WWE Superstar Roman Reigns of The Shield spoke to The Norfolk Navy Flagship.
JM: With so many famous family members (ie: The Rock, Afa and Sika of the Wild Samoans, Rikishi, The Usos, etc.), did they have a hand in influencing your wrestling style, or did you look to someone outside of the family?
RR: My natural movement, it’s hereditary I’ll say. We all are able to move and do pretty athletic things. My family is the majority of the influence, but going down to FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling, now NXT – WWE’s developmental program) and wrestling all of those guys down there – Dr. Tom Prichard, Joey Mercury, Bill Demott, Norman Smiley, Steve Keirn. Even to this day, talking to Triple H and with all of these resources we have here. When it comes down to it, I try to create a different style. A little more brutal. You can watch fight scenes or MMA and see how they move. There have been a lot of things that influenced me, but I can only be me. That’s what I try to focus on, making everything my own.
JM: You, along with fellow Shield members, have been on the WWE main roster for only 13 months now, but you’ve done a lot in that period of time. What has stood out as your favorite moment so far?
RR: I have to say WrestleMania. I look around and there are guys who have never performed on that stage. Just to say that we did that our very first year and opened the show. That’s a big deal for all three of us. There are a lot of cool moments we have had. When we wrestled The Undertaker, Kane and Daniel Bryan in London (during a recent European tour) – there’s a shot of us flying in on a helicopter. What some people don’t know is that we did a live event earlier that day. We opened that show and then we jumped on a helicopter and flew all the way to London. We went out there and wrestled three of the biggest stars of all time. The next night, we put (The Undertaker) out. That was a surreal moment. WrestleMania and working with The Undertaker are phenomenal moments that I won’t forget for the rest of my life.
JM: The Shield always enters from the crowd. What are the pros and cons of making your entrance from the stage (“Gorilla Position”) or from the crowd?
RR: I enjoy the crowd. When you walk through the curtain onto the stage, you have a different point of view looking at the house. When we come down the stairwells, that’s a different view in its own right, too. It’s so unique for us. I’ve read on social media and different interviews that, now, people are specifically trying to buy tickets on that particular side of the arena. They’re trying to get seats on the row that we’re walking down because it’s such a cool moment for people to size us up and get a feel for what we look like a foot away. We’re trying to put on a show that can’t be duplicated by any other form of entertainment. I like to think that’s a staple for WWE at this point with The Shield.
JM: Did you take notes on the Spear from Edge and Goldberg matches?
RR: Even to this day, watching matches, I don’t watch the maneuvers. I feel like I am athletic enough to do any maneuver. It’s not the moves, but what you do between them. The mannerisms are where the money is. A spear is a spear. I’d like to think that I deliver the best one ever seen, but that’s up to the fans to judge. It did help playing football all of those years.
JM: What do you have planned for 2014? There seems to be some dissension with you and Dean Ambrose.
RR: As far as The Shield – for the past 13 months, it seems like we’ve done it all. People are going pretty nuts about what we’ve done, but there’s so much left to do. Whether we’re working together or fighting each other, there’s just so much more to see. It’s going to be the year of The Shield, whether we’re together or not.