the industry and a mainstream superstar who has transcended the sport, Reigns attacking him from behind because he thinks The Rock is stealing the spotlight would be the perfect catalyst for The Big Dog’s character change.
A portion of fans support Reigns, but the reactions from crowds in top wrestling markets indicate that there are still many who don’t want him as the face of the brand moving forward.

Instead of trying to use The Rock to get Reigns over with the WrestleMania 32 crowd in Arlington, Texas, having Reigns turn his back on his family and align with Vince McMahon or The Authority would be the ideal way to embrace the negative reactions.
There is still a chance that McMahon and the WWE officials believe in Reigns as the top face moving forward and won’t deviate from their plans. With that said, Reigns’ comments about attacking The Rock and the recent booking of the No. 1 contender suggest a change in character may be coming.

If Reigns turns heel in the main event of WrestleMania 32, even the biggest haters will have to give WWE credit for making the right move for the future. When the fans are eventually ready to cheer for Reigns down the road, the company can turn him face organically.

April 1st, 2016  | Posted by: | Filed Under: Articles

WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi recently spoke with Chris Featherstone for FOX Sports, talking about Roman Reigns and the rest of the build to Wrestlemania 32.

Rikishi talks about the simple fix that could save Roman Reigns, his heel turn and feud with The Rock, the six-way Hell In A Cell match and his infamous bump, Undertaker versus Shane McMahon and more.

Rikishi says turning Roman Reigns heel would help him longterm: 

“All due respect to the fans. Without the fans, there is no Roman Reigns. Without the fans, there is no Samoan Dynasty, there is no Triple H, there is none of us. So the fans are entitled to their opinion. Again, let’s keep in mind, this wave that’s going through Roman Reigns at the time, he’s not the first, nor will he be the last. He is who he is. As far as the rumors about him not being able to wrestle, well I beg to differ, because I know that he comes from a bloodline that’s called Samoan Dynasty, Anoa’i strong. We all know how they wrestle and I think and know that we do it very well.

I feel that, in due time, you’re gonna see Roman Reigns become Roman Empire. Let’s take it back to John Cena and Rock back in the day, when people felt like they was just shoved down their throats. Eventually, they earned the people’s respect, and the next thing you know, they were just loved by the whole world. To me, you don’t want to go against the WWE Universe. You never want to do that. To me, what works is to go with the flow. If you hate me so much like that, had it been me, I’d tell Vince, switch me heel right now. Let’s give it to these people. I’d be the baddest frickin’ heel that they’d ever see. And in due time, you would hate me so much, when I do turn babyface, guess what, [you’d love me]. It’s a very simple fix.”

Complete Article Here

 

March 29th, 2016  | Posted by: | Filed Under: Articles,Interviews

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Count Roman Reigns among the people who is excited that WrestleMania is coming back to Orlando in 2017. The WWE superstar grew up in Pensacola and currently resides in nearby Tampa with his wife and 8-year-old daughter.

But Reigns has this year’s WrestleMania event on his mind right now as he faces Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in Dallas on April 3.

Question: You’re a Florida guy, you grew up in the state and still live here. What’s it like for you to have WrestleMania come to Orlando next year?

Answer: “I’m so pumped. Every WrestleMania is cool no matter where you’re at. For me, I live in Tampa and to be home, to be in Florida, and I’ve always been a Florida boy. I’ve always felt the responsibility to represent your hometown and where you come from. I’m a proud Floridian. I’m a proud Pensacolean. We represent the 850 and it’s phenomenal that I can do it with the WWE family now.”

Q: The last time WrestleMania was in Orlando was eight years ago. What were you doing eight years ago?

A: “Eight years ago … I was still playing football, I believe. That was 2008? I was possibly in Canada playing football at the time. (He played one season with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.) I was in the last bit of my career in football.”

Q: Does it feel like it’s been that long since the transition from football to the WWE?

A: “No, not at all. Sometimes I don’t even think about up to eight years. Sometimes I limit myself to five years back because that’s around when I broke into the business, almost six years ago. That’s what’s crazy — time is flying. Sometimes I feel like it’s just me because we’re on the road and we’re bouncing from town to town, different time zones all over the world. But it’s not, because you have everything at home, and it’s flying by there too. It’s madness. My little girl is 8, so life feels like it’s passing me by.”

Q: Did you ever think at this point of your career you would be getting ready to main event your second WrestleMania?

A: “When I first started wrestling, I was just focused on not getting wedgies from the trunks. (laughs) There were many moments where thinking about main eventing WrestleMania wasn’t even in the mind frame at that point. There’s so many things to adjust to in this life, inside the ring, outside the ring. Once you think you’ve figured it all out, then something pops up on you. For me, the main goal was always to work for that top spot, to be in a place that you can make a difference not only for yourself but for everybody else. In the position I’m at, that’s where you can make things happen. That’s where you can build that future for your family and create a lot of good times for everybody if things are done properly.”

Q: Last year, you were in the main event against Brock Lesnar. This you’re getting ready for the championship match against Triple H. Does it feel any different going into WrestleMania this year compared to last year?

A: “Yeah, I was talking to my cousins (WWE tag team The Usos) about that the other day. It’s kind of crazy because I’m not nervous by any means, but it’s a cool calm because I feel like my experience level has risen. Everything that I did last year, I absorbed it like a sponge and took note of everything and how I felt. Now I’m going into this with the opportunity, and know what I’ve done before and know what I need to do. Now it doesn’t feel as bad. I guarantee — just like any other performance — as soon as it’s getting close, as soon as those boots go on and I start throwing that vest on, the nerves are going to come. Hopefully, they don’t hit too heavy because [if there’s] a day where they can come in on a different rate, it’s a day like WrestleMania.”

Q: Last year’s WrestleMania against Brock Lesnar was so physical. How long did it take you to recover from it? You guys were really throwing some haymakers at one another.

