If you have the opportunity to speak exclusively to WWE's Tribal Chief and Universal Champion Roman Reigns, you'll have to adjust to his busy schedule. If that means you're chatting to the 6 & # 39; 3 "warrior while he's in the middle of his morning cardio, then so be it.
It's just another day in the life of Reigns investing countless hours of his limited time into being the best athlete and performer he can be. As the defending champion, he also has to look over his shoulder, because the former professional footballer is again on a collision course with the "incarnated animal", Brock Lesnar. The former UFC Champion will be back on FS1 this Friday night in a special extended episode of SmackDown and they will officially compete against him at Crown Jewel on October 21, learn how he values his position in the WWE, and discuss his highly productive relationship with Y3T program founder, Neil "Yoda" Hill.
Courtesy of WWE
You seem to have really found your groove as the dominant tribal chief. Is this the most comfortable feeling since joining WWE in 2010?
I think there are two sides to it. I think, yes, as an in-ring performer, as a character and the presentation that goes with it, I feel most comfortable that I've ever experienced. But on the other hand, when you are in this pristine area, this top of the mountain, it can be uncomfortable because a lot of people come for me. Everyone from everyone in the locker room to Hollywood megastars and MMA box offices like Brock Lesnar. It feels like everyone is watching me for what you're working towards, doesn't it? So it's a great position, but at the same time there is a goal on your back.
Speaking of Lesnar, he's challenging you to the Universal Championship at the Crown Jewel on October 21st, and he's expected to appear on the extended 2 1/2 hour episode of SmackDown (live on FS1 this Friday night). You've gotten tangled before but it seems like he's facing a whole new novel Reigns this time around?
One hundred percent. The difference is all around, it's 360 degrees. From my personality to the business side to my mindset, I've always had a killer instinct from my time in football and just being in the WWE shark tank and swimming in the water for so long, but now it's absolutely bigger than ever. You heard me and Paul (Heyman) talk about it. It takes years of collecting this experience and going through these loops and hoops in order to find out about myself and also to capture myself as a performer and where I feel I belong. What I've been doing now and doing (as a tribal chief) for almost a year and a half is unprecedented. body has been able to do what I did with this Universal Championship and the way I put the face of the WWE on. It is second to none. So, I think he's put himself in something that he may not fully understand or that he may not be prepared for.
You've had such physical altercations with Lesnar in the past that your history together turns out to be one of WWE's biggest rivalries. Where do you place him as your toughest opponent?
Yeah, I mean, it goes back to 2015 and the WrestleMania 31 main event. From then on I worked really hard not only to be part of the main event, but also to become “the main event”. The way we attack our struggles is just trying to "out-physically" each other. We are more intense, more credible. That speaks to his (MMA) background, but people forget that I played in the top echelons of American football. I would definitely say it's the toughest without a doubt. There have been a couple of others I've struggled with, Seth Rollins is different, he's just a completely different kind of opponent, but yeah, Brock is absolutely the biggest rivalry I've ever been in. I look forward to continuing.
w that WWE is back on the road, how do you continue to keep your diet updated and adjust your workouts around wrestling, media duties, and everything else you need to do every day?
Well, that's the hardest part, the diet. Especially as someone who was on the go, from a small beach town, Pensacola, in the Panhandle of Florida, to traveling all over the world, that really cultivated me. As we all know, food is a huge part of our (Samoan-American) culture and I have a huge passion for really good food and different types of foods and I thought this was going to be my fight. But I think (it's all about) the discipline to do the job.
As we speak, I'm a little out of breath because I'm on the archery trainer. My time management has to be crisp. I always have to be on point, otherwise I'll miss a meal, if I fall behind, I'll have to go to bed later. Everything is on a string and everything is connected. It is important that we have the discipline and time management to make it all happen. If I am then not motivated and don't want to do it, I still have this discipline, this drive and this anchor and the “why” for it.
Sometimes the hardest part is starting the race, taking the first step, but once you get started you will eventually find that groove. I'm at the 33 minute mark (on the archery trainer) and for the first five minutes I thought, “Ah, I don't want to do this! Why not just sit in that chair behind me and do these interviews? ”But it's one of those things that, when all else fails, is the cause of discipline. I don't have to do it; I can do it.
Is your morning cardio fast or do you have breakfast beforehand?
I do empty cardio in the morning, and then I'll do light cardio later in the evening to relieve my appetite. For me, cardio is an essential part of being able to "walk" all the time. It is good to be able to put on my boots and wrestle for a long time and not get tired, but it is also good for my mind.
There's such an important link between physical and mental health, isn't there?
It's something that helps me. Mental health is a big topic of conversation now and it's something very serious but I also think instead of just talking about it we need to do something about it, we need to take action to help ourselves and create this therapy. this meditation where we can be in our thoughts, have this clarity and see this clear view of what we are trying with ourselves and the people around us.
You work closely with Neil "Yoda" Hill and train with him Y3T program, do you think you will always use elements of this plan in the future?
Oh yeah, I'm just into week 2 so it's going to be brutal again. It's so hard, focused on the load, more like an eight to twelve rep range. I always want to be as strong as possible. I have four sons and one day, in about a decade or so, they're going to try me (laughs) and I want to look at them and say, “Hey, I can still go. I can pick up a grown man and throw him if I have to. ”But yeah, Y3T is great, but I think it's the man behind the program, Neil Hill. I can't say enough about him. I think no matter what the goal is or where I want to be athletic, I enjoy picking out his brain and working with him and having him as a trainer that I can rely on. He's so accomplished that I think he can ride with me if my goals and career path change. It's a journey we're both really looking forward to.
Tonight, a special 2 1/2 hour Supersized edition of SmackDown will air on FS1 at 8 p.m. ET. Roman Reigns will defend his Universal Title against Brock Lesnar across the Crown Jewel on Thursday, October 21st at 12pm ET on Peacock and WWE Network.