When you’re the Universal Champion Roman Reigns, you can pretty much say and do whatever you want.
Reigns sparked a small level of controversy on a recent episode of SmackDown where he said John Cena was boring, likening him to years of sex in the missionary position. While the line was broadcast live, it was later removed from the clip when it was posted to WWE’s YouTube channel.
Speaking to Jimmy Traina on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Reigns addressed the comment and the approach to his promos in general. The Head of the Table said that he’s not sure why the line was removed from YouTube, adding that he’s no longer scripted in a way he was earlier in his career.
“There’s a portion of my career where I would either read a script or adjust a script as much as possible. For a while now, especially since I’ve come back since SummerSlam, I’m not scripted. I say what I want to and say what I feel. If it comes out of my mouth, it’s my verbiage, I come up with it and deliver it. I don’t know why they edited it out. I think it raised some eyebrows. I don’t get in trouble. The gimmick is as close to being real as possible. Even if they tried to say something to me, I wouldn’t have cared anyway. What are you gonna do? Not have me on SmackDown next week? Like I did before SummerSlam last year, I’ll go home. It doesn’t matter to me. Let’s see how they do without me.”
Continuing on, Reigns explained how he’s involved in the creative process and how everything is “all in the delivery.”
“Everything is a bit of feel. It’s my job, so I have a game plan and I’m attached to the creative process. We’re always brainstorming and coming up with new material. It’s all in the delivery. You can have the coolest lines of all time, but if you’re not connected to it and within the skin of what you’re trying to do, it’s not going to come off right. It definitely wasn’t something holstered throughout the week or month. A lot of my stuff, because I have to be in that process and there are huge differences between Joe and Roman, but when it’s time to go to a WWE event, I put on the Tribal Chief mindset and display that as authentically as possible.”
The Champion was then asked if he would use the ‘missionary’ line again. Reigns said that while he wasn’t sure about that particular comment, his point was that John Cena is stale and he’s trying to push more out of him as a performer.
“I don’t know about the missionary reference. Let’s throw a little respect on the missionary. I think we can all agree, any position is a good position, but over and over and over, for 15 years straight, the same thing, it gets stale, it gets tired. You have to be able to show that evolution, you have to be able to throw the curve ball and show those layers as a performer. That’s all I’m trying to push out of John.”
After it initially appeared that Reigns might be heading for a showdown with Finn Balor, the Tribal Chief is now set to meet John Cena at SummerSlam. While Reigns initially turned down Cena’s challenge in favour of one from Balor, the 16-time World Champion improvised.
With Baron Corbin interrupting the contract signing between Reigns and Balor, Cena ran to the ring to sign on the dotted line. The match was later made official by Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.