Roman Reigns is heading into his first WrestleMania main-event Sunday night as he’ll be challenging WWE world champion Brock Lesnar. Reigns took a small detour on the way to WrestleMania 31 and stopped by the Camel Clutch to speak about WrestleMania 31 and a lot more in this CCB exclusive.
Roman Reigns will be one of a very few WWE superstars on Sunday to make his WrestleMania singles debut in the main-event. Reigns will earn that honor on Sunday amidst more controversy and criticism from Daniel Bryan fans and media. Facing more pressure than anyone in the industry, Reigns remains cool, confident, and prepared to prove the doubters wrong and conquer the challenge of Brock Lesnar.
Reigns was gracious enough to give me some time just days before the big match in conjunction with a SNICKERS “Who Are You When You’re Hungry?” contest. We hit on several hot topics including the pressure of making that historic WrestleMania leap on Sunday, the booing, thoughts on the Mania card, his Mania dream match, Brock Lesnar re-signing, and more in this CCB exclusive.
“Well you know if we’re going to call it pressure I’d say it’s exciting. I’m pumped! This is an opportunity of a lifetime. You know you can’t write stories like this, well I guess you can. It just feels real good, it’s great to be out here on the west coast in San Francisco in the San Jose area. I was at Levis Stadium yesterday just looking around, I got to tour their facilities and everything. It’s just an awesome opportunity and I couldn’t be any happier.”
Coming from a family with Sika, Rikishi, the Rock, have you gotten any advice from your family, peers, or other veterans about the WrestleMania main-event experience?
“Absolutely and that is something that I am so fortunate to have are those resources that you kind of just tapped into there. For me it’s all about gaining as much experience as fast as I can so with my family I am just communicate and talk, ask questions. It seems like the consensus is to just live in the moment, have fun, and regardless of whatever happens this is the biggest opportunity I am ever going to have so just live in it, practice humility, and just represent our family.”
Has the booing gotten to you at all?
“It’s one of those things, it does a little bit. I am not going to lie. I care a lot about what I do, I have a deep passion for wrestling, sports entertainment, and just performing in front of a live crowd in general. So obviously you want things to be positive and support you but at the same time I really firmly believe that the fans, they have a choice, they pay their hard-earned money, it’s their opinion, and we live in a great country where you can voice that so it’s on them. No matter what happens I’m going to work my butt off, I’m going to go out there and perform to the best of my ability and the rest will take care of itself.”
Are there any other matches you are looking forward to watching at WrestleMania 31?
“I am. That’s the great part of WrestleMania, it’s the grandest stage of them all. Some of the best matchups, it’s not like other sports where it’s just one game. There’s so many different games being played and with that being said I’m really pumped for Triple H and Sting. I have to say that there’s another unique opportunity for a younger talent in Bray Wyatt taking on the Undertaker and as we saw last year the beast Brock Lesnar broke the streak so I am very curious to see how Undertaker bounces back, how he uses his wisdom and his experience to get back on track. With that being said the younger guys, the I-C ladder match is going to be as physical as there is going to be a matchup for WrestleMania.”
What is a WrestleMania dream match of yours against anyone past or present?
“I’m doing it man, it’s happening for me this year, Brock Lesnar the beast incarnate, a guy who carries so much respect not only in the UFC world but in sports entertainment world as well and just such a great athlete, he’s a proven competitor, I’m looking forward to showing what I can do and proving my abilities.“
What is it about the Samoan blood, the intangible that has made not only so many good pro wrestlers, but successful professional wrestlers?
“Well thank you for that, I think the main thing is it’s our blood. We have it in us, that intensity, that aggression we can tap into, I think it’s extremely believable. It’s something we are able to get lost in and I think not only for myself I am able to do it but there’s going to be a long line of more family members of mine coming up. If there is one thing we can do is reproduce.”
I tell a story about being scared as a kid after watching an interview with the Wild Samoans. What was it like for you to bring your friends to your house and meet your father (Sika the Wild Samoan)?
“It was awesome, you know like you said it’s a bit of a scary persona and a larger than life out there persona. A lot of times when I’d bring friends over or other kids from the neighborhood they’d be really shocked at just how laid back and cool he was. Most of the time when you come off of the road you’re tired so he’d just be super calm. The big thing is when you’re the only kid with a wrestling ring in your backyard, that’s a huge distraction so I think he could have been just terrifying but they’d still love him because he had a wrestling ring in his backyard.”
Did you ever consider MMA along your trajectory to the WWE?
“You know I didn’t. One thing I am kind of throughout my sports days is I never got into amateur wrestling. Growing up in Pensacola, Florida football and baseball were kind of the big sports and what I was pushed to do. Amateur wrestling never popped up and I thought that would have been a really nice segue as I got older into the Mixed-Martial Arts so I’m a little bummed I didn’t ever get to dabble in that side of athletics but I think my path happened for a reason and I am pretty happy where I am at.”
Roman’s thoughts on Brock Lesnar re-signing with the WWE.
“I think it’s great, I think it’s great. Anytime we can lock down top talent, Brock is a proven veteran, he’s been in the ring and he’s performed at the highest levels and he’s going to do so again Sunday so I think it’s awesome and it’s just another guarantee that he’s going to show up Sunday.”
“That’s something that I am very proud to be a part of, to partner up with SNICKERS you know that’s the question. Who are you when you’re hungry? As we know anything can happen when you’re hungry so for me I was able to show a different side than most people were expecting, a bit of a questionable, insecure side of me and you take one bite and everything’s better and you can see it in the commercial where I snapped out of it, a bit of a kick-out if you will, and I was back to the regular me.”
Your personal favorite match up to this point in your career?
“You know there’s been a lot. I tend to favor the ones that are on the higher level or the more prestigious matches which are usually on a pay-per-view or a WrestleMania setting. With that being said I think thus far it’d have to be either the SummerSlam match against Randy Orton or the Fastlane match against Daniel Bryan. They were both awesome matches, great guys to compete against, and hopefully they’ll be many more down the road.”