Speaking ahead of his titanic clash with John Cena at SummerSlam, Roman Reigns has addressed the issue of part-time performers in wrestling.
At SummerSlam, Reigns will put his title on the line against the 16-time World Champion who hasn’t appeared full-time with WWE for a number of years. While from RAW, Bobby Lashley will defend his WWE Championship against another part-time star in Goldberg.
During a new interview with BT Sport’s Ariel Helwani, Reigns responded to criticism from some, including CM Punk in the past, about part-time stars taking away main event spots from full-time performers.
The Universal Champion said that while he understands both perspectives, if someone can improve the show, it benefits everyone. Reigns suggested that the comments come from bitter people, adding that CM Punk was never as good or as over as the likes of John Cena and The Rock.
“I can see it from both perspectives. The high tide raises all the boats, everybody benefits. So I do think that there’s that strange threshold… Those statements are coming from bitter people who possibly thought they were better than they really were. When it comes down to it, CM Punk was not as good, or as over as a John Cena. Wasn’t as good, or as over, and moved the needle like The Rock. It just was what it was.
From a full-time performer, I understand the frustration, and wanting more. But like I said before, you gotta take it. I’m a full-time performer, but I’ve done everything that needs to be done to stay in this position. To be in this position, to continue to make the opportunity for myself to be in the main event of SummerSlam against a John Cena.
If anybody ever comes along and tries to push me out of that scenario, I’ll fight like hell to keep the ground that I’ve made.”
Reigns added that Cena has earned the right to only appear with WWE on a part-time basis and in the main event. The Head of the Table explained that it’s his job to capitalise on the attention Cena brings with him.
“It’s one of those debatable, we can go back and forth, we can change our perspective, if you’re one of those type of people who can see it with a different set of eyes. I really think, if more eyeballs are being brought to our product, and of course it depends who it is, but a guy like a John Cena who’s starring in multiple movies this summer, and when it comes down to it, has earned the right, he’s at that portion of his career where he’s a part-time performer, I’m not gonna complain. I’m just gonna capitalise on him being here and and everything that he brings with that.
That’s my goal. That’s the whole gimmick to me, this is John Cena. Why wouldn’t I want to be in the ring, why wouldn’t I want him to come to me? You know what I mean? This is the biggest movie star of the summer right now. And he came to me. He came to the Head of the Table, he came to Roman Reigns. He wanted to be in the ring with me.
I’m not gonna complain about that. But I think the other people that think, that they should have more or be more, and aren’t willing to actually do it, they’re gonna have a different explanation.”
Away from Roman Reigns and WWE, CM Punk is reportedly set to make a stunning return to the squared circle. Punk, who hasn’t wrestled since the 2014 Royal Rumble, is reportedly set to debut with AEW at Rampage, The First Dance on August 20th in his home town of Chicago.
While there has been no confirmation of a deal from either side, a new report has suggested that TNT are working under the assumption that a deal has been done.
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