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A star defensive tackle at Georgia Tech, Roman Reigns wrecked offensive guards for both the Minnesota Vikings and the Jacksonville Jaguars before becoming a WWE Superstar. The hulking powerhouse brought his smash-mouth gridiron style to WWE’s developmental system, NXT, where he left a long line of tough opponents in crumpled heaps. But it was at the 2012 Survivor Series that Reigns made his greatest impact. In the heat of a Triple Threat Match between WWE Champion CM Punk, John Cena and Ryback, Reigns hit the ring alongside fellow WWE NXT competitors Dean Ambrose and Seth ... Read More
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It's very rare to find a guy who has all the tool for superstar success, but Roman Reignsis one of very few. Born into the Anoa'i family, Roman did everything he could to avoid the family calling, but he took the plunge and joined wwe in 2010. In a short space of time, Roman has made an impactalongside Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins in the Shield. Now he's flying solo & quickly becoming one of WWE's most popular stars.
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Whilst on the WWE Manila tour, Inquirer Sports took their time to sit down with Roman as he answered questions from them. Read the interview below:

He’s not a bad guy. He’s not a good guy. He just thinks he’s the guy.

Roman Reigns said that his iconic promo the night after WrestleMania is a reflection of what he’s been feeling throughout his career.

“For me, I don’t try to think I’m a good guy, I don’t try to think I’m a bad guy. I’m just thinking I’m me,” Reigns told INQUIRER in an exclusive interview before WWE Live Manila last September 9. “When I walk into a building and in that ring, I know I’m the guy. I know I’m going there and do my thing and nobody could deny that.”

Though presented as a babyface (good guy), the crowd has been vocal in their displeasure of Reigns, even booing him in the greatest moment of his young career when he won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H at WrestleMania 32 last April.

But the Samoan powerhouse doesn’t mind all the negative reaction, saying, “For me, it’s just been a crazy roller coaster.”

“It can appear to be however it appears to be, but the only thing I remember after beating Triple H at WrestleMania is that everybody is standing up. I have great pictures of such a huge moment, the biggest WrestleMania of all time,” he said. “Some people get too caught up with my reactions. It’s a mixed reaction, but everybody has some sort of feelings towards me. For whatever reason, I rub people a certain way, there’s a reaction, some form of expression I’m pulling from these people.”

With him enjoying contrasting fan reactions, some people can’t help but compare Reigns to John Cena, one of the WWE’s most polarizing superstars. But for the third-generation superstar, he’d rather not make the comparison and trek a journey of his own.

“I think John Cena is John Cena. He’s had such a great career and such a long career. That longevity and consistency, that’s what makes superstars a superstar,” he said. “I’d like to think I’m a little bit different. I don’t know if it’s because the fans have been prepared because they’ve had John for so long and they knew that another guy, another alpha male who is going to compete is going to fill that spot. I think our fans are smart to the process on how we do this year-in and year-out. I’d like to think it’s a great situation, you have two guys who are going out there to compete and give you the best show possible with John Cena and Roman Reigns.”

And it’s the biggest thing that matters for Reigns, to have the health to continue wrestling all year round.

“For me, as long as I’m healthy and I get to do what I love, that’s going to make my day. It’s all about keeping my head down and sticking to this grind and sticking to this same drill I do everyday, and that’s what’s going to make me better than anybody: that consistency to be able to go out there every single night and do it night after night, 52 weeks a year. If I could just continue to do that, it feels like I’m hammering it down. If I can stay healthy and stay in that ring, good things are going to happen,” he said.

Coming from a decorated wrestling family, Reigns sees it as a responsibility for him to represent his
heritage whenever he steps inside the squared circle.

“I like to look at it more as a responsibility,” he said. “Everything I do, especially when I step in the ring, I represent my family. For me to represent my bloodline, my heritage, and continue to push the legacy that my family has, it’s an honor. That’s the main thing when you have such a competitive family and a family that has done so much in this business. The only thing I want to do is to push that standard. I want to take that bar and continue to lift it. The pressure is more of a responsibility and I love it.”

He also didn’t discount the possibility of fighting The Rock at WrestleMania, but said that it could only happen if the two of them would be fighting for the company’s biggest prize.

