Steve Austin On Roman Reigns' Character, Comparisons To Cena, Heel Turn
On the latest episode of his Steve Austin Show podcast, “The Texas Rattlesnake” spoke in-depth about the career of WWE Superstar Roman Reigns. Below are some of the highlights.
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On Roman Reigns’ look, in-ring work and hit-or-miss storylines: “I think he [has] got a great physique, a good looking guy, a pretty damn good worker. Storylines have been kind of on and off, hot/cold. Roman Reigns in and of himself, I think he has ‘star’ written all over him. He has still got to find his way. He still has to climb his way up the ladder. He’s built to take the road. He’s always in shape. He doesn’t get gassed out in his matches. There’s a lot to like about the guy, so when they came out as The Shield, those three guys, him, Seth [Rollins], and Dean Ambrose, when they came out as The Shield, they were really hot as heels. And all of a sudden, they split them up. And Roman, I don’t know, came out of that… All of those guys had to find their way and Vince [McMahon] kind of picked him to be the babyface and because of the response he was getting when he hit the ring. He really draws your attention. If they get his storylines straightened out, I think the kid’s going to be fine. I just think they need to keep running him like they’re running him. He’s doing [well] in the ring. I loved his matches with AJ.”
On his belief that Reigns shouldn’t be turned heel unless there’s an organic reason to: “I think you keep him on the road that he’s on and you don’t turn him heel just for the sake of turning him heel to make the fans happy because you’re not pushing him anymore because if you’re going to turn him heel, you’re going to push him even harder. Then, if you were tired of him to begin with because he was overpushed to begin with, in your opinion, then you’re not going to like him as a heel either. So if he keeps going down the road in the fashion that he is, but then turns, in an organic fashion, heel, when the time is right, or just stays down the road, the kid is going to be just fine.” Austin added, “he still has things to learn in the ring. He still has to work at getting to the top level, but he’s a top guy, in my opinion.”
On the similarities between Reigns and John Cena, particularly in terms of crowd reactions: “Look at John Cena. Now, he [has] been on top for over 10 years and has had a [pro wrestling] career that is absolutely phenomenal, but he still sometimes has those divided chants. But, nonetheless, there’s electricity in the air and everybody is engaged. And he has been able to have such a strong mindset to not get in his head and mess with him. That’s the confidence of John Cena. I think that Roman Reigns has the same type of confidence and self-belief that he is going to weather those bad chants and he’ll end up getting over.”
On Reigns showing more personality lately: “He’s starting to loosen up and show some personality and I like it. And so I’m looking forward to see Roman keep developing. To me, here’s a guy who’s starting to get some confidence behind him.” Austin continued, “whatever role Roman’s in, he’s really settling into a groove here. I have here Braun [Strowman] is really over as a baby. Roman continues to get over. I’m really looking forward to this match.”
Check out the complete episode of the “Steve Austin Show” podcast featuring the Roman Reigns discussion at PodcastOne.com/Steve-Austin-Show. H/T to WrestlingInc.com for transcribing the above quotes.