A: “Yeah, and that was the thing for me — the physicality part, I’ve always done well with that. Fighting a guy like Brock, it’s like being out there with a big bear. It can be rough from time to time. I signed up for the physicality. I’ve been running into people my whole life, playing football and every sport under the sun. For me, that’s what made it a little easier. It wasn’t that you had this tricky, complicated, in-and-out story. It was more of what you see is what you get. I told myself, ‘Just go out and dance with that bear for a little bit and you’ll be fine.'”

Q: What has this last year been like for you? There were a lot of people that thought you were going to win the championship last year at WrestleMania and you didn’t. [Seth Rollins won the title in a surprise finish.] Since then, you’ve won the championship twice and you’re going for it again. The reaction from the audience is still mixed depending on what shows you go to.

A: “That’s what’s cool for me — the old football persona hadn’t really left me and sometimes it feels like home games, sometimes it feels like away games. Pretty much whenever I’m out there it seems to be pretty loud, so as long they’re reacting, they’re paying hard-earned money. I had a job where money was a struggle and we didn’t have the opportunity to go out and eat and do things that we wanted to do. I say if you earned your money, no matter how you did it, you should spend it how you want.

“If that’s what brings you joy, if you want to boo me, boo me. If you want to cheer me, cheer me. Either way, I’m going to go out there and do my thing. I’m going to have fun, I’m going to bust some [expletive] and try to do it again the next day.”

Q: Why do you think you’re still getting that negative reaction from some people? It seems like the most vocal people are mostly guys.

A: “I think there’s a few different reasons why. You could name a bunch of them. I don’t think we could actually put a finger on one and say this is the reason why. Typically if you hear the boos, it generally is grown men my age and I’m not really in this business for the grown men. (laughs) I’m in this business for the families. That’s what we are; we’re a PG product. We’re a family-based product. We’re here to entertain families and give them enjoyment. If you’re a 30-year-old man and you want to flip me off at a kids show, then, hey, like I said, you paid your money but just be careful because you could get kicked out.”

Q: Has it ever bothered you when it comes to the reaction from the fans or it is something you’ve been able to put aside?

A: “There’s nothing to complain about as far as reaction, because we’re storytelling here and not everybody is going to have the same opinion about the story. My only concern is you’re setting a bad example. I’ve seen grown men flip me off and there were children right there. There’s a guy who got kicked out of one of the shows because I’m pretty sure he was drunk. He’s going nuts, screaming and cussing, acting like a fool when there’s children right next to him. That’s something we have to keep in mind. A lot of times, these pay-per-views and Monday Night Raws, they’re on school nights so it is a lot more of a grown-up feel. I think if you pick and choose and just think with logic, everything will be all right. That’s just one thing, you have to be concerned with the example we’re setting. At a show, I’m not the only role model. These kids are sitting next to these other grown-ups and they’re seeing how these people act. That’s just a reflection of what they see and they probably act the same way.”

Q: How is your nose and what surgery did you have on it?

A: “My nose is doing a lot better. I can breathe and it’s straight so that’s good. That was what we were hoping for is to knock out two birds with one stone. I had a deviated septum which, if you’re not familiar with that, it’s pretty much the middle part that divides the nose so it’s kind of the inside of the nose. It was broken pretty much into an S or a V-type look. So one of my nostrils was smaller than the other.

Due to travel, I go in and out of allergies. Anytime I would get any type of allergies, it makes your nostrils swell up and you can’t breathe and you get congested. I pretty much couldn’t breathe out of one nostril at that point and then it would close up the other one so I pretty much had half a nostril to breathe out of. So we needed to get that fixed. They went in and fixed the deviated septum. The outer part of my nose had been crooked and hit so many times over the past six months that it bowed on me so they went ahead and straightened that out for me. That way we wouldn’t have to do this all over again and take another two weeks or three weeks off. It was something I just needed to get done, that way I could breathe and continue to perform.”

Q: Was there a concern about the timing of it? It obviously needed to be done, but it’s WrestleMania season and you never know what can happen when you go under the knife.

A: “Yeah, the timing wasn’t great by any means, but it was one of those necessary things. That was the toughest part. When is the best time to do this? Well, it definitely ain’t before Mania but it’s not like this thing turns off. That’s the problem we have is there’s no time to rest because we have no offseason. We have a lot of content to fill. It makes for a lot of workdays. For me, I just tried to fit it in when it was going to be the best time for me. I think we were able to nail that because we were able to do some cool stuff storyline-wise which allowed me enough time to get it fixed and to recharge my battery. I’ve been running for a solid year and a half now and that can add up when you don’t have an offseason.”

Q: The last couple of times you’ve been on TV, you’ve come down the ramp like everybody else instead of through the crowd. (Since his WWE debut, Reigns had come to the ring through the audience.) Is that going to be the norm going forward?

A: “I think so. I think we’re getting to a point now where it’s full gas pedal down, no BS, trying to get to that ring as fast as possible. That’s where the business is going to go down so I think that’s going to be the best bet, that straight shot to get in there.”

Q: Your cousin The Rock is going to be a part of this year’s WrestleMania. Do you think the two of you will ever have a match?

A: “I don’t know. That depends on what goes down in Dallas I would think. You have to tune in — check it out.”

Q: Do you want a match with him?

A: “He’s The Rock. He’s the biggest movie star and biggest name in Hollywood right now. Why wouldn’t I want to punch that in the face a couple of times?”

Q: And you got to punch [WWE Chairman] Vince McMahon in the face [last December]. That would be quite the two-fer.

A: “Yeah that’s the big head on my wall right there, that’s the big trophy. He’s a madman. He’s 70 years old and I think he’s going on 25. I was surprised he didn’t just shake that punch off because he’s done just about anything and everything and dealt with some craziness in his day. He’s a great trooper for that.”

Q: Can you get a picture of that moment and have him autograph it for you?

A: “Actually, I might have to use that suggestion. (laughs) That’s what might have him fire me if I try to do that. You can hit me in the face all you want, kid, but I’m not signing that!”

Credit: Orlando Sentinel

March 28th, 2016  | Posted by: | Filed Under: Articles,Interviews

wwe ro

For World Wrestling Entertainment megastar Roman Reigns, it was never so much about if as it was when.

