We all know life inside the WWE ring is a harsh environment, but sometimes the intense nature of the world surrounding the squared circle is even greater.
That is something WWE Superstar Roman Reigns is having to get used to after a whirlwind 2015 has seen him fall from the top of the WWE perch amongst considerable fan backlash.
Speaking during an interview with SportingNews.com, the former Shield member has now opened up about the 'hurtful' and 'shocking' treatment he has received this year.
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Reigns began by highlighting the changing way people interact and how the influence of mass-media and the internet generation is affecting things, specifically how it affected people's reaction to his Royal Rumble victory.
"When you deal with an Internet situation where all these people are attacking you for no real reason at all. You’re just going out there trying to entertain them, trying to give them something to get outside of their life, to get outside their reality and suspend belief for them," he explained.
"And then for them to attack you for no real reason. It’s not like I was trying to hurt anybody. I was just trying to do my thing, make my art the way I want it and have a good time and hopefully it reflects that.
"It’s just one of those things that once it’s opened up it’s eye-opening. It’s shocking, it’s hurtful but it’s just a part of the world. Just like anything else, any other form of bullying that the world’s dealt with, we’re going to get past it."
Fall from grace
When Reigns ended up the last man standing at January's Royal Rumble he must have felt the world was his oyster.
But, with a WrestleMania main event also under his belt in 2015, WWE fans have been quick to vent their anger - arguing the young star hasn't earned his stripes just yet.
Having taken more of a back seat role in recent months thing have improved for Reigns but the struggle remains. Only last week he was struck by a replica MITB briefcase thrown from the crowd at a live event.
Roman Reigns isn't giving up that easily though. Concluding the interview, which can be read in full here, the wrestler ensured his loyal fans he can take any heat that comes his way.
"Strong people are strong for a reason — they can hold that weight. God gave me broad shoulders because I can carry that load. It was a shock and awe factor at first but it’s a lot easier now for sure.”
WWE fans: Have people been too harsh on Reigns, and can he reach the top? Have your say in the comments below...
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