“I’m out here representing my family, and I don’t think a better way to represent our family than us going at it in the grandest stage of them all which, if that would be the case and I have to wrestle The Rock, I would have think the WWE Universal Championship or the WWE Championship would be on the line,” he said. “If there is one thing that get some family members going at it, it would be that, but also, it’s just paying great homage to our family and what we’ve done.”

Reigns, though, said that if he has a choice on who he will face in a dream match at WrestleMania, The Undertaker will always be on top.

“Most people would say The Undertaker and I have to go that way,” he said.

Reigns is hopeful to get a crack at the Deadman before he calls it a career, as he seeks to deal another loss in The Undertaker’s famed 23-1 record at the grandest stage of them all.

“I’ve been in the ring with him for a couple of times and everybody has heard the legend, not only of his character but also behind the scenes, just being the locker room leader he used to be, and he still is to this day. I think it will be incredible to share the ring with him,” he said.

Already a three-time WWE World Champion and a Royal Rumble winner, Reigns can say that he has already accomplished a lot in his career. But the biggest accolade he thinks he could get isn’t any hardware or trophy, but rather, the respect of his peers.

“I’m fortunate enough to do a lot of cool things. I enjoyed many great achievements, but for me, I still take it pretty personal, the art that I go out there and I paint,” he said. “For me, at the end of the day, I just want to know that I had the best career that I could possibly could have had. I did everything to stay healthy and continue to stay in the ring, and when it’s all said and done, there’s a lot of appreciation for the things I did in the ring, and that’s all I could ask for.”

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For World Wrestling Entertainment megastar Roman Reigns, it was never so much about if as it was when.

It was never a question of if he would follow the genetic path of greatness that came before him. Reigns (born Leati Joseph Anoa’i) comes from a long line of proud and successful Samoan pro wrestlers. His father, Sika Anoa’i, and his uncle Afa Anoa’i, formed the legendary tag team The Wild Samoans. His brother, Matthew Anoa’i, enjoyed a successful run with WWE during its famed Attitude Era as Rosey. The bloodlines don’t end there. Reigns is also cousins to legends like the late Yokozuna, WWE hall of famer Rikishi, the late Umaga, The Tonga Kid, The Usos, and arguably the greatest professional wrestler in history in “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson.

Despite Reigns’ best efforts to break free of the family business and make it as a professional football player, his destiny eventually came calling.

“I can only speak from my experience and no,” Reigns said with a chuckle during a telephone interview when asked if wrestling was ever not an option for him.

“There was no way to avoid it,” added Reigns, who faces WWE World Heavyweight champion Triple H at WrestleMania 32 in Dallas, Texas, on April 3.

But before he was delivering Superman Punches, he was delivering bone-crunching tackles in the other sport be both loves and excels at, pro football. Reigns was a standout high school and college football player who even toiled in the National Football League and in Canada with the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos, where he played in 2008.

“I don’t regret anything in football,” Reigns said. “I still love the game, I still love to watch it. It’s even better now to watch it as a fan.”

Reigns said he believes he just never found his fit in football.

“I tried to find that NFL team … you’re always searching, you’re looking for that team, that team that’s going to change your life. For me, WWE was my team. It just took me a while to find that and to realize it, but they’ve always been there since the day I was born. I’ve been in this wrestling family since Day 1. There ain’t no getting out of it now.”

In fact, Reigns said, it was before departing for Canada and the CFL that he began to seriously contemplate going into the family business.

“Going into Canada, I was starting to have those thoughts of, ‘OK, if something magical doesn’t happen up here, something really great that’s going to build a foundation either up here, or able to propel me back down south to the NFL, then I don’t know if I want to invest anymore energy into football,’ because I had played it for so long,” Reigns said. “I had played it since seven years old, essentially. After just years and years of just the same stuff, the same chasing that ball, playing the same techniques.

As you progress through each level of football, it becomes less about sport and more about money, he explained. “The sport kind of takes a different toll on you and I was ready for a change by then.”

Reigns came home to his calling in 2010 when he signed a developmental deal with WWE. There, he would spend the next two years cutting his teeth before he found success with fellow developmental talents Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins when the trio formed The Shield. The trio would soon get the call to the main WWE roster and proceed to enjoy tremendous success. The Shield would be dissolved in early 2013, with all three men going on to enjoy varying degrees of singles success.

Reigns, who has twice won the WWE World title, is now staring down the barrel of his second straight main event WrestleMania match. Lofty stuff indeed for someone only six years into his career and only three years removed from developmental.

