Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery

WWE’s Roman Reigns reveals the story behind this flubbed promo with John Cena.

By Jimmy Traina
April 05, 2018

The date was Aug. 28, 2017.

During a heated promo with John Cena on a live edition Monday Night Raw, Roman Reigns had a momentary brain freeze and forget his lines. Reigns was listing Cena's faults and came out of the gates in strong fashion, telling Cena he sucked. However, when Reigns got to "second of all," he froze. He did drop a smile, indicating that he knew he was flubbing on live on TV.

On the latest episode of the SI Media Podcast, Reigns explained just what happened during that promo.

"What happened was I ad-libbed a little bit because something was going on with the crowd. I think they were chanting something like, 'Cena sucks,' so I used that and it threw me off a bit and the moment I took a second, John’s really good at just chiming in, and he started going to town with his own ad-libs. You can see it starting to piss me off because each time I tried to say something, he was quick to cut me off and eventually I had to get to the piece that I'm gonna say, so it actually did a huge favor for me because you can kinda see where I boil over where it becomes, like, 'Screw the lines, I don't care if I remember them or if I forget them. I'm going.'

He kinda gave me that 'screw it, forget it, let's go' [look] and I think from there it was almost like a gear change for me and from there on I just feel like I've been on all cylinders and finding my voice and finding myself each night from promo to promo. And I think John, being so good and just being the veteran and the top guy that he is, and when I say when you're on top, it's your job to push the guy to that level, that's what he did for me. I'll always be grateful for that. But, yeah, crap happens out there, but we got it done and I thought it worked out fine. You can't ever be ashamed if John Cena burns you on the mic, but I thought I did a good job of finding myself and recovering and delivering a couple of good promos after that."

Reigns added, "I think in this business, whether you're a good guy, bad guy or grey area guy, if you can't deal with being a little embarrassed or wearing some egg on your face, then you're in the wrong situation. When it comes down to it, it's sports entertainment. It's all part of the gig."

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During the SI Media Podcast interview with Reigns, which begins at the 38-minute mark, he also talked about his match with Brock Lesnar this Sunday at WrestleMania 34 (which can be seen on the WWE Network), how busy WrestleMania week is for WWE superstars, where his relationship currently stands with the WWE Universe and whether people still want him to turn heel. The big 49ers fan also had some cautious words about Jimmy Garoppolo and talked about his cousin—a guy known as The Rock—dominating social media. 

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes.

The SI Media Podcast publishes each and every Thursday. Don't forget to subscribe.

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