The Reno Gazette-Journal’s Jason Hidalgo and Cameron Duren recently caught up with Roman Reigns prior to a scheduled appearance in Reno Comic Con. Below is the interview check it out it’s a good read. Enjoy!
On recovering from injury:
Roman: I’m doing good actually. For the first time in a while I’ve had this time off and not only am I healing up from hernia surgery but I’m healing everything else. When you’re on the road and going hard, there’s no offseason so you kind of accumulate a bunch of nicks and bruises and just little injuries here and there, so it feels good to finally feel healthy.
On life on the road:
Roman: A lot of it is just focus and work ethic. It seems like a lot of glamor but with the amount of travel, it’s not like we’re movie stars you know what I mean. Some of us are sometimes but we don’t just sit on set for five months and then have a trailer. We’re not catered to, we have to rent cars, we have to rent hotels, we have four- to five-hour drives every single night so there’s a lot of responsibility in just getting to the next town and putting yourself up. The success that you experience and the adrenaline rush and all the glory is very short lived because you have to get on the road and get yourself to the next town and do it all over again the next night. It’s a lot more of a grind than people would think.
On whether Japanese pro wrestling style limits injuries vs. U.S. style:
Roman: That’s a tough question. It’s tough to say. Over the history of professional wrestling if you ask anybody who’s been over there to Japan, I’ve been there a couple of times with the WWE Tour. The wrestling style is a lot different over there. The matches usually go a bit longer and they are a little more hard-hitting I would say. But one thing I did hear, what helps those guys out just from knowing a few of them that are over there, when they do their live events or their house shows, a lot of their matches are like 8-man, 10-man tag team matches so they use a lot of the guys and just utilize the tag team match. What we do is a lot of singles competitions. Occasionally there will be a tag team match or two on the card or like a triple threat, which is still pretty much a singles match but that causes for a lot more grind on the individual I would think doing a singles match as opposed to a team fight.
On whether he got more people contacting him after his injury than Stone Cold Steve Austin did after the latter’s infamous neck injury:
Roman: I can’t speak for Steve and his situation. All I know is that’s one tough (dude) to deal with what he had to deal with, especially if he was a bit secluded from the rest of the company. But everyone’s done a great job to contact me and make sure everything’s going OK and I’m on track. That’s one thing with all the technology we have nowadays, there’s really no excuse to not be able to communicate so everyone’s done a great job to keep tabs on me and just kind of make me feel like I’m still on the loop. For me it’s been nice to be away and be with my family and just focus on the future.
On connecting with fans:
Roman: Anytime you can get in a situation where … there’s just so many fans, and you can still connect with them and meet them and have time to talk to them, that’s optimal in my opinion. Not only am I not getting hurt, I’m not falling down, nobody’s hitting me, but I’m still able to see people and have people be excited to see me and hopefully we can fulfill some dreams and meet some nice folks.
On being a comic book fan:
Roman: I’m a warm-blooded American man and at one point I was a little boy so I was definitely into comic books growing up. I think Superman, he’s an easy choice. I think everybody enjoys Superman. And if they don’t it’s just because he’s Superman, he doesn’t have any flaws other than the kryptonite thing but one guy I was really into was Spider-Man. It’s weird because I love the whole Spider-Man franchise but I think my favorite character in Spider-Man is Venom. So I’d have to go with Venom as far as my favorite dudes growing up.
Hulk or Superman?
Roman: I’d go with Hulk because I love his intensity. I can see him doing a roar like me. If everybody’s gonna utilize a spear, I could see Hulk straight up (spearing) Superman. It’s tough to go against Superman but I think the Hulk with all his rage, he’ll need a little help to focus in and get that win.
Iron Man or Batman?
Roman: Ah, that’s tough man because you got two billionaires that are just the complete opposite. I’m gonna go with Iron Man because he knows how to have fun. He knows how to enjoy the moment. Batman’s pretty sweet, too, but he’s just always in a pissed off mood and he never uses that money right.
Has he seen “Guardians of the Galaxy?”