“Sometimes it doesn’t even feel real,” admitted the very likable Reigns when asked if he ever stops to contemplate what he’s accomplished so far. “I try not to look on the accolades or the things that I’ve done. I try to focus on, ‘What can you control?’ ‘What’s the next step?’ ‘What’s going to help you out for tomorrow?’ But it is really cool to be able to look back and think, ‘Wow man.’ … (There have been) so many great opportunities, I’ve met so many cool people, built so many great relationships, I’ve been able to see damn near the whole world.”

It’s something, he said, he wouldn’t have been able to handle during his football days.

“Six years ago, seven years ago, when I was in Canada, I don’t know if I would have even been ready for all of this, let alone be living a life where I’m actually doing all of this. Every single day that I wake up is a blessing. As long as I wake up, I feel like I can whatever it is because that’s the way we work here. You have to be ready for anything, you have to be willing to pick something up on the fly, even if you don’t have any experience. Everything that I’m doing now is just to gain even more experience and continue to build this foundation that I stand on.”

That foundation, while certainly solid when it comes to his successes so far, has become a bit shaky when it comes to notoriously fickle wrestling fans. Reigns, at times, finds himself on the receiving end of boos, sometimes when least expected, which is unusual for someone being billed as a good guy.

For his part, Reigns is at a bit of a loss to explain the love-hate relationship fans have for him.

“It’s a tough one because there is no one answer,” Reigns said. “There is no one reason why someone would want to boo me. Maybe they don’t like what I wear, how I sound, maybe I did something to offend them, but for me, it’s hard because I’m under the microscope and I’m dealing with a lot of different things and there’s a lot of things flying my way. For me, I can only continue to stay within myself and worry about the things I can control and the things I can control are, Am I healthy?; Am I showing up to where I need to be on time?; Am I here to perform and do my job? If I do that, then our fans, they can cheer me, they can boo me, as long as we all show up to the arena, everything will be fine. We’ll be able to create that awesome experience, create that energy.”

Reigns also said he has a huge number of supporters, whom he hears just as loudly and clearly.

“As for the reasons why these things happen, I don’t know,” he said. “I do know I have a lot of supporters. These people have my back. There’s nothing that anybody can say negatively to me that will make me believe you are correct. It’s just your opinions,” he said, adding that his football background comes in handy with crowd reactions and reception. “I’m an ex-football player, so I’ve been in a home environment, I’ve played in an away environment. As long as I know the supporters are still by me, even if they’re not in the arena, I hear them on social media and I know they’re out there. If you’re riding with me, it’s going to be a good ride. If you’re going against me, we’re sorry for what’s going to happen next.”

So focused is Reigns on his job and at becoming an even better wrestler and star, he said he doesn’t let the negativity or adversity change him as a person.

“Not as a person. never as a person,” he said. “I know who I am, I know where I come from and where I want to go. At the end of the day, I’m a dad. I’ll never forget who I am.”

As a performer, Reigns believes that adversity has played into his favour.

“I think it’s helped me,” he said. “That’s what’s cool about what we do. It’s a story, there’s no applause sign. This isn’t on set. This is live, it’s raw. We call it Raw, but it is raw. Emotions come out in the moment. There is no real way to compare that to anything and for me, I think it made me better, it made me learn faster. I was thrown into the fire, thrown into the deep end. And you can either sink or swim. And that’s how you get better. You apply that heat that’s being thrown at you.”

The next heat coming Reigns’ way is coming in the form of a 14-time world champion who has almost single-handedly rewritten the book on success and longevity. Reigns faces wrestling legend-turned corporate executive Paul (Triple H) Levesque, a man with nearly as many WrestleMania appearances under his belt as Reigns has years on Earth.

At nearly 50 years of age, the man known as “The Game” continues to defy Father Time, all while inspiring every single performer in the company, Reigns said of his opponent at the massive AT&T Stadium.

“Nobody’s molded and had a bigger impact on the business, I don’t think, than Triple H in the past 10 to 15 years,” Reigns said. “He’s pretty much done all of the hard work, the nitpicking, day in, day out. He’s been in the ring, he’s been travelling, being the face of the company essentially … always promoting, always working, always thinking about the business, always thinking about the future, building NXT and on top of that, playing the whole suit role and the whole office role, but still getting in the gym, still looking great, still can go, still a great athlete, still a competitor.”

