Roman Reigns, the current Undisputed Universal Champion, has worked considerably less dates in 2022 which has led to speculation that he has signed a new WWE contract with a reduced schedule.
Roman Reigns confirmed his new WWE deal in an interview with Jimmy Traina on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, simply saying “Yeah”, when asked if he signed a new deal.
When asked about how long the deal is for, Reigns said:
“I don’t really like to give specifics,” “especially….there are timelines, different ways to play with these things.”
When asked about his scaled-back schedule, Reigns stated:
“The main thing is, when you’ve been on the road for almost ten years straight, and someone who has been at the highest level, the main event level, I’ve ran a full schedule for a long time. Even before we went to FOX, it changed to where it was SmackDown on Friday, two live events on Saturday and Sunday, and the occasional Monday Night Raw. That’s a four-night schedule, which isn’t as bad as it used to be. We used to do Friday, Saturday, Sunday live events, Monday Night Raw, tape SmackDown on Tuesday. We were only getting a day and a half. This is before private travel, buses, and all that. Fly out Wednesday morning, get half of Wednesday, you get home and you’re tired. Half of Wednesday, then you have Thursday and are trying to handle personal life and family and everything that comes with that. Then you’re back out on Friday. For me, it was trying to balance everything. Someone who has five children, we’re in a critical portion of their lives where they are so young and this is where we build these relationships and bonds and they get to know who their dad is. For me, it was extremely important that I can build my fatherhood as the priority and the number one hat that I wear. In WWE, Vince (McMahon) and everybody was very good about accommodating that and making sure to keep me in the WWE family.”
After detailing why his schedule was reduced, Reigns admitted to dancing around the actual question of what his new WWE contract entails stating:
“The main thing is, no, we’re not going to be on every single pay-per-view, but anything that I am on, which will be all the major ones and a couple of the other ones that fall in-between the big four and the Saudis. I’ll always support those with TV to build the story and rivalry going forward. Compared to what I did, technically, compared to a full-time, on everything, you only get a day and a half a week, yeah, it’s part-time compared to what I usually run. I’m an annual character on WWE television. It’s done well so far. The reactions, it makes everything feel more special if you’re not as attainable or available. It puts a little mystique around you. Pretty much all of the houses have done well. The actual reaction, the decibel level is still very high. I couldn’t have planned for it to go any better. Hopefully, we’ll continue to build that. I’ve done it to where, I could do it every single week, that’s no problem. At the same time, if the quality is high, the quantity doesn’t have to be crazy.”
Reigns when asked about the balance of wanting to be there with taking time off and being less attainable, he stated:
“These are things that I felt, even with this new contract and the past few months, almost that micromanaging complex of, ‘I need to be in control and I should be doing more.’ You feel like you can’t help from the sideline. That’s not the case. That’s a mental type of thing that any performer would go through. ‘I’m not there, I’m being forgotten, I’m not helping.’ You feel like you’re not carrying the same weight that you used to. At the end of the day, there is no offseason. I am just a human and we have to take all of these things into account. You want to stay in superman mode and be on everything and help the product and merchandising as much as you can and satisfy the consumer, but if you spread yourself too thin, it goes both ways. it’s about finding that mental safe, that safe space to where you’re not blowing your brain up and being anxious or having anxiety about it, and at the same time just trusting it and going with the flow.”
Reigns was originally advertised to wrestle at Money in the Bank back in early July which was set to take place at Allegiant Stadium before being moved to MGM Grand Garden Arena. Reigns was eventually pulled from the show.
Reigns when speaking about changes in the plans stated:
“The strategy for the first few months after Mania was to be on Money in the Bank, but once the show was changed and it was moved from Allegiant Stadium and into the arena, we re-strategized and we stayed on the path of hitting the huge ones going into the winter. Once Money in the Bank was moved, I was pulled from that and we knew we were going to hit SummerSlam and Cardiff being a huge stadium show, an international show, I knew I was going to be part of that. For me, it wasn’t a surprise, once I knew things were up with Money in the Bank, I figured there would be an adjustment there.”
Roman Reigns is scheduled to defend the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at Clash at the Castle in Cardiff, Wales against Drew McIntyre on September 3rd.
Roman Reigns will hit the two-year mark as WWE Universal Champion on August 31.
H/T to Fightful for the transcription