Roman Reigns credits John Cena.
Towards the end of the summer of 2017, it was announced that John Cena and Roman Reigns were going to clash at WWE's 'No Mercy' PPV. In the weeks leading up to their highly anticipated match, both men engaged in a series of promo wars with one another in-which there were no limits and no such thing as "hitting below the belt". John Cena brought up Roman Reigns' failed drug test, Roman treating the United States Championship as a "demotion" and joked about Reigns not knowing how to cut promos.
Roman fired back at Cena with vulgar language and discussed how Cena would use his "shovel" to bury younger talent. The two superstars' promos took social media by storm and with it now having been almost a year since those encounters, Reigns reflected on those promos and stated that they helped him in the long run. To promote the forthcoming SummerSlam PPV and his Universal Championship match, Roman Reigns spoke with Brain Fritz of Sporting News and during their conversation Reigns praised John Cena for helping him improve.
"I think Cena did me a huge favor." Reigns said. "He busted my ass and made me step up and that's the game. You have to take the next step. If you're climbing the ladder, you have to reach the next rung and Cena was that guy. That's an important part, the mic work, the stick, and I thought I was able to step up. I thought I was able to take my punches and throw a few back and I thought I grew very quickly in the following weeks to all the way when we closed that rivalry out. But that's the whole object of the game, of being on top. You have to make everybody step up and that's what Cena made me do." He said. "I'm still learning, I'm still finding my voice and still playing with different things, finding different emotions and different ways to connect and how to make it real to myself. I think anytime I can, I always thank him for that because without those growing pains, without those maturity steps, I don't think I'd be able to be where I'm at and then also I wouldn't be on the path of where I'm trying to go and grow to."
"The Big Dog" will have his fourth one-on-one championship match against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam and Reigns is hell-bent on trying to get the WWE Universal Championship in his hands because he wants to feature it weekly on RAW.