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Roman Reigns Talks His Own Star Power, Lifting Others Up & His Place In WWE History

Just days away from WarGames, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion reflects on his already legendary career.

By Chris Phelan
Roman Reigns looking cool

Roman Reigns has barely had time to catch his breath since Crown Jewel. After successfully retaining the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against Logan Paul in Saudi Arabia, he’s found himself with yet another date with destiny at Survivor Series: WarGames.

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Although his titles won’t be on the line this weekend at Survivor Series, Roman Reigns and the rest of the Bloodline will engage in full-on war inside the unforgiving double cage against an all-star team of Superstars that includes Kevin Owens, Drew McIntyre, and the Brawling Brutes.

The cataclysmic five-on-five WarGames match is all but guaranteed to be historic and drama-filled, and in all honesty, it will most likely paint a clearer picture as to who is next in line for a title opportunity against the Tribal Chief.

Ahead of Survivor Series, The Ringer sat down with Roman Reigns to discuss his career and how things look from his perspective sitting at the absolute top of WWE — and Reigns had a lot to say.

For the better part of the past decade, the WWE Universe has held a microscope to Roman Reigns’ career, often scoffing at the notion that he is a true great. Often, when the topic of the Mount Rushmore of professional wrestling is brought up, fans and critics alike don’t feel he’s in the same conversation as all-time greats such as Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan. Roman Reigns disputes the notion that he doesn’t belong.

“Could they do what they did right now? I know I could do it back then,” Reigns said with confidence. “I know if you sent me to the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, 2000s, I’m going to be a top guy, I’m going to be a centerpiece. But could they come into this world? Could they handle the burden and the pressure of 2022, of the modern day? I just don’t think they could. And that’s no disrespect to anybody.”

In that response, Reigns brings up a compelling argument: If Reigns were sent back in time, he’d hold the WWE title for ... decades, it would seem. He would operate on an entirely different physical and athletic level than anyone else. And by contrast, legends such as Sammartino and Hogan may not be able to adjust to the modern-day world of wrestling.

It’s an interesting thought experiment, that’s for sure.

The Bloodline has been the defining story of Roman Reigns’ career thus far, as the pieces finally fell into place and transformed Reigns from the Big Dog to his natural final form: The Tribal Chief. Reigns spoke about the importance of being authentic to the WWE Universe and how the fans wouldn’t expect anything less.

“I’m smart enough to understand the reality and the authenticity behind my character and how it really does relate to my culture and to be sensitive and empathetic to everybody in my family,” Reigns said. “But I’m also smart enough to know that if I’m trying to portray some kind of a character and I’m not 100 percent locked in and it isn’t received well, that’s more disrespect to my family. So the greatest respect that I can give is by creating an energy that nobody can emulate ... taking a piece of our culture, maximizing it, making it bigger than life and putting this crazy WWE spin on it and creating great success out of it.”

We don’t think anybody would disagree with the fact that Roman Reigns isn’t 100 percent locked in at this point in his career.

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Rising tides raise all ships, and the Bloodline is no different. Individually, Jimmy and Jey Uso, Solo Sikoa, and even Sami Zayn are strong and at times dominant WWE Superstars. But simply being in the presence of Roman Reigns has lifted their stock to heights they’ve never experienced before. Reigns himself is not surprised about this revelation — after all, greatness inspires greatness.

“That’s one of the top responsibilities of being the top guy is we never work down. It’s only about bringing people up and making them better,” Reigns said. “Look at all the characters around me. Look at how strong this character is to be able to be the centerpiece of so many amazing talents. I mean, look at Sami. He unlocked a different door, which allows us to showcase different layers. He gives us something completely different to play off of. Who would’ve thought ‘Ucey’ would be a thing? But over 12 million people on social media made it a thing, and that’s the type of power we have. We can take anything, anything, and make it good. That’s why the Bloodline, the Tribal Chief, is so special.”

Ahead of one of the biggest matches in WWE history, confidence is just one of many things Reigns doesn’t lack. For over two years, his championship reign has brought WWE to new heights, and that’s a fact the champion is very much aware of.

“I have the power to do whatever I want. And I don’t say that irresponsibly,” he said. “I say that with confidence that I’ve taken everything that I’ve been given and either knocked it out of the park or took something that wasn’t expected to be a home run, elevated it, put people on base — and then hit a grand slam with it.”

On Saturday, Reigns will find himself once again at the plate, looking to hit another bomb out of the park. Will the Bloodline win WarGames and put the entire WWE on notice in the process? Will a new contender to Reigns’ titles emerge from the wreckage of the dreaded double steel cage structure? Will the Bloodline be the same after such a brutal war? On Saturday, all these questions — and more — will be answered.

For the WWE Universe, there’s reason to be excited as far as the Tribal Chief is concerned, as Reigns summed up his career thus far:

“Man, it’s been a hell of a journey. But it’s only begun. It’s going to get bigger."

Catch Survivor Series: WarGames on Peacock this Saturday, Nov. 26 at 8 p.m. ET.