Roman Reigns officially reached two consecutive years as WWE world champion on Tuesday, a monumental occasion rarely seen in the modern era of professional wrestling. Reigns returned from a hiatus at the 2020 SummerSlam event, immediately turning heel while aligning himself with Paul Heyman. WWE pulled a rare move of having another pay-per-view, Payback, just one week later and Reigns showed up late into the main event and defeated both "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman to become Universal Champion for the second time in his career.
From there, Reigns would gradually develop his "Tribal Chief" persona, eventually forming The Bloodline faction with The Usos after forcing both Jimmy and Jey to fall in line. He'd have successful title defenses against Jey, Strowman, Kevin Owens, Daniel Bryan, Edge, Cesaro, Rey Mysterio, John Cena, Finn Balor, Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins and Goldberg in the year-plus that followed before turning his focus to the WWE Championship. He officially unified the two world championships at WrestleMania 38 by once again beating Lesnar.
Shortly after that, Reigns announced that he had signed a new WWE contract that would require fewer live show dates and less frequent TV and pay-per-view matches. He has only wrestled on-camera four times since WrestleMania, with his fifth match being this weekend at Clash at the Castle against Drew McIntyre.
"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," Reigns said in an interview with the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast last week.
"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.