Roman Reigns was recently featured in the Edmonton Journal, below are some of the highlights…
His Days as a Quarterback for the Edmenton Eskimos
“They were relatively short,” he said with a chuckle over the phone last week as Reigns and his fellow professional wresters made their way to Alberta for a series of shows.
“(It was) pretty much one season,” he recalled. “I started off signed to the practice squad and then every once in a while I’d get activated for a few games. I was kind of going back and forth between practice squad and then, if someone got hurt or they needed an extra D-tackle to rotate in, they’d pull me up and I’d play that week or travel that week.”
Moving into Wrestling and The Shield
“When I was a kid, that’s all we ever talked about, that’s all everyone around me did,” he said. “Once things slowed down with football and I finished up in Canada, I figured out that the passion to wrestle and be a WWE superstar was still there, so it kind of summed things up for me, really focused me on getting into the business and learning how to wrestle.”
“When I started out in the CFL, I was probably about 325 (pounds),” he said. “I had a totally different frame and I had a lot more weight on me. The initial transition was getting out of football shape and slimming down, tightening up and leaning up a lot to get a different look for a performer-type body frame for sports entertainment.
“The initial goal was to get down to my earlier years of college, even a high school weight of 245, 250. Once I got to that point, I put a little more weight on to where I am now, to 265, 270.”
Reigns spent several years in WWE’s developmental system and eventually made his WWE debut on November 18, 2012 as a part of heel faction The Shield.
“If people want to boo me, that’s great,” Reigns said. “As long as they’re making noise and they’re into it … when I’m out there, I want people to show if they’re mad, they’re happy, just some kind of emotion.
“They paid money to come out and cut loose a little bit, so that’s what I intend on doing. I come out and cut loose and I let it all hang out. If I can elicit some kind of a response, that makes me happy, I know that. It doesn’t bother me at all to have people boo me.”
Now that Reigns is a TV regular, he says the actual work isn’t much different to his football days.
“I’ve always been a physical athlete, so getting in the ring and being, in a sense, in-character is not me. It’s always been an extension of myself. Being a part of The Shield, it’s right up my alley to be an enforcer, to be the muscle of the group, almost like the D-linemen. A lot of times, that’s how it looks.
“I’m the D-lineman and (Shield members) Seth (Rollins) and Dean (Ambrose) are like linebackers running free. I can free them up to do whatever they want and back up anything they feel or say, so it’s a good feeling to be a part of the team again.”
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