It was never a question of if he would follow the genetic path of greatness that came before him. Reigns (born Leati Joseph Anoa’i) comes from a long line of proud and successful Samoan pro wrestlers. His father, Sika Anoa’i, and his uncle Afa Anoa’i, formed the legendary tag team The Wild Samoans. His brother, Matthew Anoa’i, enjoyed a successful run with WWE during its famed Attitude Era as Rosey. The bloodlines don’t end there. Reigns is also cousins to legends like the late Yokozuna, WWE hall of famer Rikishi, the late Umaga, The Tonga Kid, The Usos, and arguably the greatest professional wrestler in history in “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson.

Despite Reigns’ best efforts to break free of the family business and make it as a professional football player, his destiny eventually came calling.

“I can only speak from my experience and no,” Reigns said with a chuckle during a telephone interview when asked if wrestling was ever not an option for him.

“There was no way to avoid it,” added Reigns, who faces WWE World Heavyweight champion Triple H at WrestleMania 32 in Dallas, Texas, on April 3.

But before he was delivering Superman Punches, he was delivering bone-crunching tackles in the other sport be both loves and excels at, pro football. Reigns was a standout high school and college football player who even toiled in the National Football League and in Canada with the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos, where he played in 2008.

“I don’t regret anything in football,” Reigns said. “I still love the game, I still love to watch it. It’s even better now to watch it as a fan.”

Reigns said he believes he just never found his fit in football.

“I tried to find that NFL team … you’re always searching, you’re looking for that team, that team that’s going to change your life. For me, WWE was my team. It just took me a while to find that and to realize it, but they’ve always been there since the day I was born. I’ve been in this wrestling family since Day 1. There ain’t no getting out of it now.”

In fact, Reigns said, it was before departing for Canada and the CFL that he began to seriously contemplate going into the family business.

“Going into Canada, I was starting to have those thoughts of, ‘OK, if something magical doesn’t happen up here, something really great that’s going to build a foundation either up here, or able to propel me back down south to the NFL, then I don’t know if I want to invest anymore energy into football,’ because I had played it for so long,” Reigns said. “I had played it since seven years old, essentially. After just years and years of just the same stuff, the same chasing that ball, playing the same techniques.

As you progress through each level of football, it becomes less about sport and more about money, he explained. “The sport kind of takes a different toll on you and I was ready for a change by then.”

Reigns came home to his calling in 2010 when he signed a developmental deal with WWE. There, he would spend the next two years cutting his teeth before he found success with fellow developmental talents Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins when the trio formed The Shield. The trio would soon get the call to the main WWE roster and proceed to enjoy tremendous success. The Shield would be dissolved in early 2013, with all three men going on to enjoy varying degrees of singles success.

Reigns, who has twice won the WWE World title, is now staring down the barrel of his second straight main event WrestleMania match. Lofty stuff indeed for someone only six years into his career and only three years removed from developmental.

“Sometimes it doesn’t even feel real,” admitted the very likable Reigns when asked if he ever stops to contemplate what he’s accomplished so far. “I try not to look on the accolades or the things that I’ve done. I try to focus on, ‘What can you control?’ ‘What’s the next step?’ ‘What’s going to help you out for tomorrow?’ But it is really cool to be able to look back and think, ‘Wow man.’ … (There have been) so many great opportunities, I’ve met so many cool people, built so many great relationships, I’ve been able to see damn near the whole world.”

It’s something, he said, he wouldn’t have been able to handle during his football days.

“Six years ago, seven years ago, when I was in Canada, I don’t know if I would have even been ready for all of this, let alone be living a life where I’m actually doing all of this. Every single day that I wake up is a blessing. As long as I wake up, I feel like I can whatever it is because that’s the way we work here. You have to be ready for anything, you have to be willing to pick something up on the fly, even if you don’t have any experience. Everything that I’m doing now is just to gain even more experience and continue to build this foundation that I stand on.”

That foundation, while certainly solid when it comes to his successes so far, has become a bit shaky when it comes to notoriously fickle wrestling fans. Reigns, at times, finds himself on the receiving end of boos, sometimes when least expected, which is unusual for someone being billed as a good guy.

For his part, Reigns is at a bit of a loss to explain the love-hate relationship fans have for him.

“It’s a tough one because there is no one answer,” Reigns said. “There is no one reason why someone would want to boo me. Maybe they don’t like what I wear, how I sound, maybe I did something to offend them, but for me, it’s hard because I’m under the microscope and I’m dealing with a lot of different things and there’s a lot of things flying my way. For me, I can only continue to stay within myself and worry about the things I can control and the things I can control are, Am I healthy?; Am I showing up to where I need to be on time?; Am I here to perform and do my job? If I do that, then our fans, they can cheer me, they can boo me, as long as we all show up to the arena, everything will be fine. We’ll be able to create that awesome experience, create that energy.”

Reigns also said he has a huge number of supporters, whom he hears just as loudly and clearly.

“As for the reasons why these things happen, I don’t know,” he said. “I do know I have a lot of supporters. These people have my back. There’s nothing that anybody can say negatively to me that will make me believe you are correct. It’s just your opinions,” he said, adding that his football background comes in handy with crowd reactions and reception. “I’m an ex-football player, so I’ve been in a home environment, I’ve played in an away environment. As long as I know the supporters are still by me, even if they’re not in the arena, I hear them on social media and I know they’re out there. If you’re riding with me, it’s going to be a good ride. If you’re going against me, we’re sorry for what’s going to happen next.”

So focused is Reigns on his job and at becoming an even better wrestler and star, he said he doesn’t let the negativity or adversity change him as a person.

“Not as a person. never as a person,” he said. “I know who I am, I know where I come from and where I want to go. At the end of the day, I’m a dad. I’ll never forget who I am.”

As a performer, Reigns believes that adversity has played into his favour.

“I think it’s helped me,” he said. “That’s what’s cool about what we do. It’s a story, there’s no applause sign. This isn’t on set. This is live, it’s raw. We call it Raw, but it is raw. Emotions come out in the moment. There is no real way to compare that to anything and for me, I think it made me better, it made me learn faster. I was thrown into the fire, thrown into the deep end. And you can either sink or swim. And that’s how you get better. You apply that heat that’s being thrown at you.”

