Roman Reigns wound up in the headlines on Monday when WrestlingNews.co dropped a report stating that "The Tribal Chief" was leading the WWE in merchandise sales. A few years ago this would have been expected, but it was noted that Reigns is putting up sales numbers on the same level as John Cena despite being a heel, which is in direct contrast to the old pro wrestling business philosophy that heels don't sell much merchandise. Cena spotted a headline reporting on that story, prompting him to take a screengrab and post it to his Instagram page. As always, fans were left the draw the meaning behind the post for themselves.
Cena challenged Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship back at SummerSlam and wound up on the losing end. Despite his scathing promos on WWE TV, Cena was nothing but complimentary of what Reigns has accomplished as "The Tribal Chief."
"Roman is walking in his own steps, he follows in no one's footsteps," he told Bleacher Report back in April. "This happens every time a marquee attraction has moved on. I went through it, everybody said it with Steve [Austin] and The Rock and I understand that. But Roman is crafting his own path, and I think it's very important to say that he's doing a great job. I feel this is the best he's ever been and that comes with comfort. I don't know what got him over that hill, but he's over it and that's a very important one to jump over."
"I'm very, very impressed with Roman among other people on the WWE roster with how great they've become," he later added. "I honestly think it may be because there's no live audience. This would be the toughest obstacle for me to overcome, but I really think it's brought the best out in people because they've had to redefine themselves and they can't feed off the energy of the audience on their performance. It's just them out there. Sometimes performers can go out there and falsely hear the noise. They hear a few people cheer and think it's fantastic. Now, they have to be in the product. They have to see their results and can't use that as a blindfold. It's actually brought the best out in people."