Roman Reigns revealed at a live event in Trenton, New Jersey back in May that he was entering a new phase of his WWE career, one that would see him wrestling fewer live events, TV tapings and pay-per-views. The changes to the schedule were immediately evident as WWE had to book three consecutive pay-per-views without a world championship match for the first time since 2014. "The Tribal Chief" has only wrestled four times on either TV or pay-per-view since unifying the WWE and Universal Championship, with his latest bout being the Last Man Standing Match against Brock Lensar last month.
Ahead of his title bout with Drew McIntyre at Clash at the Castle on Sept. 3, Reigns sat down with the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast this week and finally shed some light on his new schedule and the thought process behind it.
After describing the grind of WWE's full-time schedule where he's on the road five and a half days a week, Reigns said, "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."
"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," he explained.
Reigns continued — "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."