Roman Reigns' return, heel turn, alliance with Paul Heyman and latest Universal Championship reign have been the highlight of Friday Night SmackDown over the past month and have been widely praised by fans watching along at home. But not everybody is happy with Reigns' new attitude or the company he keeps. While speaking with ABC6 in Columbus, former WWE Champion Kofi Kingston blasted "The Tribal Chief," asking why he feels the need the work with a "parasite" like Heyman.
"He's a movie star, the Big Dog, and the top dog in the entire yard," Kingston said (h/t Wrestling Inc.)." That's why I ask, why does he need this parasite, Paul Heyman? Why does he need him to further himself when he's already the top dog? I really don't get it,
"I'm going to talk to him when I get there and figure out what's going on. Because, out of all the people in the world, why Paul Heyman, man? I don't think he needed to go that route," he continued. "With that said, it is still interesting to see because performers, over a period of time, develop a new sense of personality and a new persona that just draws you in. I never expected this from Roman, never thought he'd do this in a million years. But here we are."
Kingston has been out of action since The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, leaving his New Day tag partner Big E to try and make a name for himself as a singles star again.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated last week, Heyman explained the difference between his roles working with Reigns and Brock Lesnar.
With Brock Lesnar, I began by advocating for the next big thing, an NCAA Division I champion," Heyman said. "We were tied together at the hip on his way to the top. That's not what this is. Roman Reigns has been established as the top act for eight years, and I was the one thrown out into the ocean of obscurity. Roman Reigns rescued me.
"We're not navigating his trajectory to the top," he continued. "Our entire focus is keeping him fresh, relevant and reinvigorated, and making that presentation seamless. That is exhilarating, even for someone who had a career in wrestling that dates back to being a photographer as a kid in Vince McMahon Sr.'s Madison Square Garden locker room."