The following are highlights of the “WWE Straight To The Source” interview that Corey Graves conducted with Roman Reigns on WWE Network.
-Reigns on missing time due to illness: “It was just a strange scenario. I was infected with the mumps. And I don’t even know if you’re gonna be able to use this. I wasn’t in serious pain. You have obvious side effects and gland swelling and stuff like that. The only real pain I felt was in my jaw and ears. The main thing is the isolation. It’s such a rare virus. Hell, half the nurses, they didn’t even know what the mumps were because it’s so old school… The crazy part was I was stuck in the hospital or in a hotel.”
-Reigns on The Shield reuniting: “To be honest, it’s kinda just been crazy. I was in St. Louis for the vacation and from there (Hurricane) Irma hit along with being on tour in Australia, I feel like my life has moved so fast in the past like six months. I haven’t had a good opportunity to really take it in like, ‘Man, we’re back together with The Shield, it’s me, Dean, and Seth.’ For some reason looking back it seems like we were together for two or three years, but it was only about a year-and-a-half, but then we did so much on our own. That was kind of a different transition. We didn’t realize how much we did individually and how strong we became as solo performers. We’re a team of top guys. To bring it all back together, it’s a different band, it’s a different group now. So having it sit on me right now, it feels really good. We haven’t missed a beat. Our chemistry is just on point.”
-Reigns on being a polarizing figure with fans: “I love it. And it’s weird because like I want them to do what they want, but I want to go out and know in my heart and in my soul that I put everything into this. That is the best reaction you can get because every night it’s a reaction. Regardless of if you like me or not, you’re going to make some kind of noise. Nobody wants quiet. Empty seats and no noise is a bad thing. As long as they fill up, I always say do what you want to do. You paid your hard earned money. Have a good time because you know how it is. We’ve been broke before [to Graves]. We’ve been on your floor eating Thanksgiving dinner. So if you’re going to spend your hard earned money, have a good time with your kids, enjoy the money that you spend. Just stay safe, don’t do anything stupid and get kicked out, and have a good time.”
-On wanting a Kurt Angle-like reaction: “Like when Kurt comes out, they do the ‘you suck’ but everybody respects that man, everybody respects Kurt Angle and what he’s done. That’s what I want. Whether I’m going to be polarizing the whole time… I’ve been fortunate enough to do a lot of great things, but sometimes I can have a love/hate relationship with this crowd. As a performer and someone who takes what we do, the art form of what we do, very seriously, I do want that respect. I want them to understand that when I choose to do something, I do it properly and I go all the way. I don’t want to leave this place until I get that respect.”
-Reigns on whether he is the top guy in WWE: “Every day of the week… I’m the best performer in-ring in the world right now. You can go to match matches and my pay-per-views over the last three years and you can say I’m an idiot or you can be like, ‘Man, he has a point.'”
Powell’s POV: Reigns came off well in the 15-minute interview. He seemed genuine as opposed to being in WWE robot mode while talking about how any reaction is a good reaction.I’m sure the line about Reigns claiming to be the best in-ring performer is going to be mocked by some fans. I wouldn’t say he’s the best in the world by any means, but he definitely rises to the occasion in big matches.
Reigns also spoke about working with John Cena and Undertaker and offered strong praise for both experiences. They briefly touched on Reigns and his wife welcoming twins into the world a year ago. Graves noted that Enzo Amore will be his guest on the next edition, which should be interesting given some of their exchanges.