Roman Reigns felt like the WWE shows during the pandemic that took place before the advent of WWE ThunderDome sucked.
WWE never once stopped running shows at any point during the global pandemic. However, the WWE presentation changed dramatically. No longer were fans adding to the ambiance and electricity of events. Instead, WWE was forced to run events from their Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Even WrestleMania 36 was hosted from an empty WWE Performance Center.
On the Friday before SummerSlam 2020, WWE debuted it's ThunderDome concept and at SummerSlam, Roman Reigns returned to action after voluntarily pulling himself out of WrestleMania and all of the shows in the months that followed.
Upon returning, Roman Reigns debuted the new side of himself. Turning heel and aligning himself with Paul Heyman, Roman Reigns gleefully boasts his position above all else on the card
Speaking with Ryan Satin of FOX Sports, “The Tribal Chief” revealed he didn't watch too much of the WWE product while he was away, but what he did see, he thought was awful.
“Yeah, I watched a couple of the shows. I did not follow it thoroughly. I tried to use as much of the time to be with my family and just really focus in and be present here at home, but on a few of the shows that I saw, I was just like, ‘Man, this is trash.’ Like, you know what I mean? That’s from me, from the very top, thinking this because I always want to be way better than everybody else. This is no disrespect to what they were doing. They were busting their ass working really hard.
“But, for me, I was like, ‘Man, I just know when it’s time to pull my trigger, I know exactly what I want to do. I know exactly the kind of stories I want to tell and the different tools I want to utilize in order to connect with our crowd, our audience that’s watching at home.’
He added, “I knew it was all based off of emotion. I knew I had to be emotionally connected to what I was doing to be able to wear the skin of the character that I’m trying to convey to our audience. So, that was the most important thing is that I could completely focus in and concentrate 100% on what I was trying to do and the emotions that I was trying to convey throughout my narratives.”
Regarding fans potentially returning at WrestleMania 37, Roman Reigns says he is ready to be able to feed off of emotion again.
“Being in this time, in these pandemic times, you gotta be able to pull out different layers to your performance, different attributes and show different tools. That’s what I’ve done over the past six months is show a different side of me as a performer. Completely change the dynamics to my matches and the way people perceive my storytelling in-ring. [Fans] added so much more dialogue; to now everybody cuts a promo while they’re wrestling … and they can’t! Because I’m the one that’s doing it at the top level.
“So, when it gets compared to what I’m doing ... I cried in the ring, for Christ’s sake! To be able to tap into these emotions and to be able to put on these type of performances, I just feel like I’m doing it at a different level and I’ve had to do that because I don’t have that security blanket of the reactions being really loud. Hell, if I ever got to a point where it’s like, ‘Man, I don’t know what I want to do,’ all I gotta do is sit still and look at the crowd and they’ll make some kind of noise, you know what I mean? I don’t have that vehicle there anymore. So, you have to really be smart about how you put on your performance nowadays.”
Roman Reigns will once again face Kevin Owens for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble in a Last Man Standing Match.