The next heat coming Reigns’ way is coming in the form of a 14-time world champion who has almost single-handedly rewritten the book on success and longevity. Reigns faces wrestling legend-turned corporate executive Paul (Triple H) Levesque, a man with nearly as many WrestleMania appearances under his belt as Reigns has years on Earth.

At nearly 50 years of age, the man known as “The Game” continues to defy Father Time, all while inspiring every single performer in the company, Reigns said of his opponent at the massive AT&T Stadium.

“Nobody’s molded and had a bigger impact on the business, I don’t think, than Triple H in the past 10 to 15 years,” Reigns said. “He’s pretty much done all of the hard work, the nitpicking, day in, day out. He’s been in the ring, he’s been travelling, being the face of the company essentially … always promoting, always working, always thinking about the business, always thinking about the future, building NXT and on top of that, playing the whole suit role and the whole office role, but still getting in the gym, still looking great, still can go, still a great athlete, still a competitor.”

Triple H sets the bar high for others, Reigns said.

“That’s a mix of good genetics — probably like 10% genetics and 90% work ethic — and to be able to tangle up with that, there’s a lot of things I can learn from him,” he said. “The youth of this business, no matter who you are, you’re going to learn from Triple H and you’re going to pick his brain and you’re going to get better for that.”

Having twice tasted – albeit briefly – the life as a WWE World champion, it’s something Reigns admits leaves a lasting taste in one’s mouth.

“I think once you’ve had the title, that’s all you really think about,” he said, before his trademark sharp wit emerges. “The first one was like … they were saying something stupid like a five-second reign. It was at least eight seconds for sure. They’re stealing seconds away from me man.”

Then he turns serious.

“When I had that championship, when I ended up beating Sheamus again on Raw in Philly, it was incredible. The weeks following that, everywhere I went, ‘What’s up, champ?’ ‘How you doing champ?’ I legitimately felt like life was better. When you’re WWE champ, life is better. There is something about being the WWE champion that makes your day-to-day life cooler, better, more fun … It’s a real thing. I know it’s a TV show, but there is something very real life about it and that’s why I haven’ been fulfilled yet.

“It’s weird to say, I’m a two-time champion — hopefully three-time after Dallas — there is huge enjoyment to have that title on your shoulder, to travel the whole world to defend it every single night in a different town, all over the country, all over the world, to be able to have that responsibility, man there’s nothing like it.”

Reigns is excited at the prospect of earning his third world title in front of a record WWE crowd, probably close to 100,000 people.

“We always re-run the prior year’s WrestleMania before every show,” Reigns said. “And we’ve seen that one from last year in Santa Clara. We’ve seen that one day after day before every single show. It’s crazy that it’s going to change. There are going to be new moments, there are going to be new highlights. It just gets bigger, longer and it’s just a greater show every single year. You run into a situation like Dallas, it’s just, ‘How can we top this?’ We’re in the business of outdoing ourselves. How do we do that again? That’s my main question that I’m running into? This is just going to be the biggest event of all time. Where do we go from here man?”

Destiny, it would seem, is still calling for Roman Reigns.

WrestleMania 32 is available live and only on the WWE Network on April 3. For details, go to wwe.com.

Credit: TheWhig.com

March 24th, 2016  | Posted by: | Filed Under: Articles

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With just over a week until his highly-anticipated showdown against Triple H at WrestleMania, I caught up with WWE star Roman Reigns to chop-it-up about everything from how he plans to bring home the coveted belt to his hardest high school football hit to under which circumstance he’d go by the moniker The Merchandise.

Jason Jordan: I always like to gauge the sports backgrounds and experiences of all of my guests on the Celeb Chop-Up; I know you starred at Georgia Tech on the gridiron, but before then you starred at Escambia in Pensacola, Fla.

Roman Reigns: That’s right.

JJ: Give me the hardest hit you ever dished out back then.

RR: You know what, I think it was actually in practice. We were scrimmaging and the quarterback scrambled and was heading for the end zone. He ended up diving and I hit him and helicoptered him. He landed in the end zone, but he didn’t have the ball. He flew for a good four yards. That was probably the best one; too bad he was on my team.

JJ: Did you play any other sports?

RR: Yeah I grew up playing football, basketball and baseball then when I got to high school I did weightlifting.

JJ: What do you bench?

RR: I don’t really max out anymore. Bench is more of a rep out thing; I benched 440 in college.

JJ: President Obama’s Secret Service code name is Renegade; if you were President what would your code name be?

RR: (Laughs) The Merchandise.

JJ: What competition based reality show would you absolutely win?

RR: I don’t know if I’d win it, but I think I’d be a decent survivalist.

JJ: What’s your biggest pet peeve?

RR: Ooh there’s so many, but I’d have to say close-talking. I hate it when people get in my face. Sometimes fans will get a little too close in my bubble and, at the end of the day, we’re all human. Give me 5 feet; not with your hand either.

JJ: In the epic game of Paper, Rock, Scissors which object do you tend to get the most wins with?

RR: That’s a tough one there! I’ll say the rock.

JJ: Which fast food restaurant has the best burgers?

RR: (Laughs) See now you’re gonna get me in trouble. I’m gonna go with Wendy’s Baconator!

JJ: What was your worst pre-fame job?

RR: Probably being an office furniture installer, which included loading and unloading trucks.

JJ: What’s your favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

RR: (Laughs) Well, I have to say the Samoas. I’m also a big fan of the peanut butter ones.

JJ: Are you late, early or right on time typically?

RR: I’m casually late.

JJ: What was your worst childhood punishment?

RR: Getting a good old fashioned whippin’ by a very big man. My dad’s a WWE Hall of Famer and his hands are bigger than mine so there you go.

JJ: When you see yellow traffic lights what’s the first thing that pops into your head?

RR: (Laughs) You can get through it!

JJ: What movie absolutely deserves another installment?

