Roman Reigns was involved in a rather unique storyline ahead of this year’s Royal Rumble.
The Universal Champion continuously clashed with WWE Official Adam Pearce on SmackDown and in the build-up to January’s event, a title match between the pair was even announced.
Of course, this was just a swerve, with Kevin Owens eventually stepping into the ring with Roman. But Pearce himself was involved physically on a number of other occasions.
He ‘earned’ that title match in the first place by ‘pinning’ Shinsuke Nakamura. He was also manhandled by The Tribal Chief and attacked by Jey Uso on numerous occasions.
The battle between Reigns and Pearce made for some brilliant action and it’s fair to say the WWE Universe were invested in their storyline.
Speaking exclusively to GIVEMESPORT, Pearce discussed ‘getting physical’ with Reigns back in January and gave some detail about who came up with the epic SmackDown angle.
“Well I think it goes to show with anything that happens in WWE, there is one voice that makes things happen [Vince McMahon].
“I was happy to be a part of it. Roman and I have certain chemistry on camera, he’s really taken to this mob boss mentality and does it so well.
“You can’t teach on-screen chemistry, I think he and I have enough of a personal relationship that the conversations always felt real.
“It was naturally fun and really easy to play off him and Paul Heyman. It took on a life of its own… I was getting ready man, getting my boots polished you know, getting ready to go.”
When asked if he was really ‘ready’ to be thrown into the main event match, Pearce suggested that he would jump at the chance to rewind the clock and actually face Reigns at the Royal Rumble.
“If you come to me tomorrow and say ‘Hey, let’s rewind to the Royal Rumble’. If that match was actually going to happen, there is no chance I’d turn that down.
“That would have been incredible. But it’s not something I ever pushed for or ever expected to happen. It’s not something I aspire to.
When I took my boots off in 2014 it was because I was ready to move on to the next chapter in my professional life. But I’m at the Performance Center an awful lot.
“Yes, I technically had my last match in 2014 but it wasn’t like I’m not in the ring multiple times a week. Teaching, coaching, staying fit.
“I wasn’t worried about the physical aspect of things because I was still doing it behind the scenes.
“I’m still wearing my size 13s if needs be, if the occasion calls for it, I’m capable. But I’d much rather wear my suit and tie than my tights and boots!”
Pearce also shared some huge praise for Reigns, calling him the ‘top echelon’ of the sports entertainment industry, but didn’t rule out clashing with him again in future.
“There’s an interesting old adage: ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’. Maybe we’re seeing that with Roman, Heyman and now The Usos.
“You don’t know what goes on in someone’s mind. I think Roman Reigns is at the very top echelon of our industry. I don’t think that’s disputed by anybody anywhere.
“To lead the industry is huge. He has to look in the mirror and deal with that every day of his life. He’s the Universal Champion for a reason, what he’s going to do with that power is entirely up to him.
“We’ve seen both sides of Roman Reigns. But that absolute power has corrupted him and we’ll see what happens in the future.”
Adam Pearce and Roman Reigns will be in action on Friday Night SmackDown, which airs live in the UK on BT Sport every week.