Triple H sets the bar high for others, Reigns said.

“That’s a mix of good genetics — probably like 10% genetics and 90% work ethic — and to be able to tangle up with that, there’s a lot of things I can learn from him,” he said. “The youth of this business, no matter who you are, you’re going to learn from Triple H and you’re going to pick his brain and you’re going to get better for that.”

Having twice tasted – albeit briefly – the life as a WWE World champion, it’s something Reigns admits leaves a lasting taste in one’s mouth.

“I think once you’ve had the title, that’s all you really think about,” he said, before his trademark sharp wit emerges. “The first one was like … they were saying something stupid like a five-second reign. It was at least eight seconds for sure. They’re stealing seconds away from me man.”

Then he turns serious.

“When I had that championship, when I ended up beating Sheamus again on Raw in Philly, it was incredible. The weeks following that, everywhere I went, ‘What’s up, champ?’ ‘How you doing champ?’ I legitimately felt like life was better. When you’re WWE champ, life is better. There is something about being the WWE champion that makes your day-to-day life cooler, better, more fun … It’s a real thing. I know it’s a TV show, but there is something very real life about it and that’s why I haven’ been fulfilled yet.

“It’s weird to say, I’m a two-time champion — hopefully three-time after Dallas — there is huge enjoyment to have that title on your shoulder, to travel the whole world to defend it every single night in a different town, all over the country, all over the world, to be able to have that responsibility, man there’s nothing like it.”

Reigns is excited at the prospect of earning his third world title in front of a record WWE crowd, probably close to 100,000 people.

“We always re-run the prior year’s WrestleMania before every show,” Reigns said. “And we’ve seen that one from last year in Santa Clara. We’ve seen that one day after day before every single show. It’s crazy that it’s going to change. There are going to be new moments, there are going to be new highlights. It just gets bigger, longer and it’s just a greater show every single year. You run into a situation like Dallas, it’s just, ‘How can we top this?’ We’re in the business of outdoing ourselves. How do we do that again? That’s my main question that I’m running into? This is just going to be the biggest event of all time. Where do we go from here man?”

Destiny, it would seem, is still calling for Roman Reigns.

WrestleMania 32 is available live and only on the WWE Network on April 3. For details, go to WWE.com.

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Roman Reigns took the stage at the final WWE panel at Wizard World Portland late Friday night. Moderator Mo Lightning introduced Roman, who came out and stumbled slightly coming up onto the stage (which he joked about later). Unlike the panels for Paige and New Day, Mo jumped right into the fan questions to get to as many as possible as there was quite a line forming early.

* First up was a woman who thanked Reigns for being an inspiration and asked him what his intentions were going into Fastlane against Brock Lesnar and Dean Ambrose. “It’s business as usual,” he said. “It’s to win. I’ve got everything riding on this, I’m not trying to go back to WrestleMania in any other match but the main event.” Reigns said he loves Ambrose and Ambrose knows that, but this one’s his. He said that Ambrose has “gotten a little too personal with it and the attraction of the Beast has gotten into his brain.” He said when it comes to Lesnar, you just have to treat him like a punching bag and keep hitting him as hard as you can. When it comes to Ambrose if Reigns has to pull the trigger on him, he’ll do it.

* Next was a younger kid who asked if Fastlane would be the start of a rivalry between him and Ambrose. The crowd did an “Oooh,” after which Reigns gave a wry, “Easy, guys, easy.” He said that they haven’t brought it up much because they don’t want people to forget it’s a triple threat, but pointed out they fought at Survivor Series, noting, “That’s how I won it the first time before that stupid-looking Sheamus came out.” He pointed out that in the match, they didn’t even tie up and went straight to punching each other in the mouth, which is the type of competitors they are. He said, “None of us want to go back to that hot warehouse down in Tampa” and that in order to stay on top of the WWE they’re going to have to compete against each other.

* The moderator asked if every question was going to be something to stir the pot between Reigns and Ambrose, to which Reigns replied “Yeah, in like five minutes it’s going to be, ‘I hate him! I’ll never ride with him again!”

