Roman Reigns spoke with Rolling Stone, and, as far as we can tell, there are two ways to read it:
1. Roman Reigns is secretly the best cocky heel in the world, or
2. Roman Reigns has no idea how to win over fans.
Now, I’m sure there are Roman stans already lighting the torches and wielding pitchforks in a Clickbait Mob, but feel free to read the quotes and make up your mind. Roman has a lot of good points — every pro wrestler has their own story, popular wrestlers mean better business for all, etc. — but man, he doesn’t know how to make them without sounding entitled and confrontational. The entire interview sounds like he’s The Rock talking to Gennifer Flowers at WrestleMania 14, but in real life.
Roman on whether or not we’re seeing more of his real-life personality in the character:
“Yeah, I think slowly. We’re not there yet. Just the way I talked to Paul last night, I think you could definitely see a clear difference between the way I spoke with Paul and then when I turned my attention to Brock. Those are things that I guess Joe would do. I’m a very situational person, but I enjoy different types of people, hanging out with different types of people, so I think in that regard, socially, I’m very diverse. And I’d like for people to see that within Roman: to be able to handle any type of situation, any type of backstage segment. In real life, I’m able to handle anything, and I’d like to be able to do the same on-camera.”
Roman on the value of WWE developmental vs. independent wrestling:
“I’m a firm believer in everyone has their own path. If we were all Seth Rollins, then there wouldn’t be anything cool about that. It’s neat that everybody has their own story. For me, I didn’t have an indie background, but at the same time, there’s a lot of things I dealt with just even in developmental. A lot of guys are like this and don’t get enough credit for it. It’s rigorous. You bust your ass in that warehouse. I was hurt, banged up, bruised, nicked. I crushed the brachial nerve that runs down your neck, I’ve lost all strength in my right side, had atrophy, but I still wrestled. I think I missed one show, like, the day it happened. People don’t realize there’s way more than what you know. You can Wikipedia me, but I guarantee you there’s a whole lot more than what you’re reading, and that goes for every superstar. Everyone’s been through hell to get where they are, and I’m not gonna let anybody talk down on what I’ve done just cause I didn’t do what Daniel Bryan or your other favorite wrestlers did. Don’t mean I didn’t earn my spot.”
He talks a lot about Daniel Bryan. A lot.
Roman on being at odds with the Raw crowd:
“That’s just an instinct thing. That’s not something you learn in a warehouse or people can tell you. If you’re a Daniel Bryan fan, I’m all for that. The more people Daniel Bryan will bring into arenas, the better. The more people I bring in, the better. But when I’m talkin’, shut the hell up and let me talk.”
You can read the entire interview here if you want the full context or feel any of these quotes have been misinterpreted. To provide a little context of my own, I am not suggesting Joe Anoa’i the man is a bad person or even bad at his job. He’s right about how we don’t always know everything and what’s going on, and that everybody has a story. That said… how much better would interviews like this work if we were supposed to boo him? If a heel popped into Rolling Stone and was like, “I can do anything I want, there’s nothing special about independent wrestling, shut up and let me talk?” I’d already have his t-shirt.
“Shut Up And Let Me Talk” should probably be on his next t-shirt.