Roman Reigns recently spoke with The Mirror. During the interview, he talked about his feud with John Cena, having to step up his promo game, and what made The Shield special in terms of modern factions.
On his feud with John Cena:
It was a huge honour. You don’t really get to face people like John Cena often. He’s definitely a rare breed, we had a lot of heavy things to say to each other building into the match, but I think at the end of the day we both came out of it with a lot of respect for each other, not only for what we do in the ring, but what we do for the company and all the various responsibilities that come with this role. I’m proud to say that I was able to beat an athlete and a competitor, a superstar and a role model like John Cena, especially in hindsight, someone who has been on top of the mountain for 15 years. He said it, it’s not just like he was wrestling at a certain level, he was at the elite level. I don’t think anybody else is going to have a career like John Cena, to be able to hold the fort down for 15 years, it seems superhuman. I’m just really glad I was able to display my skill and my talent in the ring and we had a really great match and I’m very proud of it.
On having to step up his promo game:
I think I learned that I’m up for any challenge. That was one of the biggest challenges for me and that’s what great competitors do. If I had to lower myself to compete with John Cena, then there’s no point in competing with John Cena. But what he did, like any great competitor, any great superstar, he forced me to step up. As he said, ‘you either step up or you step aside’. I’m very proud to show that I’m able to do these different things. For a long time my strength has always been in the ring and I haven’t had these barn burner promos that everybody talks about the next day. But, I know inside that I’m able to step up. I know what I have ability wise and talent wise and I think that’s all that John was trying to do, he wanted to bring out the best in me and I think he did that and I’m very grateful for that. I think that’s my job, that’s the most important thing about being the top guy, that you lift everybody up, that you bring everybody up to that standard. It can’t be the other way around because if that’s the case, then the whole structure is off. I think he did a great job of lighting a fire under my ass and I think I did a great job of stepping up to the occasion and we made great TV for it.
On what has made The Shield special:
We know what we’ve made for each other, we know what we’ve done for each other, and we made jokes how we helped each other buy our houses! We have a very tight bond that will never be broken by anything. We’ve done things that are so special and we’re going to hold onto them for the rest of our lives. Nobody can ruin that. I think that’s what helped us and what made The Shield so special – we believed in each other, three guys with no names, that’s what made our faction so special. We weren’t the NWO, we weren’t DX, we weren’t the Nation of Domination, we didn’t have superstars who were already existed coming together, we were all three no name guys and we were able to capture the hearts of the audience and make them believe in our team. I think that’s really what set The Shield apart from everybody else, the way we wrestled for each other and the way we celebrated together and sold together. If we had to tuck our tails and run, we did it together. And if we came back out like tough guys to fight some more, we did it together. I think that’s why when we did finally split it was so impactful.