WWE Superstar Roman Reigns wouldn’t look at all out of place in the Marvel Universe, and to hear him tell it, he’d relish fighting alongside the likes of Thor or mixing it up with the God of Thunder.
This Sunday on the WWE Network and pay-per-view outlets, Reigns takes on the biggest challenge of his singles career since breaking away from his previous group, the Shield, as he faces former World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton at SummerSlam. Before that, he’ll be part of the SummerSlam Confidential panel to reveal the roster for “WWE 2K15.”
Prior to his busy weekend, Reigns talked to us about SummerSlam expectations, Marvel movies, and much more.
Marvel.com: SummerSlam is one of WWE’s biggest shows of the year, maybe the biggest outside of WrestleMania, and you’re going to be a big part of this year’s edition on Sunday. How are you feeling as it gets close?
Roman Reigns: Last year [the Shield was] on pretty much every pay-per-view except SummerSlam. That was a tough pill to swallow for us. In a sense, we felt a little disrespected. Like, “You’re not putting The Shield on the card?” The Kick-Off is great because so many more people are probably going to see that anyways and there’s nothing like a fresh, hot crowd. To be out there first, the crowd is unbelievable. So much energy. But at the same time, everyone should want to be the main event of every show so we felt a bit disrespected. For me, this is going to be a nice feeling to turn it around and have a big singles match and definitely be on the card and hopefully make a bunch of memories and create some history Sunday.
Marvel.com: Aside from SummerSlam itself, you’ll be involved in one of the Confidential panels running on Saturday. What can you say about that?
Roman Reigns: For my panel, it’s the [WWE 2K15 Roster Reveal]. So the guys I’m grouped up with are Cesaro, Sheamus, John Cena, Sting and Hulk Hogan. And then, I think hosting and halfass moderating is Stone Cold Steve Austin which is funny to hear. You probably couldn’t have a cooler host to just let it all go down than Steve.
Marvel.com: It’s a helluva line-up, too.
Roman Reigns: Yeah, man. It’s going to be really cool. The dynamic should be interesting. I think I heard Cesaro saying that he’s looking to stir some stuff up and create a little controversy. It should be a whole bunch of good and hopefully, a little bit of bad, too.
Marvel.com: From what I understand, you are a Marvel movie fan.
Roman Reigns: Absolutely. There’s nothing better than an action-packed, sci-fi, crazy graphics movie.
Marvel.com: Have you gotten to see “Guardians of the Galaxy” with Batista yet?
Roman Reigns: I haven't but I’ve heard so many cool things about it. Just a great mix of comedy and action so I’m really looking forward to it. I heard Dave did a great job along with everybody else in the picture so it should be a good watch.
Marvel.com: Are there any Marvel characters in particular that resonated with you?
Roman Reigns: Iron Man, Thor; Captain America is pretty cool. For me, he’s tough to get into because he’s such a nerd, but at the same time, he’s a badass and he holds it down.
One thing that’s pretty cool is actually before I do the Superman Punch, when I hit the ground I was heavily influenced by Thor with the big hammer swing down to the ground. There [are] a lot of cool things you can watch. You can watch those fight scenes and see really cool sequences. These are all things we can use. For me, it’s extremely entertaining to watch these movies and they kind of help you get lost. It kind of relates to what we do. A lot of our fans get lost in what we do and kind of picture themselves doing it. When you’re watching a Marvel movie, you can do the exact same thing. You have two and a half hours to just be somebody else. Make believe you’re Spider-Man or Thor or Iron Man. Nothing cooler than thinking you’re Iron Man, right?
Marvel.com: A lot of fans of your product are fans of our product as well. Just the larger-than-life, good vs. evil thing is something that I gravitate to myself. Is that something that you can understand?
Roman Reigns: Absolutely. It’s like you said, it’s storytelling, what we’re doing. And it’s the oldest story in the book: good vs. evil. It makes for great energy. If you ever see a couple of bad guys pair off in the ring or in any situation, the interest level may not be completely there. Same with a couple of good guys. But you take the loved good guy and he’s fighting against that evil hated bad guy, there’s nothing better as far as a crowd response than that situation It’s the oldest story out there and it still works. It’s an oldie but a goodie.
Marvel.com: It’s only been a few months since the Shield split; how are you adjusting to being on your own in the ring? And building off of that, if you did enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe, would you want to be part of a team, like the Avengers, or on your own?
Roman Reigns: As far as me adjusting to singles life, it was kind of a process anyways because [even before] we broke up I was starting to wrestle a good bit on my own and I had main evented a European tour. And before we became the Shield, we were singles guys. No matter if you’re on a team or not, you always have to be ready to fight by yourself. For me, it was obviously sad that the Shield broke up but I was just so excited to get out there on my own and just be the quarterback of every situation.
As far as [the Marvel question], I think I’d like to do both. Why limit yourself? I’d love to jump in there and do a team movie and have that collaboration, being able to adlib and do stuff on the fly and bounce dialogue off each other and see what happens. And then, I wouldn’t mind just flat out starring and being the man of the hour.