* The next guy asked who, aside from his father and uncle, were his inspirations in wrestling and what was the spark that set it off for him for wanting to compete. Reigns said it did start with his father and uncle, as well as High Chief Peter Maivia. He said within their household in Pensacola they had a lot of different names come through like Yokozuna, Rikishi (bringing up Rikishi’s other gimmicks like the Sultan), Umaga, his brother Rosey and the list goes on. He said it’s a family tradition and he knew he was never going to get far away from wrestling. He said when he was playing football his encouraged him because he was following his own path, but he thinks his dad knew and always wanted him to get into the business. When football was over he was trying to work and was working for his sister in an office furniture installation company building cubicles. He said he looked in the mirror one morning and realized he just wasn’t happy. He said he knew even as hard as the line of work is, and the travel and being away from family he’d be able to do something he wasn’t when he was offloading trucks and building furniture. he said he’s very grateful to be where he is. The moderator spoke up to add, “You know what also makes him happy? Punching his friend, Dean Ambrose” to a laugh.

* A woman who was at the Paige panel in a Reigns shirt came up next. When the moderator said she tried to hijack Paige’s panel Reigns said, “Good! What’d you guys do to New Day?” The woman asked essentially the same question as the guy before her, wanting to know what made Reigns start wrestling and how old he was. Reigns said “Well, that ties into the last question but I’m just going to assume that you are so locked into these eyes right now…” to a laugh from the crowd. He said he was twenty-four and was at a point in his life where he knew what he had to do, and that growing up in his household you pretty much had two options for big doors to open: athletics due to genetics or the wrestling business. He said he wanted to be a Superstar and he wanted to make an impact because he had a lot of people who influenced him to do right and there isn’t enough of that. He said, “A lot of people are going off of this, you know, ‘Controversy gets reactions and that’s what sells’ but people don’t put over when someone has a great work ethic or someone’s grinding, putting their nose down every single week…that’s why I’m glad I have the platform of WWE to do that.”

* The next woman had an Ambrose shirt, which Reigns jokingly said “Uh-oh” about before saying, “He’s my best friend in the world, I want you to believe that!” The woman asked when Rollins comes back if there was ever going to be a Shield reunion. Reigns said that if he had to answer for Rollins, he’d say that Rollins has a master scheme he’s been brewing up in a CrossFit gym somewhere. He said if he was Rollins, he’d want to come back and make the biggest impact as a solo competitor. He said Rollins has a definite claim to the title having lost it due to injury, saying, “And that’s what makes me proud is, so one of us loses it due to injury which — and I have to say, if you haven’t seen that video he blows his knee out doing an awesome sunset flip bomb on Kane who is a giant man. He’s far bigger than I am. He blew his knee, you can obviously see something is wrong, he reset and still picked up Kane and powerbombed him through a table.” He said that’s the type of competitor Rollins is so he knows Rollins is in that CrossFit gym and rehab center going nuts. He expects Rollins to come back as a solo competitor and hopes he has the title so they can face off for it.

* Next was a young boy who asked what Reigns’ “hardest fight” was. Reigns said it was Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, noting, “If you’ve seen that match, it’s probably a little different” than any other match in terms of the physicality. He said that doing that on the grandest stage of them all was the biggest moment of his life in terms of performance.

* The next kid asked if Reigns was surprised when Triple H came back in the Royal Rumble. He said he was because at that point the Authority had thrown pretty much every competitor they had against him and going into the Rumble he was in a lot of handicap matches. He said he figured somebody other than Triple H would be able to get the job done, but that to see the Game getting the perfect spot in the last spot at the Rumble, all he could do is go, “We get it; you own the company with your dad and your wife. Cool, man.”

* The next kid said “All I want to say is are you cousins with the Rock?” Reigns smiled and paused for a moment before replying, “Yes, I am. But I like Dean better!”

* Another kid was up next and asked again how Reigns got into wrestling and who his favorite wrestler growing up was. Reigns said that when he was a kid, one of the ways he got in was being in a wrestling family so he’s always been around it. He said that they had a ring in their backyard and his dad trained a lot of guys so they had a very long history. He said that when he was a kid he wanted to be a wrestler, but he found other interests in school before he went back to his roots.

* The next kid asked if Ambrose and Rollins were his friends in real life. Reigns just grinned as the crowd laughed and then said, “Turn your cameras off now. Then we’ll have a real talk!” He then said that yes they are friends in real life and that they have the same interests “just, some of us are a little crazier than others.”

