Wizard World Portland Q&A: Roman Reigns On Facing Ambrose at Fastlane: “It’s Business” (Full Recap)
– Roman Reigns took the stage at the final WWE panel at Wizard World Portland late Friday night. Moderator Mo Lightning introduced Roman, who came out and stumbled slightly coming up onto the stage (which he joked about later). Unlike the panels for Paige and New Day, Mo jumped right into the fan questions to get to as many as possible as there was quite a line forming early.
* First up was a woman who thanked Reigns for being an inspiration and asked him what his intentions were going into Fastlane against Brock Lesnar and Dean Ambrose. “It’s business as usual,” he said. “It’s to win. I’ve got everything riding on this, I’m not trying to go back to WrestleMania in any other match but the main event.” Reigns said he loves Ambrose and Ambrose knows that, but this one’s his. He said that Ambrose has “gotten a little too personal with it and the attraction of the Beast has gotten into his brain.” He said when it comes to Lesnar, you just have to treat him like a punching bag and keep hitting him as hard as you can. When it comes to Ambrose if Reigns has to pull the trigger on him, he’ll do it.
* Next was a younger kid who asked if Fastlane would be the start of a rivalry between him and Ambrose. The crowd did an “Oooh,” after which Reigns gave a wry, “Easy, guys, easy.” He said that they haven’t brought it up much because they don’t want people to forget it’s a triple threat, but pointed out they fought at Survivor Series, noting, “That’s how I won it the first time before that stupid-looking Sheamus came out.” He pointed out that in the match, they didn’t even tie up and went straight to punching each other in the mouth, which is the type of competitors they are. He said, “None of us want to go back to that hot warehouse down in Tampa” and that in order to stay on top of the WWE they’re going to have to compete against each other.
* The moderator asked if every question was going to be something to stir the pot between Reigns and Ambrose, to which Reigns replied “Yeah, in like five minutes it’s going to be, ‘I hate him! I’ll never ride with him again!”
* The next guy asked who, aside from his father and uncle, were his inspirations in wrestling and what was the spark that set it off for him for wanting to compete. Reigns said it did start with his father and uncle, as well as High Chief Peter Maivia. He said within their household in Pensacola they had a lot of different names come through like Yokozuna, Rikishi (bringing up Rikishi’s other gimmicks like the Sultan), Umaga, his brother Rosey and the list goes on. He said it’s a family tradition and he knew he was never going to get far away from wrestling. He said when he was playing football his encouraged him because he was following his own path, but he thinks his dad knew and always wanted him to get into the business. When football was over he was trying to work and was working for his sister in an office furniture installation company building cubicles. He said he looked in the mirror one morning and realized he just wasn’t happy. He said he knew even as hard as the line of work is, and the travel and being away from family he’d be able to do something he wasn’t when he was offloading trucks and building furniture. he said he’s very grateful to be where he is. The moderator spoke up to add, “You know what also makes him happy? Punching his friend, Dean Ambrose” to a laugh.
* A woman who was at the Paige panel in a Reigns shirt came up next. When the moderator said she tried to hijack Paige’s panel Reigns said, “Good! What’d you guys do to New Day?” The woman asked essentially the same question as the guy before her, wanting to know what made Reigns start wrestling and how old he was. Reigns said “Well, that ties into the last question but I’m just going to assume that you are so locked into these eyes right now…” to a laugh from the crowd. He said he was twenty-four and was at a point in his life where he knew what he had to do, and that growing up in his household you pretty much had two options for big doors to open: athletics due to genetics or the wrestling business. He said he wanted to be a Superstar and he wanted to make an impact because he had a lot of people who influenced him to do right and there isn’t enough of that. He said, “A lot of people are going off of this, you know, ‘Controversy gets reactions and that’s what sells’ but people don’t put over when someone has a great work ethic or someone’s grinding, putting their nose down every single week…that’s why I’m glad I have the platform of WWE to do that.”
