Adam Pearce retired in 2014, but he did step back in the ring briefly in early 2021 as part of two different storylines.
In January, Pearce "won" a number one contender gauntlet to set up a match against Roman Reigns at WWE Royal Rumble. The match never happened as Pearce faked an injury to get out of it, leading to Kevin Owens taking his spot.
Though Pearce and Reigns never squared off, a showdown with the "Tribal Chief" would be welcomed by "Scrap Iron"
"I was happy to be a part of it," Pearce told Oliver Browning of GiveMeSport when discussing the storyline with Reigns. "Roman and I have certain chemistry on camera, he’s really taken to this mob boss mentality and does it so well. It was naturally fun and really easy to play off him and Paul Heyman. It took on a life of its own… I was getting ready man, getting my boots polished you know, getting ready to go. If you come to me tomorrow and say ‘Hey, let’s rewind to the Royal Rumble’. If that match was actually going to happen, there is no chance I’d turn that down. That would have been incredible. But it’s not something I ever pushed for or ever expected to happen. It’s not something I aspire to. When I took my boots off in 2014 it was because I was ready to move on to the next chapter in my professional life. But I’m at the Performance Center an awful lot. Yes, I technically had my last match in 2014 but it wasn’t like I’m not in the ring multiple times a week. Teaching, coaching, staying fit. I wasn’t worried about the physical aspect of things because I was still doing it behind the scenes. I'm still wearing my size 13s if needs be, if the occasion calls for it, I’m capable. But I’d much rather wear my suit and tie than my tights and boots!"
While Pearce is an authority figure on-screen, he has a big role behind the scenes as well. He was reportedly promoted to Director of Live Events recently and with WWE heading back out on the road, Pearce will start to take on more responsibilities backstage.
"[Director of Live Events] would be my official job title, yes," said Pearce, confirming his new role. "Frankly, it doesn’t change a whole lot of what I do. You’ll still see me officiating RAW and SmackDown, while I now have a more vested interest in what’s going to happen on our live events. I had that anyway before receiving that title. But now I have a more supervisory role and a say in what’s coming to your town. That’ll take up a lot of time on my clock day-to-day which is great and it’s part of the business I’ve always loved."
Pearce is part of both Raw and SmackDown, and is currently assisted on-screen by Sonya Deville.