Roman Reigns’ Tribal Chief Character Was Based On Iconic Hollywood Role

Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns & Paul Heyman

Ever since returning to action in 2020 Roman Reigns has been unstoppable. After making his surprise return at SummerSlam of that year, he won the Universal Championship at Payback, which began his amazing 900+ day reign.

Having reclaimed his position at the top of WWE, he put together one of the most dominant factions in wrestling history. Alongside his cousins The Usos, Solo Sikoa and Paul Heyman as the wise man, The Bloodline saw them put a stranglehold upon the entire company.

As the name suggests the group revolves around family with Reigns firmly at the head of the table. But it wasn’t always plain sailing. Initially, Jey and Jimmy Uso were reluctant to accept him as their Tribal Chief, but his threats of expulsion from the family and emotional manipulation eventually saw the twins stand by Reigns.

In his role as Head of the Table, Reigns embodies the characteristics of the most memorable fictional crime family bosses such as Michael Corleone from The Godfather trilogy, and Tony Soprano of the hit HBO series The Sopranos. Therefore, fans have assumed that these iconic characters have inspired Reigns throughout this journey.

However, in an interview with AP News Heyman, revealed the basic idea for Reigns as the Tribal Chief was Marlon Brando’s portrayal of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now.

“The reason why is because the story is of a soldier so great, he could not be stopped,” Heyman said of Kurtz. “He goes rogue and takes over this community, becomes their leader, and their end all be all. He then has to live up to being this navigator into the future and has the responsibility and the accountability of living up to those expectations. And at some point, that becomes a burden and makes him resent those with such lofty expectations for the person who positioned himself as their leader. And in that resentment comes this villainous bitterness.”

Will Roman Reigns And The Bloodline Previal At WWE WrestleMania 39?

Despite being one of the most successful and highly-decorated factions in WWE history, there have been cracks appearing in the foundations of the Bloodline recently.

Ever since Sami Zayn was sensationally expelled from the group at Royal Rumble all has not been well in the group. Zayn’s refusal to bow down to Reigns’ demands caused Jey to relive his own humiliation at the hands of his cousin and walk out on the family. After a few weeks of absence, he only returned when Reigns threatened his brother.

Upon Jey’s return, he sided with Jimmy and turned on Zayn setting up an epic tag team match at WrestleMania 39 Night 1. Zayn and Kevin Owens reunited after months of turmoil putting aside their differences to take down the Bloodline.

In the lead-up to his Undisputed Championship challenge at WrestleMania, Cody Rhodes questioned Reigns’ leadership over the members of the Bloodline and fans could see The Usos and Reigns leave WrestleMania 39 titleless.