* The next woman had an Ambrose shirt, which Reigns jokingly said “Uh-oh” about before saying, “He’s my best friend in the world, I want you to believe that!” The woman asked when Rollins comes back if there was ever going to be a Shield reunion. Reigns said that if he had to answer for Rollins, he’d say that Rollins has a master scheme he’s been brewing up in a CrossFit gym somewhere. He said if he was Rollins, he’d want to come back and make the biggest impact as a solo competitor. He said Rollins has a definite claim to the title having lost it due to injury, saying, “And that’s what makes me proud is, so one of us loses it due to injury which — and I have to say, if you haven’t seen that video he blows his knee out doing an awesome sunset flip bomb on Kane who is a giant man. He’s far bigger than I am. He blew his knee, you can obviously see something is wrong, he reset and still picked up Kane and powerbombed him through a table.” He said that’s the type of competitor Rollins is so he knows Rollins is in that CrossFit gym and rehab center going nuts. He expects Rollins to come back as a solo competitor and hopes he has the title so they can face off for it.
* Next was a young boy who asked what Reigns’ “hardest fight” was. Reigns said it was Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, noting, “If you’ve seen that match, it’s probably a little different” than any other match in terms of the physicality. He said that doing that on the grandest stage of them all was the biggest moment of his life in terms of performance.
* The next kid asked if Reigns was surprised when Triple H came back in the Royal Rumble. He said he was because at that point the Authority had thrown pretty much every competitor they had against him and going into the Rumble he was in a lot of handicap matches. He said he figured somebody other than Triple H would be able to get the job done, but that to see the Game getting the perfect spot in the last spot at the Rumble, all he could do is go, “We get it; you own the company with your dad and your wife. Cool, man.”
* The next kid said “All I want to say is are you cousins with the Rock?” Reigns smiled and paused for a moment before replying, “Yes, I am. But I like Dean better!”
* Another kid was up next and asked again how Reigns got into wrestling and who his favorite wrestler growing up was. Reigns said that when he was a kid, one of the ways he got in was being in a wrestling family so he’s always been around it. He said that they had a ring in their backyard and his dad trained a lot of guys so they had a very long history. He said that when he was a kid he wanted to be a wrestler, but he found other interests in school before he went back to his roots.
* The next kid asked if Ambrose and Rollins were his friends in real life. Reigns just grinned as the crowd laughed and then said, “Turn your cameras off now. Then we’ll have a real talk!” He then said that yes they are friends in real life and that they have the same interests “just, some of us are a little crazier than others.”
* The next person asked about when Ambrose was facing Sheamus in the cage match when Reigns through the chair in that landed perfectly, Ambrose did a thing afterward about having staples in his head and asked the trainer how many staples Reigns had; the trainer said Reigns had more. She asked if there was some sort of competition over it. He said “Now you Dean guys and girls, don’t get mad at this but that’s classic little brother stuff.” He then said “Yeah, no but let’s go back to that chair,” saying it was good luck and that he didn’t realize it until Dean told him later after the show. He said Dean said “Dude, did you see what happened?” and told him that he the chair stuck perfectly. He added, “But then like a little brother he said, ‘But imagine if you could have thrown it like, four feet closer to me. I woulda just sat down on it.‘”
* Next was a cute moment where a kid asked Reigns to bodyslam him, to which Reigns said, “How about you bodyslam me first?”
* The next guy asked what Reigns’ favorite match he’s ever had was. Reigns said it would be easy to say the Lesnar WrestleMania match because it was at WrestleMania, but his personal favorite was either his Fastlane match with Daniel Bryan or his Last Man Standing with Big Show in Chicago. He said they were both really fun for very different reasons. He said those matches plus Lesnar shows that he can gel with different types of competitors.
* The next guy asked what it was like to be “the man” in the company. Reigns said it’s a lot of responsibility and is a very busy life. He doesn’t see a lot of off days, but it’s a blessing to be busy. He said it’s hard to tell that to his daughter, but “Daddy can’t make money on the couch.” He said it can’t be done in one year; the key is longevity and for all the flack John Cena gets he’s done it at a high level for years with 300 shows year after year after year. He said it’s a good feeling and a big responsibility, but he’s glad and proud to help usher in this new era in the company.
* Up next was a guy in cosplay who asked if he had any advice for someone trying to get into the business. He joked, “As you can see, I’m not afraid to dress like an idiot.” Reigns said that was important to be brave; he was telling someone about his first match in front of like ten people in trunks and still losing his football weight, but you can’t be scared to put it all out there. He said for anyone getting into the business, the key is to finish school, take his education as far as he can and then if still very serious, find a good school which are everywhere. He said that’s easier now because of social media but getting into a good wrestling school is the key.
