Roman Reigns is at the top of the WWE mountain now, but his Special Council doesn't believe it would have been possible even a couple of years ago.
Speaking with Esquire Middle East, Paul Heyman was asked about his on-screen boss, The Tribal Chief, and what has allowed him to find his voice as a character and resonate with the audience in a way that he never had before. Heyman said the following:
"Roman Reigns is a subject and a category all unto himself. Roman Reigns had to main event for nine years, had to main event WrestleMania multiple times, consecutively, in order to find the best presentation of Roman Reigns. And he also needed some seasoning. He needed some age in his face. Roman Reigns could not have pulled off this presentation even two years ago, he wasn't ready for it. He didn't look the role. He was still—he still looked too young.
Now, when you look in his face, you can see some of the wars that he's been through. You can see the years of main eventing have presented a burden to the man behind the persona, that he has to carry not only his family, but as the top star in sports entertainment. He has to carry WWE, and indeed he has to carry the entire industry in terms of public perception. And you get to see that in his face now. And you couldn't see that in his face, even if it was true, just a couple of years ago."
Beyond the physical look, Heyman believes that Roman is connecting with the audience because they're seeing how he actually feels. He concluded by saying this:
"So what allows Roman Reigns to resonate today? The reason why the connection to the audience and with the audience is so strong is because you're seeing how this man actually feels. And he looks at the part when he says these words. He could have said these words with the same delivery and the same greatness two years ago, but it wouldn't hit home as much because now he truly looks the part as well."
Reigns first aligned with Heyman at SummerSlam, and eventually captured the Universal Title at Payback, defeating The Fiend and Braun Strowman in a No Holds Barred Triple Threat Match. His reign with the belt stands at 199 days.
Roman Reigns is set to defend his Universal Championship versus Daniel Bryan at WWE Fastlane on Sunday, March 21, 2021. Fightful will have live coverage of the event beginning at 3 PM PST.