The guest on Episode 332 of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina is WWE superstar Roman Reigns. The WWE Universal champion pulled no punches in responding to recent claims made by the Undertaker and Bill Goldberg that today's WWE wrestlers are "soft." Reigns also explains why he thinks the superstars of today have it tougher than those who performed during the company's Attitude Era.
Reigns also discussed his long-awaited heel turn and how that has gone for him, why this WrestleMania may not be right for a match against Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and whether he has any concerns about performing in front of fans at WrestleMania during the pandemic. The man known as the Head of the Table also talks about what it's like to be the father of not one, but two sets of twins, and gives a Bucs-Chiefs Super Bowl prediction
Jimmy Traina: It seems like there's a big hullabaloo going on right now because the Undertaker went on the Joe Rogan podcast and Goldberg [said] somewhere else ... that today's WWE superstars are soft. So I wanted to give you a chance to respond.
Roman Reigns: We do the same job. You know what I mean? ... It's funny because you hear the old timers will be like—and I don't consider Undertaker and Goldberg old timers. My father, their generation, the golden era, the 70s... you always hear 'em [say], "a dropkick was a finish back in my time." That's like the second most common move you see in a wrestling match nowadays. So we're doing a lot more. And sometimes I think we're a lot more physical. And because the audience has seen so much more, we have to do a little more in order to keep their interests, in order to show them a little something different. So, what we call a false finish, [where we make] people believe it will be the final move of the match. We go through those like Steamboat Savage. You'll see that on a Smackdown. You'll see fifteen false finishes on a Smackdown. So it's strange because I really feel like he misspoke. Because Mark is a really good guy. He's very knowledgeable; he obviously has a ton of respect for the business. Goldberg is just Goldberg. Who cares?
Jimmy Traina: I'm glad you said it.
Roman Reigns: Yeah—somebody's got to. But, you know, he's talking about guns and knives in a locker room, like, come on Mike. I mean, you guys travel just like we did. Did you really get that stuff through the security? [I guess] TSA was just letting everything happen back then. And yeah, I don't agree with it; I choose to play video games sometimes on my own time. I don't do it at work. Some of my character is based around it. I've always been one that networked and politicked and tried to communicate and work while I'm at work. Some guys choose to stay in the locker room. And for guys like the New Day who are just uberly talented, who just have it, and when it comes time to put it on screen they just bang—they go, they can get away with that. But I hope the younger guys that are in the locker room don't fall into that, because we're not all the same. I have to put my whole mind into work as I come to work on a Friday all the way. Sometimes my wife has to shut it off [and tell me] "stop, just be at home, be present." Because I can't turn it off sometimes. And I think to be at the highest level of anything, you have to be borderline obsessive. So I don't always think there's room for video games in the locker room, but when we're running a regular touring system and it's a live event and there's nowhere to go, you got kicked out of the hotel because you couldn't get the check out, you already hit the gym, you already picked up your food and you're sitting in the locker room. I'd rather my guys play video games than be breaking into a bag of some sort, you know what I'm saying? So yeah, it's a different time. And I think we're smarter, and I think you're going to see that from the financial side of it, how we save our money, how we prepare for the future. Having an after-life, after the business, when we can't fall down any more, all the way to our actual health. So I think it was just like a retired guy trying to sound gangster, being a retired guy, you know what I mean?
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