Since making his main roster debut with The Shield in 2012, no one has enjoyed the type of success as Roman Reigns in WWE.
Reigns is a multiple-time World Champion, has headlined four WrestleMania events, and has been positioned as face of the company. As the reigning WWE Universal Champion, Reigns is doing arguably the best work of his career as the self-proclaimed Tribal Chief of WWE.
As the top guy in the company today, many have wondered how Roman would have fared if he was standing next to the likes of Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, and others during the Attitude Era. For Reigns, that would have been easy.
"To be honest, and this is gonna make some good headlines, but it would've been too easy," Reigns told Sports Illustrated. "I feel like [John] Cena said it before. It's a challenge to be PG. It's a challenge to not have to go the cheap route. Being able to shove everything up everyone's ass, to do that stuff, to just chug beers—and I'm not taking anything way from the performance and the physicality of what they did and the stories they told in the ring—these guys were great performers and great in-ring wrestlers. But the character development was easier. If I could just start chugging bourbon and smoking cigars, imagine what my character could be. We could go even further on this mob boss thing. It's more challenging what we do now. It's the facts. That's why the business is bigger. That's why we have a bigger platform now. And that was all due to the work done before us to get us to this point, but at the same time if we don't do it the way we do it now, it wouldn't be that way. It was a different time."
Reigns is currently scheduled to defend his WWE Universal Championship against Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing match at WWE Royal Rumble.
Elsewhere during the interview, Reigns responded to Attitude Era veterans Undertaker and Goldberg, who previously called out the WWE product for being "too soft." You can find Reigns' comments by clicking here.
Fightful will have live coverage of WWE Royal Rumble beginning at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 31.