In a year that’s featured both crowning victories and changes in plans, WWE superstar Roman Reigns took the time to reflect on his 2015 on a recent edition of Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast (via Wrestling Inc).
As the former member of The Shield returned from emergency surgery in late 2014, it seemed that WWE had every intention of making Reigns the company’s next big star. The first step in that process was having Reigns win the Royal Rumble, a decision that was met by harsh criticism by the WWE Universe. As fans voiced their displeasure to WWE, Reigns himself was not sure of what WWE had planned for him.
“[I] didn’t talk to anybody pretty much until the day of [WrestleMania 31]. I mean, I had an idea of what we needed to do and things like that, but I didn’t have a finish or anything like that.”
— 411 Wrestling (@411wrestling) October 9, 2015
While Reigns was not aware if WWE was planning on bestowing the honor of the WWE World Heavyweight championship on him, he believes that the company might insert fan-favorite Daniel Bryan into the main event of Wrestlemania 31. Having returned to in-ring action the week prior to the Royal Rumble, Bryan was still as popular as ever, drawing resounding “YES!” chants in arenas worldwide.
But after a relatively quick elimination from the Royal Rumble, Bryan’s fans were vocal in their belief that he should be main eventing the biggest show of the year. That led to a Reigns vs. Bryan match at the final pay-per-view before Wrestlemania 31, WWE Fastlane. The stipulation was that the winner would go-onto main event the showcase of the immortals.
Reigns felt Bryan was being set up to take his spot, but did not take personal offense to it.
“I just felt like Bryan and his momentum and it was just going to happen to me and then we went into [WWE] Fastlane . I don’t believe in just one guy. I don’t! I’m a team guy. I’m a football guy. That’s the background I come from.”
But despite his concerns, Reigns ended up defeating Bryan at WWE Fastlane, securing his main event match with “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar. As for Bryan, he ended up being one of eight contestants in a ladder match for the WWE Intercontinental championship — a match he would win.
Reigns, on the other hand, engaged in one of the more physical main events in the recent history of Wrestlemania. Both he and Lesnar shed blood at various points, hit each other with their most devastating maneuvers, and were also bringing out the best in each other.
However, it appeared that both men were also not just acting like they were hitting each other hard, but actually were. Which begs the question, did Reigns inform Lesnar prior to the match that he intended to hit him as hard as possible?
“You don’t talk about that. It’s WrestleMania. It’s Brock Lesnar. He threw me around like a rag doll just like he does and I hit hard and I hit often just like I do.”
Overall, Reigns thinks that his match with Lesnar was a success and would be happy to revisit that rivalry in the future. With recent rumors surrounding the Wrestlemania 32 plans for Reigns, he just may get that opportunity. But if he does fight Lesnar again, Reigns knows that he will feel that match for months to come.
“It was really neat and if we never do it again, I’m happy with that. I’m happy with that. My body finally feels okay from that, but it took a while, man. It really did.”
[Image by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]