* Next was a woman who asked if Reigns knew who created the triple threat. He guessed Pat Patterson, to which the woman said it was Roddy Piper who was her stepson’s grandfather. Reigns praised Roddy, saying he was the most charismatic man he ever met. He said Patterson is his default choice because Patterson’s created so many things like the championship title belt. He said, “I’m glad I know that. You know who’s going to love that? Ambrose.” When the crowd laughed, he said he was totally serious.
* Things got really odd next, as the next woman came up to the mic and said she couldn’t say who she was related to because she didn’t want to start a fight. Reigns said, “Ambrose?” The woman claimed she was related to Hulk Hogan. Reigns said, “Hey, well I’ll go on the record. It is what it is, but from my personal experience, nothing but a gentleman.” She then went off on a really weird flirty tangent saying she’d be okay with Reigns tackling her and that “You on my list, my man already okayed this.” Reigns said, “Is that the comment?” The mod asked, “What is happening?” and after she continued on a bit, he said “Let’s get back to the original question.” She then asked if Reigns knew who Tom Selleck was, to which he gave an incredulous “yeah” reply. She said Selleck is her second cousin on her dad’s side. Reigns tried to steer it away from the woman, saying “Who else got family in here? Anyone got Ambrose?” She went on one last bit saying she’s a descendent of Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke. The moderator quipped, “I know the Miss Kitty from inside the ring,” to which she replied “Well let me just tell you, around these parts, this is my turf and on the street they call me Miss Kitty or Mama Kitty or ‘Don’t mess with her cross the street because that b***h is f***ing crazy.” Reigns then shut her down as politely as possible, telling her to “Here’s what I need you to do Miss Kitty…go sit right over there and let the man ask his question and we’ll talk family trees once we’re done here.” She went to go sit down and then got up and headed out before the next question was done. It was as weird a situation as it sounds.
* The next guy said, “I’ll keep mine simple for you,” asking Reigns to name three guys he’d like to wrestle one day. Reigns said Finn Balor, Apollo Crews and Enzo and Cass. He said of Enzo and Cass, “They seem like a good time, they seem like a riot” and joked that at least one of them seemed pretty easy to beat up and the other he’d say “Stay over there on the apron.” He said NXT has been on fire for a year or now so and that’s important because the talent is the only natural resource the company has.
* The next guy asked what he would want people to remember about him once his career was done. He said, “That I was a good man on the road with all the boys, and we shared great times. We earned…hard-earned money together and that we all saved and have a great afterlife after wrestling.” He said building a future after the business is important and what he’s trying to do. He said “So yeah…a good man and a great performer.”
* Next was a woman who asked if he’s ever wanted to slap Triple H in the face. Reigns scoffed and said, “Uh, yeah. A ton of times!” The moderator asked if the woman wanted to and she said yes, to which Reigns quipped, “Have you?” The woman said she’s wanted to slap both Triple H and Stephanie and Reigns said, “Well somebody needs to get them back because his wife slapped me like nine times over a year!”
* The next woman asked why Reigns didn’t wrestle without a shirt, which as you might expect went over with a certain segment of the crowd. Reigns said, “So if I told you that next year on a certain date I was going to wrestle with my shirt off, would you pay to come see it?” The crowd cheered, to which he said “That’s why I leave my shirt on!” He said that the vests are really cool to him and distinguish him. He said of Ambrose and Reigns that Ambrose has the dirty wifebeater and jeans, and he can’t do that, “and Rollins has like, ninja stuff on. It’s like latex-looking and he looks wet. ALL the time.” He finished with “Just stay tuned.”
* The second-to-last guy asked about his Superman punch and how Reigns decided on it. He said they logged a lot of time training and working and continuing to get better and it was something he played with. He said he’s wrestled in front of five people, outside in the rain, in barns and such and he just started playing with it. He said he saw someone leap off the cage in MMA and thought “We don’t have cages, but I can do that.” The guy asked about a new finisher, and Reigns said “Stay tuned!”
* The last question was from a younger kid who wanted to know what Reigns thought about AJ Styles in the Royal Rumble. Reigns said he thought it was cool, he’s followed AJ around the world and was excited to see him. He’s glad AJ is there, particularly since with some of their guys on the shelf any new experienced, talented performers are a good thing for the roster.