Five years later, the two men will clash again on WWE SmackDown with Reigns defending the Universal Championship.
Speaking to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Balor discussed the growth of Reigns over the years.
“I want to address five years ago, when I first locked up with Roman Reigns,” began Balor. “The world was talking s--- about Roman and his abilities and his performances. From the first moment we locked up, I knew he was something special. He was operating on a different level that people didn’t quite fully understand. Now people are learning he is a once-in-a-lifetime talent. Roman’s proven that over and again, and the masses have accepted and acknowledged that ability and growth. His presence is just unimaginable right now.
“I remember fighting in an Extreme Rules main event in 2017. I’d done my entrance, Samoa Joe did his entrance, a few others did their entrance, and then Roman did his entrance. I remember getting goosebumps as the energy just changed. It’s more raw than the Cena reaction. The Cena reaction is one-of-a-kind, but there is something uniquely different about when Roman steps into the arena.”
Balor and Reigns last met in singles competition on the August 20, 2018 episode of WWE Raw when Reigns successfully defended the Universal Championship.
Fightful will have live coverage of WWE SmackDown beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Friday.