* The next person asked about when Ambrose was facing Sheamus in the cage match when Reigns through the chair in that landed perfectly, Ambrose did a thing afterward about having staples in his head and asked the trainer how many staples Reigns had; the trainer said Reigns had more. She asked if there was some sort of competition over it. He said “Now you Dean guys and girls, don’t get mad at this but that’s classic little brother stuff.” He then said “Yeah, no but let’s go back to that chair,” saying it was good luck and that he didn’t realize it until Dean told him later after the show. He said Dean said “Dude, did you see what happened?” and told him that he the chair stuck perfectly. He added, “But then like a little brother he said, ‘But imagine if you could have thrown it like, four feet closer to me. I woulda just sat down on it.’”

* Next was a cute moment where a kid asked Reigns to bodyslam him, to which Reigns said, “How about you bodyslam me first?”

* The next guy asked what Reigns’ favorite match he’s ever had was. Reigns said it would be easy to say the Lesnar WrestleMania match because it was at WrestleMania, but his personal favorite was either his Fastlane match with Daniel Bryan or his Last Man Standing with Big Show in Chicago. He said they were both really fun for very different reasons. He said those matches plus Lesnar shows that he can gel with different types of competitors.

* The next guy asked what it was like to be “the man” in the company. Reigns said it’s a lot of responsibility and is a very busy life. He doesn’t see a lot of off days, but it’s a blessing to be busy. He said it’s hard to tell that to his daughter, but “Daddy can’t make money on the couch.” He said it can’t be done in one year; the key is longevity and for all the flack John Cena gets he’s done it at a high level for years with 300 shows year after year after year. He said it’s a good feeling and a big responsibility, but he’s glad and proud to help usher in this new era in the company.

* Up next was a guy in cosplay who asked if he had any advice for someone trying to get into the business. He joked, “As you can see, I’m not afraid to dress like an idiot.” Reigns said that was important to be brave; he was telling someone about his first match in front of like ten people in trunks and still losing his football weight, but you can’t be scared to put it all out there. He said for anyone getting into the business, the key is to finish school, take his education as far as he can and then if still very serious, find a good school which are everywhere. He said that’s easier now because of social media but getting into a good wrestling school is the key.

* Next was a woman who asked if Reigns knew who created the triple threat. He guessed Pat Patterson, to which the woman said it was Roddy Piper who was her stepson’s grandfather. Reigns praised Roddy, saying he was the most charismatic man he ever met. He said Patterson is his default choice because Patterson’s created so many things like the championship title belt. He said, “I’m glad I know that. You know who’s going to love that? Ambrose.” When the crowd laughed, he said he was totally serious.

* Things got really odd next, as the next woman came up to the mic and said she couldn’t say who she was related to because she didn’t want to start a fight. Reigns said, “Ambrose?” The woman claimed she was related to Hulk Hogan. Reigns said, “Hey, well I’ll go on the record. It is what it is, but from my personal experience, nothing but a gentleman.” She then went off on a really weird flirty tangent saying she’d be okay with Reigns tackling her and that “You on my list, my man already okayed this.” Reigns said, “Is that the comment?” The mod asked, “What is happening?” and after she continued on a bit, he said “Let’s get back to the original question.” She then asked if Reigns knew who Tom Selleck was, to which he gave an incredulous “yeah” reply. She said Selleck is her second cousin on her dad’s side. Reigns tried to steer it away from the woman, saying “Who else got family in here? Anyone got Ambrose?” She went on one last bit saying she’s a descendent of Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke. The moderator quipped, “I know the Miss Kitty from inside the ring,” to which she replied “Well let me just tell you, around these parts, this is my turf and on the street they call me Miss Kitty or Mama Kitty or ‘Don’t mess with her cross the street because that b***h is f***ing crazy.” Reigns then shut her down as politely as possible, telling her to “Here’s what I need you to do Miss Kitty…go sit right over there and let the man ask his question and we’ll talk family trees once we’re done here.” She went to go sit down and then got up and headed out before the next question was done. It was as weird a situation as it sounds.

* The next guy said, “I’ll keep mine simple for you,” asking Reigns to name three guys he’d like to wrestle one day. Reigns said Finn Balor, Apollo Crews and Enzo and Cass. He said of Enzo and Cass, “They seem like a good time, they seem like a riot” and joked that at least one of them seemed pretty easy to beat up and the other he’d say “Stay over there on the apron.” He said NXT has been on fire for a year or now so and that’s important because the talent is the only natural resource the company has.

