During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, WWE Undisputed Universal Champion Roman Reigns took some time away from WWE.
Speaking on a recent edition of the “Tetragrammaton” with Rick Rubin podcast, Paul Heyman revealed why the Tribal Chief decided to take some time off.
According to Heyman, Reigns wanted to protect himself as an immunocompromised person due to his past battles with leukemia. Additionally, Reigns was frustrated with creative at the time.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On Roman Reigns stepping back during the pandemic: “I’m still there as executive director [at the time]. Roman Reigns has taken time off. With his condition, he’s not exposing himself to this pandemic that we don’t have a grasp on how severe it can be quite just yet. And, at the same time, he’s had enough of the creative. These things are running concurrently.”
On Reigns’ mindset at that time: “The feud-rivalry-story with Baron Corbin over dog food, and the infamous ‘suffering succotash’ promo, had weighed on him enough to where he said, ‘I’ve had enough. I’ve reached the cap. I can’t go any further as the Big Dog. I’ve peaked, [but] as an athlete I haven’t peaked. As a performer, I’ve barely scratched the surface. I have so much more to offer, and since I’m taking time off, I’m not coming back as the same person. This is where I make my move. This is where I do, for me, what Lesnar did for himself when he conquered the streak. Something has to become my defining moment, and then propel forward from there — the catalyst to something completely different.’”