Roman: That’s with Dave isn’t it? I was gonna rent it one night in the hotel but unfortunately my hernia popped out. I was literally scanning through the movies and it was either that or Rock’s movie “Hercules” and … I was walking back to my hotel room from the restaurant and that’s when it happened. Please don’t do that to yourself (i.e. pop a hernia).
On strange fan requests:
Roman: Nothing too wild. When I’m doing signings and stuff, we get a lot of gifts, a lot of little goodie bags and stuff like that but occasionally, fans will give some pretty weird stuff. A lot of drawings and things like that. Then you get those last-minute gifts where they know they should have brought something but they just didn’t have anything so they’ll just get a coffee mug from a gas station with the name of the town on it. Watch, I’ll get something, like some kind of gift that was from the lobby or something that somebody picked up last night for me. For the girls, the hugs will start flying. I try to be smart about that because once one girl sees a hug, then all of them starting wanting one. The girls are pretty crazy. They’ll start on those hugs, occasionally they’ll start crying.
On the WWE 2K15 video game:
Roman: It’s awesome, man. I’ve been fortunate enough going through college (to be) in a video game in the NCAA franchise but that is nothing on this level. I just did an interview the other day and they had highlights of a match playing between me and Randy and I thought it was just a real match from the corner of my eye. I go, “I remember that match, I’ve seen that one, we’ve done that a few times.” And then finally I looked over and it was the video game. You’re gonna be able to do things in this game that you weren’t able to do in wrestling games before. The real fans, the ones that enjoy those long grind-out matches that tell that story, you’ll be able to do that with this. It can take you through the stages through the course of a match. A lot of times, people just hit a finisher right there in the first couple of minutes but it doesn’t have to be like that. You can really take it through the full length and the full course of a match and really enjoy yourself.
On his favorite match:
Roman: I really liked the match I had with Randy at Summer Slam. I thought we tore it up there. That would be a nice rematch, that’s always a good fight with Randy. But I probably have to go with the six-man tag we had in London a couple years ago or a year and a half or so ago against Team Hell No and Undertaker. That’s a good grouping of superstars to compete against.
On how the former Shield members are doing:
Roman: It’s outstanding. We’ve been saying this since day one. I occasionally read the critiques and the different fans that we all have cause it seems like we do have our own little groupings, but this is what everybody needs to understand. We’re all doing awesome. I mean, for any fan to complain that one of us is doing better than the other or one’s on TV more than the other is just complete B.S. I mean, we’re all in that very top ring, we’re all top competitors, and we’re all the future of the WWE. I know Seth’s saying he’s exclusively the future but I imagine he’s gonna be fighting against myself and Dean for a very long time. If you’re a fan of the Shield or you’re a fan of any individual in the Shield, we all have had great opportunities and … there’s no limits to what we’re gonna be able to do in the future so I think this is a good time for Shield fans, former Shield fans and fans of Seth, Dean and Roman of the future.
On his booking and being compared to John Cena:
Roman: As a company we don’t let people dictate to us what’s supposed to happen. I think because a guy is kicking a**, and he’s winning and beating his opponent doesn’t make him like John Cena. Last time I checked, I’m 6’3″ 265 pounds, which is bigger than John Cena. Last time I checked, my hair is long and jet black, and last time I checked John Cena’s isn’t. I’m way better looking and I’m way more athletic than he is. So for anybody to compare me to him is completely asinine.
On his dream match:
Roman: I think just considering the family I come from, there’d be no way better to celebrate it than having a match with Rocky at Wrestlemania.
On making his return from injury:
Roman: Based on the fact that we don’t have an offseason, it’s great for me personally and mentally to be able to collect myself, kind of gather the troops, re-game plan and just attack this thing another way. I don’t see it as I’m chasing that big pop. I’m not chasing one big pop. I’m chasing a collection of humongous, out-of-this world, never-been-heard-before pops. I just don’t want one of them, I want to hear them every single night and every single time I go in. So that’s the game plan for me. It would be nice to hear that energy be created again on the very first night that I come back but it’s gonna take a lot more than just one night. It’s gonna take day in and day out of just hard work, just completely dedicating myself to the product and just hoping for the best.