* The next guy asked what he would want people to remember about him once his career was done. He said, “That I was a good man on the road with all the boys, and we shared great times. We earned…hard-earned money together and that we all saved and have a great afterlife after wrestling.” He said building a future after the business is important and what he’s trying to do. He said “So yeah…a good man and a great performer.”

* Next was a woman who asked if he’s ever wanted to slap Triple H in the face. Reigns scoffed and said, “Uh, yeah. A ton of times!” The moderator asked if the woman wanted to and she said yes, to which Reigns quipped, “Have you?” The woman said she’s wanted to slap both Triple H and Stephanie and Reigns said, “Well somebody needs to get them back because his wife slapped me like nine times over a year!”

* The next woman asked why Reigns didn’t wrestle without a shirt, which as you might expect went over with a certain segment of the crowd. Reigns said, “So if I told you that next year on a certain date I was going to wrestle with my shirt off, would you pay to come see it?” The crowd cheered, to which he said “That’s why I leave my shirt on!” He said that the vests are really cool to him and distinguish him. He said of Ambrose and Reigns that Ambrose has the dirty wifebeater and jeans, and he can’t do that, “and Rollins has like, ninja stuff on. It’s like latex-looking and he looks wet. ALL the time.” He finished with “Just stay tuned.”

* The second-to-last guy asked about his Superman punch and how Reigns decided on it. He said they logged a lot of time training and working and continuing to get better and it was something he played with. He said he’s wrestled in front of five people, outside in the rain, in barns and such and he just started playing with it. He said he saw someone leap off the cage in MMA and thought “We don’t have cages, but I can do that.” The guy asked about a new finisher, and Reigns said “Stay tuned!”

* The last question was from a younger kid who wanted to know what Reigns thought about AJ Styles in the Royal Rumble. Reigns said he thought it was cool, he’s followed AJ around the world and was excited to see him. He’s glad AJ is there, particularly since with some of their guys on the shelf any new experienced, talented performers are a good thing for the roster.

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View screencaptures from Michael Cole’s one-on-one interview HERE:

The Big Dog reveals why he’ll remain WWE World Heavyweight Champion after the 2016 Royal Rumble Match, despite facing heavy opposition from The Wyatt Family, The League of Nations, Brock Lesnar and the McMahons.

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Mike Jones of DC101 got the chance to interview Roman on the phone. To listen to the interview click HERE or to see a transcript of what was said, read below:

This Sunday, we’ll see if Roman Reigns can defeat 29 other Superstars to retain his WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble! Watch it live on the WWE Network and don’t miss out on WWE’s return to DC! The Road To WrestleMania Tour is at the Verizon Center on Sunday, March 27th! Tickets go on sale this Saturday, January 23rd, and you can find out more by clicking here.

Good luck, champ, and sorry about the biggest loser thing!

On being WWE World Heavyweight Champion: “It’s a dream. It’s an honor. It’s a great responsibility and it’s cool because it helps you evolve, it helps you break the mold of what you were doing. After chasing it for so long, to have it on my shoulder, now I’m pushing it, now I’m taking it to the next level, I’m trying to reach grounds that I didn’t think I could reach.” 

On the odds of winning the Royal Rumble: “I’m not just in there with one guy, like you said. I’m in there with 29 other dudes who are trying to take what’s mine and I’ll be damned. Screw that, I’m not going to be the biggest loser. They’re going to have to knock me out and drag me out of there. Brock’s going to have to German me into the stands to get me out.” 

On Sting’s being in WWE in 2015 and now going to the HOF: “To be in this business for as long as he has, that’s a great testament to himself. To his work ethic, his passion, to his will to stay in shape and to continue to push himself physically and mentally. I think it was a great opportunity and I hope I get to see him many more times because he was an absolute gentleman and it was such a positive experience every time I met him.” 

On NXT guys possibly showing up on Sunday: “You got your Finn Balors, your Samoa Joes, your Sami Zayn, those journeymen, the guys who have been at it in this business for such a long time. It’s such a great opportunity for them to sink their teeth in and reap the benefits of all their hard work. But, that being said, if they come in my ring, debut or not, I’m going to send their ass flying over that top rope. That’s the way it’s gotta be.”

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