Roman Reigns has commented on his run in WWE from 2014 to 2018.
Following the breakup of the Shield in 2014, Reigns became the top-pushed babyface in the company. He often received a mixed response from fans, however. Reigns recently opened up about this period of his career during an interview with The Ringer.
“I’ve had to go through the process of winning them over and earning respect for years at a time,” Reigns says. “From 2014 to maybe 2018, every single night it seemed like I had to earn their respect. Some nights they would be booing me and I would earn their respect and they’d be all cheering me and standing up by the 1, 2, 3. And then there were some nights where it was working and the crowd was with it. It was just a straight good-guy response. But because it was always different, I always had to stay on my toes, and it was good practice in real time in front of a real audience. I was in the fire, in the deep end learning and jotting all this down mentally. Like I needed to absorb all this, learn from it, and then make it my own. Take what works, make it my own, take a weakness, work on it, make it a strength, and that’s what I’ve done.”
Reigns returned to WWE after a six-month absence at SummerSlam 2020. He defeated The Fiend and Braun Strowman in a triple-threat match that night to win the Universal Championship. He would soon align with Paul Heyman and begin his run as The Tribal Chief.
“Together we made the decision [that] we’re only going to do this if we have the opportunity to be uninhibited in our approach to be the greatest act of all time,” Heyman said. “And we stuck to that and we were uncompromising in our approach.”
Reigns continued to say that one day they will be able to give out more details about what has gone on backstage in recent years.
“Just wait, man. We’ve done this in turbulent times, through a pandemic, through the biggest change of all time in this business," Reigns said. "And we’ve done it seamlessly. We’ve done it without falter. Down the road, 20 years from now when we start giving out all these crazy details of the inside, inside, there’s just going to be even deeper respect for the performances that we’ve been putting on. Man, it’s been a hell of a journey. But it’s only begun. It’s going to get bigger.”