Roman Reigns appeared on the Hot 97 Morning Show this week to promote Saturday night’s WWE live event from Madison Square Garden and why breast cancer awareness is so important. He spoke about a number of topics, including the breakup with The Shield, his family lineage and more.
Host Peter Rosenberg of the Cheap Heat Podcast asked Reigns what it was like back in January when he won the Royal Rumble in Philadelphia, but was overwhelmingly rejected by the live crowd and fans at home. Rosenberg tried to cut Reigns some slack saying that the reaction was ‘mixed’ but Reigns admitted:
“I didn’t hear any cheers. It was rough, you know. It’s crazy because it was one of the most special nights of my life, but it didn’t go exactly like I’d hoped or planned. So it was emotional. It was a roller coaster. To have such a high and then be smashed by such a reaction .. When it comes down to it, with this life, this schedule, you take on a lot of stuff. Sometimes you can’t sell anything, you’ve just gotta let things ricochet off of you. When you’re out there in that ring, there’s a lot of emotion and passion going on. I love what I do. I love this form of art. So to get that negative response, it can hurt your feelings.
Reigns’ cousin The Rock was there to celebrate his big Rumble win and was visibly surprised by the negative reaction Reigns got after winning. Rosenberg wanted to know if The Rock was fully aware he was about to walk in to:
“I think he had a good idea. With social media, with so many different outlets and platforms that we have now, you can kind of get a taste of what’s happening, the way people are swinging and where you’re falling. Leading up, for weeks, I could see it. I could see it developing and the movement getting stronger. I knew I wasn’t going to be a popular guy that night. I didn’t realize it was going to be so strong.”
Host Ebro, who is a casual fan, suggested that fans might have been vetting Reigns and voicing that he might not be ready for the opportunity he was being given. Ebro said the fans are trying to bruise him up and make sure he can handle being compared to the legends of the industry. He also predicted fans won’t be accepting of Reigns for another 18 months. Reigns said fans are already starting to come around. Rosenberg agreed that fans sensed that WWE was gearing up to get behind Reigns and lashed out, despite the fact that they loved him when he was in The Shield.
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