10 years ago, CM Punk openly stated during his now-infamous pipebomb promo that he was frustrated that somebody like The Rock was scheduled to main event WrestleMania over a year ahead of time when he was a full-time Superstar busting his ass.
Now, John Cena is in the position where he is the part-time performer coming back for a big payday against Roman Reigns in the main event of SummerSlam 2021 Roman Reigns says he understands the perspective of John Cena being able to bring more eyes to the WWE product and believe that it doesn't affect him in any negative way because he is continuing to work at a level that allows him to be in these main events alongside John Cena and is looking forward to capitalizing on what John brings to the product.
“I can see it from both perspectives,” Roman Reigns tells Ariel Helwani in a recent interview. “A rising tide raises all the boats, right? Everybody benefits. So I do think there's that strange threshold, but those statements are coming from bitter people who possibly thought that they were better than they really were. When it comes down to it, CM Punk was not as good or as over as John Cena and he wasn't as good or as over or moved the needle, like The Rock [did]. It just was what it was."
Reigns continued, “From a full-time performer [perspective], I understand the frustration and wanting more but like I said before, you gotta take it. I am a full-time performer, but I've done everything that needs to be done to stay in this position, to be in this position, to continue to make the opportunities for myself to be in the main event of a SummerSlam against John Cena.
“If anybody ever comes along to try to push me out of that scenario, I'm going to fight like hell to keep the ground that I've made. It's one of those debatable -- we can go back and forth and we can change our perspective if you're one of those types of people who can see it in a different set of eyes, but I really think if more eyeballs are being brought to our product and of course, it depends on who it is, but a guy like John Cena who is starring in multiple movies this summer so -- and when it comes down to it, [John] earned the right, he's at that portion of his career where he is a part-time performer, I'm not going to complain. I'm just going to capitalize on him being here and everything he brings with that. That's the whole gimmick to me is this is John Cena. Why wouldn't I want him to be in the ring? Why wouldn't I want him to come to me?"
Reigns concluded, "This is the biggest movie star in the summer right now why wouldn't I? He came to me. He came to Roman Reigns. He wants to be in the ring with me, so I'm not going to complain about that. But I think other people who think they should have more, be more, and aren’t willing to actually do it, they're going to have a different explanation than what I just gave you.”
"These statements are coming from people who thought they were better than they were.— WWE on BT Sport (@btsportwwe) August 19, 2021
CM Punk wasn't as good or over as John Cena, he didn't move the needle like The Rock."@WWERomanReigns talks to @arielhelwani about the fight for main event spots and putting eyes on WWE -- pic.twitter.com/0JK37sjkTi
While nothing is official, there have been plenty of teases and references to CM Punk returning to wrestling on Friday at AEW Rampage The First Dance.
Fightful will have live coverage of AEW Rampage beginning at 10 p.m. ET on Friday.
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