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Roman Reigns on His Controversial Promo, a Match With The Rock and More: TRAINA THOUGHTS

1. The WWE goes out of its way to be PG, so when something PG-13 makes it on air, it’s pretty shocking.

That happened a few weeks ago when WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns cut a promo on SmackDown comparing John Cena, his upcoming opponent at SummerSlam on Aug. 21, to the missionary position.

The risqué line was enhanced by Reigns’s fantastic delivery.

While many people, including myself, loved the creative shot Reigns took at Cena, the WWE ended up editing the line out of its replays and social media video clips.

During an interview on this week’s SI Media Podcast, I asked Reigns about the genesis of the line and the fallout that ensued.

“There’s a portion of my career where I’d either read a script or I’d try to adjust a script as much as possible,” Reigns said, “but for a while now, especially since I came back from my little leave at the beginning of the pandemic, since SummerSlam, I’m not scripted. I say what I want to. I say what I feel. If it comes out of my mouth, it’s my verbiage. I come up with it. I deliver it. And that’s why it’s been the way it’s been, because it’s mine.

I don’t know why they edited that out. I think it did raise some eyebrows, but 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 they gonna do? Not have me on SmackDown next week? Like I did before SummerSlam during last summer, I’ll go home. It doesn’t matter to me. Let’s see how it goes without me.”

To hear that Reigns isn’t scripted is pretty significant, and it shows the faith the WWE has in his being the top guy in the company.

Reigns, of course, was not scripted on the SI Media Podcast, and later in the interview he issued an important clarification, saying, “Let’s throw a little respect on missionary. I think we can all agree that any position is a good position.”

There has also been a lot of speculation about Reigns’s main-eventing next year’s WrestleMania in Dallas against The Rock. However, with WrestleMania in Los Angeles two years from now, Reigns threw out a different theory.

“Do we do it now or do we wait until we’re in his backyard of Hollywood? It just adds to the narrative. It adds another dynamic to speculate on. Obviously, AT&T Stadium, Dallas, home of the Cowboys, 100,000-plus fans can be in attendance, that’s obviously an awesome scenario, but SoFi Stadium, brand-new facility out there in L.A., hmm, that makes quite the argument in its own right.”

Other highlights from the SI Media Podcast interview with Reigns:

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  • Why he doesn’t have a desire to be famous
  • Is he one of these celebrities who doesn’t shower often?
  • His thoughts on John Cena’s The Suicide Squad
  • How hard it is to keep it together when Paul Heyman is cutting a promo
  • Stephanie McMahon’s backstage reaction to taking a spear at WrestleMania in 2017

You can listen to the full SI Media Podcast below. 

2. Also on this week’s SI Media Podcast is SiriusXM's Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, who talks about the challenge of figuring out how much he should talk about the pandemic during a sports show, terrible fan behavior at games, whether he intends to slow down any time soon, the success of Pat McAfee on his “Mad Dog Radio” channel and much more.

3. Besides the SI Media Podcast, the best thing you will hear all day is this speech that TNT’s Ernie Johnson gave to Alabama’s football team.

4. If Deshaun Watson can’t handle reporters filming him at practice, he’s going to be in for a longer season than we had already imagined.

Meanwhile, the Watson mess has the Texans so afraid of the media that the team tried to limit reporters’ access at practice, but the NFL shut that down.

5. If you need a laugh today, click the tweet below and check out the replies.

6. With the Yankees and White Sox’ playing in Iowa tonight for the “Field of Dreams” game on Fox, I’d like to repost this piece that former major league reliever and current podcaster Jerry Blevins wrote for SI.com. In the article, Blevins correctly points out that Field of Dreams is not a good movie.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: This, not Field of Dreams, is the best baseball movie of all time.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.