RR: Mad Max.

RR: I’d probably rob a bank and be on vacation for a loooong time!

JJ: What sitcom intro song do you know every word to?

RR: The Fresh Prince!

JJ: Unfortunately you’ve found yourself in the Witness Protection Program what would your cover name be?

RR: (Laughs) That’s a good one! I’d go with Richard Long.

JJ: Indeed! What random fact can you just tell me right now?

RR: That GPS’s suck in Boston because the city was developed for horse-and-carriage not cars. I learned that in the last interview I did.

JJ: Blindfolded can you tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke?

RR: I definitely can. I’m very good with mixes.

JJ: Would you rather have the power to be invisible or the power to read minds?

RR: Read minds. You could pretty much get whatever you want with that power.

JJ: OK, we’ve got WrestleMania on April 3, it’s you, it’s Triple H… How are you gonna pull this thing off?

RR: Well, this is a classic case of an older lion taking on a younger lion. Triple H describes this business as his religion; I was born in it. It’ll be two phenomenal, heavyweight athletes going at it. He’s the authority so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s able to do whatever he wants. I’m pretty much fighting a juggernaut, but it’s gonna be fun!

Credit: US Today High School Sports

March 21st, 2016  | Posted by: | Filed Under: Articles,Interviews

Dec. 14, 2015 is a night Roman Reigns will never forget.

That’s when he pinned Sheamus to win his second WWE World Heavyweight championship, but that somehow wasn’t his biggest accomplishment.

His biggest on that night was receiving universal praise from the usually hard-to-please fans of Philadelphia, who had jeered him out of the building at the Royal Rumble just 11 months prior.

The reaction he received at the Rumble served as a wake-up call for Reigns, who proceeded to go back to the drawing board and improve upon his entire skill set in and out of the ring.

After he won the title in December, he credited the Philadelphia fans for lighting a fire in him that was not lit before.

“I told the crowd that night that if I didn’t experience what I did at the Rumble the year prior, I don’t think I would have this type of year,” Reigns said. “I don’t think I would have made improvements. I don’t think I would have stepped my game up.”

“Sometimes, you have to feel that fire and let it be lit under your [butt],” he added.

Everything seemed finally to come together for Reigns. Not only was he the champion of the top wrestling promotion in the world, he also had finally won most fans — or so we thought.

A lot can change over three months and Reigns knows that, as the fans are once again indifferent toward him. And sometimes, fans are flat-out against him.

Unfortunately for Reigns, this is a position he has now become accustomed to, as he headed into the main event of last year’s WrestleMania with fans largely against him despite being positioned as the knight in shining armor attempting to slay the dragon known as Brock Lesnar.

This year, it’s a different opponent (Triple H) with slightly different circumstances, but the scrutiny surrounding Reigns remains the same.

To his credit, Reigns remains unflappable. He hears all the positive and negative reaction toward him. In his eyes, as long as there is some sort of reaction, he is fine with it.

“I think every great person has that little bit of a split, but for me, I’ll always have my supporters.” Reigns said. “I’ll always have the Roman empire. I don’t have anything to prove to anybody else other than myself and my supporters and my loved ones, so if my health is good, I’m going to go out there and kill it.

“If you like it, you like it,” he added. “If not, you’re just going to be mad … a lot.”

For Reigns, it is like when he played football at Georgia Tech. When the Yellow Jackets played at home, the fans were firmly behind him, but when they walked into hostile environments such as Florida State and Clemson, the fans were not all welcoming.

These days, there are no shoulder pads or helmet to shield him. Neither are there dozens of teammates going through the same ordeal.

“I’ve heard really loud cheers and I’ve heard really loud boos, but they’re typically never different from that. They’re always really loud,” Reigns said.

“When they’re not with you when you walk into that away game, you better believe I’m going to shut you real quick,” he added. “He might be your favorite wrestler, but I’m your favorite wrestler’s favorite wrestler.”

While that may sound as if Reigns carries quite a chip on his shoulder, he maintains that he is fine with the scrutiny and constant critiquing from fans and pundits. In his eyes, there are much worse things to get upset about than a few fans booing him.

Life can be harsh. It can even be unfair at times, but it can be even more so for people dealing with more serious issues. No matter the reaction, Reigns is still healthy, gainfully employed and providing a better life for his family.

“No one wants to be picked at,” he added. “At the end of the day, we’re all human beings with feelings and emotions. Nobody wants to be critiqued and picked apart, but it’s the nature of the business. It comes with the territory. For me, if they’re not talking about you, that’s where you can run into some trouble.

“Life is great,” he added. “As long as I’m healthy and as long as I’m able to do my thing and my family is happy, then I’m happy because I enjoy being in the ring.”

For Reigns, life really is great. No matter how anyone feels about him, people have to pay attention to him, and having such an ability can help him participate in many WrestleMania main events for years to come.

What the reaction will be at those WrestleManias, however, is anyone’s guess.

Interview Link

March 3rd, 2016  | Posted by: | Filed Under: Articles,Interviews

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– Roman Reigns took the stage at the final WWE panel at Wizard World Portland late Friday night. Moderator Mo Lightning introduced Roman, who came out and stumbled slightly coming up onto the stage (which he joked about later). Unlike the panels for Paige and New Day, Mo jumped right into the fan questions to get to as many as possible as there was quite a line forming early.

* First up was a woman who thanked Reigns for being an inspiration and asked him what his intentions were going into Fastlane against Brock Lesnar and Dean Ambrose. “It’s business as usual,” he said. “It’s to win. I’ve got everything riding on this, I’m not trying to go back to WrestleMania in any other match but the main event.” Reigns said he loves Ambrose and Ambrose knows that, but this one’s his. He said that Ambrose has “gotten a little too personal with it and the attraction of the Beast has gotten into his brain.” He said when it comes to Lesnar, you just have to treat him like a punching bag and keep hitting him as hard as you can. When it comes to Ambrose if Reigns has to pull the trigger on him, he’ll do it.

