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Roman Reigns Says He Doesn’t Personally View AEW As Competition, Says They Have A Ceiling Due To Their Fanbase

October 15, 2021 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Roman Reigns WWE Smackdown, Jeff Hardy

In an interview with Complex, Roman Reigns spoke about the WWE’s rivalry with AEW and whether he personally views the company as competition, confirming that he doesn’t. Reigns said that AEW has a hardcore fanbase and because they focus on appealing to that fanbase, they have a ceiling as to have successful they can be. Here are highlights:

On how his match with Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel differs from their past encounters: “Well, I think you hit it right on the head. We got Brock the Butcher nowadays. You’ve seen a bit of evolution. We’re seeing him with different layers and presented in a different light. I think he’s more comfortable than he’s ever looked on screen, especially with him not having Paul [Heyman] in his corner to kind of lean on for the talking and the different responsibilities throughout the show outside of just suplexing people. I think he’s been able to display more of Brock Lesnar from a personality standpoint. Then for me, like you said man, I’m on a different level now. It was like building a house. I had to stack all these bricks in order to get up and then complete it.

And we’re still working on that, but I think the progression that I’ve made just speaks volumes to where I’m at now. I don’t think it’s really arguable. What I’ve done over the past year, what I’ve done with this Universal Championship, what I’ve done as the face of WWE and the business behind it, I think the greatest result of all of that is all of these huge names that continue to come back just trying to step up to me. They’re acknowledging me. There’s a huge roster that they could have narrowed down to somebody else. But if you’re in WWE, from a full-time standpoint or you’re coming back and you’re trying to put eyes on you, you want to be on the island of relevancy. So I think that that kind of speaks for itself and what I’m doing.”

On if he views AEW as competition: “No. I mean, not for me personally. This is one of those subjects that’s very subjective and there’s a lot of passion and tribalism that really sways and creates an unbiased opinion. But I can only speak from my perspective. I’m one of those guys who will compete at anything. Like, ‘I bet you I can eat that cookie faster.’ I want to be the best at anything that I choose to do. We pull up on lawn mowers, we cut the yard in half, I’m going to beat you. My side will look better than yours. So me, I don’t see the real competition [with AEW] because I think their fan base legitimately is a hardcore fan base. So there’s like a ceiling and a built-in ground to that viewership. [The WWE is] trying to connect with everyone. We’re trying to connect with the mainstream. We’re trying to pull in the casual fan. We’re trying to engage the new viewer, while also servicing our hardcore fan base and give them compelling stories to fulfill them as well. I don’t know if I’ve said it before, but I’ve said it before, when the audience is probably the biggest character in your show, that’s strange to me. You’ll hear it all the time, the reviews and the comparisons. I think because they are the new kids on the block, they’re the cool kids in town I guess because of how premature and how novel it kind of still is, I think there still being babied by these hardcore wrestling fans. Which is fine. That’s great. I don’t think anybody’s going to ever, especially from a performance standpoint say, ‘Oh no, there’s more opportunities out there? That sucks.’ So it’s not a bad thing. It’s a great thing for professional wrestling. It’s just a weird argument because there’s so much bias and there’s so much, ‘I’m on this side and I’m not gonna open my mind to the other side.’ And it goes both ways.

As far as competition, not to me. There might be some other people on our roster who maybe think they need to dig deep and get better as a performer and what they do out there at the art form, but there’s nobody in the whole world, any other promotion, in WWE…I’m better at this art form than everybody else. And I stand on that. That’s the totality of it. I’m not just talking about, ‘Oh, his spots are so good and he counters real well.’ That stuff don’t mean anything to me. When you tally it all up, nobody touches me in this business.”

On CM Punk and if he’d ever want a match with him: “So I answered a question similar to this a while ago, and it falls back to what our audience wants to see. If our audience wanted to see it and they were clamoring for it, couldn’t shut up about it, and all the stars aligned, as a businessman and as a performer who was trying to seek out the very best for the audience and try to captivate, I wouldn’t say no. But I mean, on a personal level, it doesn’t do anything for me. That’s not going to elevate me at all. He’s older now. I haven’t really seen a full match. I’ve seen a clip or two. And to me, a step or two has been lost. Then also he got his whooped in the UFC. I don’t think anybody really believes someone 200 pounds soaking wet with no explosive bone in their body could ever really do anything to me. I’m 6’3”, 265 pounds, a legitimate athlete who can throw some weight around and has been on the gridiron at the highest level. D1. All ACC. I probably would’ve maintained in the NFL if my health issues didn’t happen when I was 22 years old. So, I mean, when it comes down to it, I’ll throw him and pretty much the rest of that roster out the club no problem. They’re just little brothers, you know?”

article topics :

Roman Reigns, Joseph Lee