WWE Superstar Roman Reigns talks about his ‘million dollar’ WrestleMania dream, battling back from injury, working with an acting coach and more on the Turnbuckle Weekly with Chuck Carroll.
For fans of WWE, the time between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania is like Christmas. For those wrestling in the ring, it’s no different.
The feuds are always more intense. The action is heavier. The moonsaults are higher. The punches are stronger. And the spears seemingly can cut a person in two.
That’s just how it is from January until late March. Glorious.
Indeed, that time and the road to WrestleMania officially begins this weekend with the winner of the 30-man match going on to challenge for the WWE Championship in the main event of the biggest pay-per-view of the year.
Roman Reigns wants to be that man.
He says staring down Brock Lesnar in front of 80,000 screaming fans at Levi’s Stadium would be a “million dollar dream.”
“I think it would be one of the hardest hitting matches of all-time,” Reigns told me. “It’d be extremely aggressive. I think you’d see a level of intensity you’ve never seen before.”
Reigns says he would lean on his football background, which includes stints with the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars, for a bit of an advantage. He said he was actually stronger on the field than he was in the weight room, which is key.
“I think where we can spice it up, where the cool stuff can really happen, is if we go from being all tangled up to being hands on… you create a little space and I can make you pay,” he said. “All I need is just a couple feet and if I get elevated and this fist is coming down at your jaw, you’re in a world of hurt.”
Lesnar, who hold a 20-pound weight advantage over Reigns, also has a stop in the NFL on his resume. He famously exited the company, ruffling some feathers on the way out, in 2004 to pursue a tryout with the Vikings. He was cut dung the preseason and declined to play in NFL Europa.
But before billboards headlined by Lesnar and Reigns can go up, WWE must first see fit to begin paving the road to San Francisco for them in Philadelphia on Sunday.
Here’s what you’ll learn by listening.
– How wrestlers view the time between Royal Rumble and WrestleMania
– Did he ever think his career was over while out recovering from surgery
– How he overcame doubts and the support system that helped get him through recovery
– How working with an acting coach helped his performance
– How he draws on real life experiences to make a connection
– That if you don’t get in the gym before the Royal Rumble you’re screwed
– His strategy for not burning out during the Royal Rumble
– His “million dollar dream” of facing Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania
– Why wrestling Lesnar would be one of the hardest hitting matches of all time
– His thoughts on WWE having a part-time champion
– How part-time champions have earned that right
– His prediction for the Super Bowl: New England Patriots or Seattle Seahawks?
– Why the Seahawks make him want to vomit
– How WWE wrestlers watch the Super Bowl
Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.
Follow him on Twitter @TheChuckCarroll.