* Next was a younger kid who asked if Fastlane would be the start of a rivalry between him and Ambrose. The crowd did an “Oooh,” after which Reigns gave a wry, “Easy, guys, easy.” He said that they haven’t brought it up much because they don’t want people to forget it’s a triple threat, but pointed out they fought at Survivor Series, noting, “That’s how I won it the first time before that stupid-looking Sheamus came out.” He pointed out that in the match, they didn’t even tie up and went straight to punching each other in the mouth, which is the type of competitors they are. He said, “None of us want to go back to that hot warehouse down in Tampa” and that in order to stay on top of the WWE they’re going to have to compete against each other.

* The moderator asked if every question was going to be something to stir the pot between Reigns and Ambrose, to which Reigns replied “Yeah, in like five minutes it’s going to be, ‘I hate him! I’ll never ride with him again!”

* The next guy asked who, aside from his father and uncle, were his inspirations in wrestling and what was the spark that set it off for him for wanting to compete. Reigns said it did start with his father and uncle, as well as High Chief Peter Maivia. He said within their household in Pensacola they had a lot of different names come through like Yokozuna, Rikishi (bringing up Rikishi’s other gimmicks like the Sultan), Umaga, his brother Rosey and the list goes on. He said it’s a family tradition and he knew he was never going to get far away from wrestling. He said when he was playing football his encouraged him because he was following his own path, but he thinks his dad knew and always wanted him to get into the business. When football was over he was trying to work and was working for his sister in an office furniture installation company building cubicles. He said he looked in the mirror one morning and realized he just wasn’t happy. He said he knew even as hard as the line of work is, and the travel and being away from family he’d be able to do something he wasn’t when he was offloading trucks and building furniture. he said he’s very grateful to be where he is. The moderator spoke up to add, “You know what also makes him happy? Punching his friend, Dean Ambrose” to a laugh.

* A woman who was at the Paige panel in a Reigns shirt came up next. When the moderator said she tried to hijack Paige’s panel Reigns said, “Good! What’d you guys do to New Day?” The woman asked essentially the same question as the guy before her, wanting to know what made Reigns start wrestling and how old he was. Reigns said “Well, that ties into the last question but I’m just going to assume that you are so locked into these eyes right now…” to a laugh from the crowd. He said he was twenty-four and was at a point in his life where he knew what he had to do, and that growing up in his household you pretty much had two options for big doors to open: athletics due to genetics or the wrestling business. He said he wanted to be a Superstar and he wanted to make an impact because he had a lot of people who influenced him to do right and there isn’t enough of that. He said, “A lot of people are going off of this, you know, ‘Controversy gets reactions and that’s what sells’ but people don’t put over when someone has a great work ethic or someone’s grinding, putting their nose down every single week…that’s why I’m glad I have the platform of WWE to do that.”

* The next woman had an Ambrose shirt, which Reigns jokingly said “Uh-oh” about before saying, “He’s my best friend in the world, I want you to believe that!” The woman asked when Rollins comes back if there was ever going to be a Shield reunion. Reigns said that if he had to answer for Rollins, he’d say that Rollins has a master scheme he’s been brewing up in a CrossFit gym somewhere. He said if he was Rollins, he’d want to come back and make the biggest impact as a solo competitor. He said Rollins has a definite claim to the title having lost it due to injury, saying, “And that’s what makes me proud is, so one of us loses it due to injury which — and I have to say, if you haven’t seen that video he blows his knee out doing an awesome sunset flip bomb on Kane who is a giant man. He’s far bigger than I am. He blew his knee, you can obviously see something is wrong, he reset and still picked up Kane and powerbombed him through a table.” He said that’s the type of competitor Rollins is so he knows Rollins is in that CrossFit gym and rehab center going nuts. He expects Rollins to come back as a solo competitor and hopes he has the title so they can face off for it.

* Next was a young boy who asked what Reigns’ “hardest fight” was. Reigns said it was Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, noting, “If you’ve seen that match, it’s probably a little different” than any other match in terms of the physicality. He said that doing that on the grandest stage of them all was the biggest moment of his life in terms of performance.

* The next kid asked if Reigns was surprised when Triple H came back in the Royal Rumble. He said he was because at that point the Authority had thrown pretty much every competitor they had against him and going into the Rumble he was in a lot of handicap matches. He said he figured somebody other than Triple H would be able to get the job done, but that to see the Game getting the perfect spot in the last spot at the Rumble, all he could do is go, “We get it; you own the company with your dad and your wife. Cool, man.”

* The next kid said “All I want to say is are you cousins with the Rock?” Reigns smiled and paused for a moment before replying, “Yes, I am. But I like Dean better!”

* Another kid was up next and asked again how Reigns got into wrestling and who his favorite wrestler growing up was. Reigns said that when he was a kid, one of the ways he got in was being in a wrestling family so he’s always been around it. He said that they had a ring in their backyard and his dad trained a lot of guys so they had a very long history. He said that when he was a kid he wanted to be a wrestler, but he found other interests in school before he went back to his roots.

* The next kid asked if Ambrose and Rollins were his friends in real life. Reigns just grinned as the crowd laughed and then said, “Turn your cameras off now. Then we’ll have a real talk!” He then said that yes they are friends in real life and that they have the same interests “just, some of us are a little crazier than others.”

* The next person asked about when Ambrose was facing Sheamus in the cage match when Reigns through the chair in that landed perfectly, Ambrose did a thing afterward about having staples in his head and asked the trainer how many staples Reigns had; the trainer said Reigns had more. She asked if there was some sort of competition over it. He said “Now you Dean guys and girls, don’t get mad at this but that’s classic little brother stuff.” He then said “Yeah, no but let’s go back to that chair,” saying it was good luck and that he didn’t realize it until Dean told him later after the show. He said Dean said “Dude, did you see what happened?” and told him that he the chair stuck perfectly. He added, “But then like a little brother he said, ‘But imagine if you could have thrown it like, four feet closer to me. I woulda just sat down on it.’”

* Next was a cute moment where a kid asked Reigns to bodyslam him, to which Reigns said, “How about you bodyslam me first?”

