While we debate the significance of magazine covers and ponder how the city where ECW was born will react to a man rumored to be Vince McMahon's personal project, Roman Reigns is just trying to get ready for the Royal Rumble this Sunday (January 25, 2015) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Part of that job involves talking to the press. It's worth noting that for a guy rumored to be John Cena's successor as the face of WWE, he isn't out doing more interviews. But he did one with Crave Online, where he acquits himself nicely. Reigns talks about rehabbing from his emergency hernia surgery, the process of developing his character, who he'd like to face at WrestleMania for the WWE Championship should he win the Rumble match and gives some thoughts into his record-breaking appearance in the main event at last January's pay-per-view (PPV).
Notably, it's the first place I've seen him acknowledge the mixed reaction he's received since The Shield break-up. Many, especially 'smart' fans on the internet, have soured on Reigns because the perceive his push as being disproportionate to his skill and talent. Roman is aware of it, and he talked about how he responds:
Yeah, I think its hard not to pay attention these days with all of the social media networks and all of the different outlets. It's so easy to connect with fans nowadays.
The funny part is, you have a guy like me who is kind of getting like a mixed vibe from time-to-time. I get a lot of love and then you'll get the hate in the middle of it but its just funny, the perspectives you know, the differences between the love and the hate. As far as the hate, it makes me laugh. Everybody is a critic. Every critic I've ever had, they weren't wrestlers [laughs]. Every wrestler I've ever had critique me, they were always into my stuff or what I'm doing out there. For a non-wrestler, someone who doesn't even know how to lock up, and if we did lock up, they wouldn't know what to do, for them to critique any of us, it really does pop me.
That's what haters do. They hate because they hate their lives.
On the one hand, what else is he going to say? He has no control over people, and to do anything other than smile and move on will wear you out.
But not taking a more humble approach, or mentioning how he's still developing (which he does elsewhere in the interview) will just give more ammunition to some of the "haters".
How do you think he handled the question, Cagesiders? And where do you stand on the Reigns push as we head into the Royal Rumble this Sunday?