Roman Reigns has picked up the baton in the ever-increasing war of words between AEW and WWE, claiming that CM Punk has lost a step or two since returning to the ring.
The rivalry between WWE and AEW has kicked into another gear in recent days as the two companies go head to head on October 15th. Friday Night SmackDown is set to run for an extra commercial free half hour meaning that it will now overlap with AEW Rampage.
In response AEW President Tony Khan has been vocal about wanting to beat SmackDown in the ratings, doing his best to foster the spirit of the “wrestling war” between WWE and WCW in the mid-1990’s.
Speaking to Mike DeStefano of Complex, Universal Champion Roman Reigns has now got in on the act. The Head of the Table was asked whether he would like to face CM Punk, now that he sits atop WWE, while Punk is prominently featured in AEW.
Roman Reigns said that if enough fans clamoured for the match he wouldn’t turn it down, but questioned the appeal in taking on Punk. The Tribal Chief suggested that the former WWE Champion had “lost a step or two” since returning to pro wrestling, adding that a match wouldn’t elevate him.
“If our audience wanted to see it and they were clamouring 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.”
Reigns continued to lay the SmackDown, saying a match-up wouldn’t appear legitimate before describing AEW’s roster as “little brothers.”
“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?”
Roman Reigns was speaking ahead of meeting arguably the biggest threat to his Universal Title to date at Crown Jewel, Brock Lesnar
From the moment that Lesnar returned to WWE at SummerSlam, The Beast has been laser focussed on Reigns and his championship. After weeks of tension the pair will now meet in Saudi Arabia in a matter of days to determine the number one Superstar on SmackDown.