* The next guy asked what Reigns’ favorite match he’s ever had was. Reigns said it would be easy to say the Lesnar WrestleMania match because it was at WrestleMania, but his personal favorite was either his Fastlane match with Daniel Bryan or his Last Man Standing with Big Show in Chicago. He said they were both really fun for very different reasons. He said those matches plus Lesnar shows that he can gel with different types of competitors.

* The next guy asked what it was like to be “the man” in the company. Reigns said it’s a lot of responsibility and is a very busy life. He doesn’t see a lot of off days, but it’s a blessing to be busy. He said it’s hard to tell that to his daughter, but “Daddy can’t make money on the couch.” He said it can’t be done in one year; the key is longevity and for all the flack John Cena gets he’s done it at a high level for years with 300 shows year after year after year. He said it’s a good feeling and a big responsibility, but he’s glad and proud to help usher in this new era in the company.

* Up next was a guy in cosplay who asked if he had any advice for someone trying to get into the business. He joked, “As you can see, I’m not afraid to dress like an idiot.” Reigns said that was important to be brave; he was telling someone about his first match in front of like ten people in trunks and still losing his football weight, but you can’t be scared to put it all out there. He said for anyone getting into the business, the key is to finish school, take his education as far as he can and then if still very serious, find a good school which are everywhere. He said that’s easier now because of social media but getting into a good wrestling school is the key.

* Next was a woman who asked if Reigns knew who created the triple threat. He guessed Pat Patterson, to which the woman said it was Roddy Piper who was her stepson’s grandfather. Reigns praised Roddy, saying he was the most charismatic man he ever met. He said Patterson is his default choice because Patterson’s created so many things like the championship title belt. He said, “I’m glad I know that. You know who’s going to love that? Ambrose.” When the crowd laughed, he said he was totally serious.

* Things got really odd next, as the next woman came up to the mic and said she couldn’t say who she was related to because she didn’t want to start a fight. Reigns said, “Ambrose?” The woman claimed she was related to Hulk Hogan. Reigns said, “Hey, well I’ll go on the record. It is what it is, but from my personal experience, nothing but a gentleman.” She then went off on a really weird flirty tangent saying she’d be okay with Reigns tackling her and that “You on my list, my man already okayed this.” Reigns said, “Is that the comment?” The mod asked, “What is happening?” and after she continued on a bit, he said “Let’s get back to the original question.” She then asked if Reigns knew who Tom Selleck was, to which he gave an incredulous “yeah” reply. She said Selleck is her second cousin on her dad’s side. Reigns tried to steer it away from the woman, saying “Who else got family in here? Anyone got Ambrose?” She went on one last bit saying she’s a descendent of Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke. The moderator quipped, “I know the Miss Kitty from inside the ring,” to which she replied “Well let me just tell you, around these parts, this is my turf and on the street they call me Miss Kitty or Mama Kitty or ‘Don’t mess with her cross the street because that b***h is f***ing crazy.” Reigns then shut her down as politely as possible, telling her to “Here’s what I need you to do Miss Kitty…go sit right over there and let the man ask his question and we’ll talk family trees once we’re done here.” She went to go sit down and then got up and headed out before the next question was done. It was as weird a situation as it sounds.

* The next guy said, “I’ll keep mine simple for you,” asking Reigns to name three guys he’d like to wrestle one day. Reigns said Finn Balor, Apollo Crews and Enzo and Cass. He said of Enzo and Cass, “They seem like a good time, they seem like a riot” and joked that at least one of them seemed pretty easy to beat up and the other he’d say “Stay over there on the apron.” He said NXT has been on fire for a year or now so and that’s important because the talent is the only natural resource the company has.

* The next guy asked what he would want people to remember about him once his career was done. He said, “That I was a good man on the road with all the boys, and we shared great times. We earned…hard-earned money together and that we all saved and have a great afterlife after wrestling.” He said building a future after the business is important and what he’s trying to do. He said “So yeah…a good man and a great performer.”

* Next was a woman who asked if he’s ever wanted to slap Triple H in the face. Reigns scoffed and said, “Uh, yeah. A ton of times!” The moderator asked if the woman wanted to and she said yes, to which Reigns quipped, “Have you?” The woman said she’s wanted to slap both Triple H and Stephanie and Reigns said, “Well somebody needs to get them back because his wife slapped me like nine times over a year!”

* The next woman asked why Reigns didn’t wrestle without a shirt, which as you might expect went over with a certain segment of the crowd. Reigns said, “So if I told you that next year on a certain date I was going to wrestle with my shirt off, would you pay to come see it?” The crowd cheered, to which he said “That’s why I leave my shirt on!” He said that the vests are really cool to him and distinguish him. He said of Ambrose and Reigns that Ambrose has the dirty wifebeater and jeans, and he can’t do that, “and Rollins has like, ninja stuff on. It’s like latex-looking and he looks wet. ALL the time.” He finished with “Just stay tuned.”

* The second-to-last guy asked about his Superman punch and how Reigns decided on it. He said they logged a lot of time training and working and continuing to get better and it was something he played with. He said he’s wrestled in front of five people, outside in the rain, in barns and such and he just started playing with it. He said he saw someone leap off the cage in MMA and thought “We don’t have cages, but I can do that.” The guy asked about a new finisher, and Reigns said “Stay tuned!”

* The last question was from a younger kid who wanted to know what Reigns thought about AJ Styles in the Royal Rumble. Reigns said he thought it was cool, he’s followed AJ around the world and was excited to see him. He’s glad AJ is there, particularly since with some of their guys on the shelf any new experienced, talented performers are a good thing for the roster.

Credit: 411MANIA

February 23rd, 2016  | Posted by: | Filed Under: Articles,Roman News

Roman Reigns underwent surgery earlier today in Tampa, Fla., to repair a shattered nose, sustained at the hands of WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H last night on Raw, WWE.com can confirm.

In a brawl after the night’s main event, The Game repeatedly slammed Reigns’ face into the announce desk, then Pedigreed The Big Dog onto the steel steps.

