Home Sports WWE star Roman Reigns’ story the ‘most unique in the history of sports entertainment,’ Paul Heyman says

WWE star Roman Reigns’ story the ‘most unique in the history of sports entertainment,’ Paul Heyman says

WWE star Roman Reigns’ story the ‘most unique in the history of sports entertainment,’ Paul Heyman says

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You can boo him. You can acknowledge him. But there’s no doubt Roman Reigns has made a significant impact on WWE and the pro wrestling industry since he returned to the ring in August 2020 after a hiatus during the thick of the coronavirus pandemic.

Reigns won the Universal Championship at WWE Payback in a match against Braun Strowman and the late Bray Wyatt. Since then, he, Paul Heyman and The Bloodline have had a stranglehold on the WWE Universe. He’s held the championship for more than 1,300 days and is considered the WWE Undisputed Universal Champion and also holds the WWE championship.

The “Tribal Chief,” the “Head of the Table” or whatever you call him, over the last 3½ years, he’s left little doubt as to who the face of WWE has been. But the aforementioned accolades were few and far between when he first entered the WWE ring from Florida Championship Wrestling.

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Roman Reigns holds the belts

Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns during WrestleMania Night 2 at SoFi Stadium In Inglewood, Calif., April 2, 2023. (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports)

Reigns started as a young man thrust into a legendary Samoan wrestling dynasty, and his struggle to gain the attention of the WWE Universe and his rise to prominence will be featured in the latest episode of “Biography: WWE Legends” on A&E Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.

“I would suggest that Roman Reigns’ story is the most unique in the history of sports entertainment,” Heyman told Fox News Digital, “because the accomplishments of his family alone measure up to any other alleged dynasty that may try to claim the bragging rights the most accomplished in the history of our industry. 

“And to take control of that narrative and try to disrupt a status quo of enormous greatness requires not only a level of bravery but ambition that few have ever risen up to the challenge regarding.”

Reigns’ story includes helping his cousins, pro wrestlers known as Jey and Jimmy Uso, as singles competitors and tag-team phenoms.

In Heyman’s opinion, Reigns not only lifted those close to him but “elevated the entire industry.” He recalled just how brutal a time the pandemic was and how WWE was putting on shows without an audience.

Paul Heyman at the 2022 Royal Rumble

Paul Heyman during the Royal Rumble at The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis Jan. 29, 2022. (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports)

“This industry was lifted out of the pandemic by Roman Reigns,” Heyman told Fox News Digital. “Anybody who thinks or claims differently doesn’t know what they’re talking about. In August 2020, look at the stats of this industry, and by the time the live fan base came back, they were all coming back to see whom? Roman Reigns.”

Heyman pointed out Reigns’ main event status in the two WrestleManias as the world tried to get back to normalcy. He also said Reigns was the driving force behind leading the WWE out of the pandemic and into a $21 billion merger with UFC that formed TKO Group Holdings.

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“So, any discussion of what Roman Reigns accomplishes has to include the discussion that he, himself, as the top star, led this industry out of the pandemic to heights that could not have been imagined when we were in the doldrums of the pandemic itself.”

Heyman’s high praise of Reigns suggests Reigns is one of the faces on the Mount Rushmore of pro wrestlers.

But Heyman suggested it goes beyond that.

“I think the Mount Rushmore of sports entertainment should be two mountains that face each other,” he said. “On (one) mountain, just to appease the analogy, put any four that you want. Doesn’t matter. Put (Hulk) Hogan, (Ric) Flair, (John) Cena, (Steve) Austin; Put Austin, (The Rock), Triple H, Shawn Michaels; Put (Bruno) Sammartino, Ric Flar, Steve Austin, The Rock. It doesn’t matter.

Paul Heyman walks with Roman Reigns

Roman Reigns celebrates with special counsel Paul Heyman after defeating Brock Lesnar (not pictured) and unifying the WWE championship and the Universal championship during WrestleMania at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, April 3, 2022. (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports)

“Put four people on this one. Have them face this mountain. Put one face there. Roman Reigns. And have these four acknowledge this mountain, and you have an accurate portrayal of what the Mount Rushmore of pro wrestling/sports entertainment should be.”

Sunday’s show will air six days before WrestleMania 40 Night 1, when Reigns and The Rock take on Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins, and a week before his Night 2 match to defend his Undisputed Universal Championship against Rhodes for the second consecutive year.

Heyman implored WWE fans to “acknowledge your tribal chief but acknowledge the unique and special time that we’re in at the moment.” 

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“Realize this is a unique time in history and a performer the likes of which you’ve never seen before and may never see again. That the disruption of this industry by Roman Reigns is as grand as the disruption that ECW presented in the 1990s. 

It’s just different, and it’s on a different level, but it’s no less impactful either.”

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