January 17th, 2016  | Posted by: | Filed Under: Articles,Interviews

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Reigning WWE heavyweight champion Roman Reigns speaks to us about taking on legends John Cena and The Rock, on his maiden trip to India.

The superstars of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) landed in Delhi on Thursday, but with one notable absence. Owing to an emergency shoulder surgery, 13-time world champion John Cena skipped the trip to India. In Cena’s absence, the reigning WWE world heavyweight champion Roman Reigns was WWE’s face for their India tour. While the fans’ disappointment at not getting a chance to see Cena in action was apparent, Reigns says that what matters is that the “WWE champ was here.” Excerpts from our interaction with Roman Reigns.

This is your first visit to India. How does it feel to be here?

It feels great to be in India. It’s always good to see the world; always good to see new places. When I’m sitting at home, one of the great things is when my daughter and I watch TV, and when she sees or hears about a place for the first time, I tell her, ‘Daddy’s been there!’ Now I can say that about India as well.

You are defending your title against Big Show here. Usually, these championship matches take place in the US or occasionally in Europe. How different is this?

My rivalry with Big Show is my favourite. That’s because he’s so unique – well over seven feet tall and weighing 500 pounds (226kg). You can’t notice him. I’ve fought him all over the world and I’m proud of my battles with him. But this is the first time I’ll be fighting him in a title match and that too, in a place as different as India. So, if I win, which I’m confident of, I think it would mean a lot. I can go back home and tell my mom that I defeated a giant in India and retained my world title. That’s huge.

Initially, John Cena was supposed to come here, but he couldn’t travel due to an injury. That means you’re now the face of this tour. How does it feel to fill the shoes of the world’s most popular wrestler?

It’s a great honour. John Cena has been the standard-bearer of professional wrestling for the past 10-12 years, and to follow in his footsteps is a great opportunity. I just want to give my best and represent my family and my people. It’s unfortunate that John couldn’t be here because of the injury and we all hope he will be fit again soon. I for one, can’t wait to square off against him. But then, you have to remember that I’m the reigning world heavyweight champion. There is a certain weight to that, a certain standard. Like John used to say, ‘The champ is here and in the end, that’s all that matters!’

Questions have always been raised about the authenticity of WWE bouts and about the fights being scripted. What’s your take on that?

We’re in sports entertainment and we don’t tell anybody any different. We’re performers on a show and we’re telling a story through all of it. But then, is it extremely physical? Absolutely! We’re here to tell you a story and take you on an emotional roller-coaster and have you enjoy that ride with us. For anyone to say that WWE is fake or anything like that, no sir! It’s very physical and the injuries are real, the blood is real. You get in the ring with me, or any other person in the roster, and you will have hell to pay. These guys are world-class athletes. Look at my nose right now. I used to be a lot better looking before I joined WWE. Whatever happens in the ring is real, and for anyone to think any differently would be a big mistake.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has issued a statement that he’ll be at Wrestlemania in April. You expect him to challenge you for the title?

I expect The Rock would want to keep his pretty face intact for Hollywood. He better stay away from me in the ring. But honestly, anybody who wants to get into the ring with me and take the world title, just try!

Credit: The Times Of India

January 8th, 2016  | Posted by: | Filed Under: Articles,Informational

WWE’s “SmackDown” is trading the Cylons and ghost hunters of Syfy for a new tag-team partner, the USA Network.

The only pro wrestling show named after a catchphrase, “SmackDown” moves to USA after a five-year run on Syfy and stints on three other networks since its inception in April 1999.

USA has long served as the home of WWE’s flagship show, “Raw,” live every Monday night since 1993.

Now, USA has solidified its spot as the one-stop basic cable network for all WWE programming. “SmackDown,” which is taped each Tuesday, moves to its new home at 8 p.m. Thursday.

All that’s missing is the Ovaltron and giant fist from the show’s original set.

Before he was blockbuster movie star Dwayne Johnson, the man known as The Rock inspired the show’s title with his famous “Lay the smackdown” trash talking and often boasted “SmackDown” was his show.

The Rock’s show could now belong to Roman Reigns, his real-life cousin who stands tall as the WWE World Heavyweight champion.

“I wish I could say (USA) makes a huge difference and it’s a super positive move and everyone’s so pumped about it,” Reigns said. “But as a competitor, all I need is the ropes and hopefully people show up in the arena. From a wrestling standpoint, not too much has changed for us.”

What could change, what needs to change as WWE inches closer to WrestleMania season, is “SmackDown’s spot as the promotion’s B show that lags behind “Raw” in both ratings and can’t-miss storylines.

WWE stalwart John Cena rarely appeared on the show, and neither did the McMahon family over recent years, sending the message that “Smackdown” could be easily skipped and fans could quickly catch up with video recaps on “Raw.”

“I don’t look at it as any less of a show, it’s pretty much the same talent,” Reigns said.

WWE needs a dose of star power and a second primetime spot could help showcase the young talent the promotion is desperately scrambling to push as injuries have taken out Cena and former champion Seth Rollins for WrestleMania on April 3 in Dallas.

Does anyone have Goldberg’s number? How about Batista?

But instead of relying on veterans, WWE could use the show to build the company around Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn or a healthy Antonio Cesaro. Owens can cut a biting promo as well as any heel or fan favorite in sports entertainment and has the size and in-ring ability necessary that should make him WWE’s next true franchise superstar.

WWE had mixed success in its bid to keep separate rosters on “Raw” and “SmackDown” that tried to create perception there were two distinct brands. The dream matches that should have been built never really developed and the brand split was abandoned in 2011.

“It’s been seen and proven that a split brand, it can work. It can create really cool storylines,” Reigns said.

Just not in 2016.

With more than 800 original episodes, “SmackDown” is one of the longest-running weekly episodic program in U.S. television history, and has aired in seven countries including Iraq, Japan, Italy and Mexico.

WWE has revamped the broadcast booth, as well, making veteran sports announcer Mauro Ranallo the new voice of “Smackdown.” Ranallo, who called the international feed for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight, joins Byron Saxton and Jerry “The King” Lawler in the booth.

Link To Interview