You kind of gave me the perfect segue here, but looking ahead to that match at Crown Jewel, the main event with Brock. You guys have obviously main evented big events before, Manias and stuff like that. But in the past, you’ve never been at the level that you’re at right now and he’s never, you know, been a brolic lumberjack before. Does this feel like the biggest encounter yet between you two? What makes this one different in your mind?
Well, I think you hit it right on the head. We got Brock the Butcher nowadays. You’ve seen a bit of evolution. We’re seeing him with different layers and presented in a different light. I think he’s more comfortable than he’s ever looked on screen, especially with him not having Paul [Heyman] in his corner to kind of lean on for the talking and the different responsibilities throughout the show outside of just suplexing people. I think he’s been able to display more of Brock Lesnar from a personality standpoint. Then for me, like you said man, I’m on a different level now. It was like building a house. I had to stack all these bricks in order to get up and then complete it.
And we’re still working on that, but I think the progression that I’ve made just speaks volumes to where I’m at now. I don’t think it’s really arguable. What I’ve done over the past year, what I’ve done with this Universal Championship, what I’ve done as the face of WWE and the business behind it, I think the greatest result of all of that is all of these huge names that continue to come back just trying to step up to me. They’re acknowledging me. There’s a huge roster that they could have narrowed down to somebody else. But if you’re in WWE, from a full-time standpoint or you’re coming back and you’re trying to put eyes on you, you want to be on the island of relevancy. So I think that that kind of speaks for itself and what I’m doing.
With this matchup this weekend comes that added wrinkle of Paul Heyman’s connection to both of you. I know he sort of pledged his loyalty to you on SmackDown last week, but how do you expect that dynamic to impact what we’ll see at Crown Jewel?
Well, that’s our huge variable right now, and that’s kind of where we’re at, trying to sift through the weeds and see who the snake is. But Paul is obviously in a tough place. I don’t discredit or take anything away from his past. It’s like any type of relationship. You’re gonna start blaming the new chick you’re dating because of what she did before she even knew you existed. So it’s one of those things where I can’t blame him for being the advocate to the Beast Incarnate. All I can look at is what we’ve done since SummerSlam 2020, and everything that’s been in the middle of all that, and the progress that we’ve made, and the dominance that we displayed. But at the same time, I gotta be smart about this. My whole family, my bloodline depends on me. What happens to me happens to them, happens to Usos. So, like I always preach to them, we gotta keep our eye on the ball at all times.
I actually got a chance to speak with Paul Heyman a few months ago. He called you a mega star. He called you the GOAT actually. And I know this might seem like an odd question to ask you, but do you agree with that? As this run continues for you, do you realize the magnitude of what you’re putting together even though you’re in the middle of it, or is that sort of difficult to do in real time?
No, I think that’s the driving force. That’s why we’re so meticulous in the details and capturing the moment. He may have said this in that same interview, we look at every week as the audition to come back next week. So it’s never like a rest on your laurels type situation. We’re always trying to elevate ourselves to do something special. As far as being the GOAT, I try not to get caught up in all that, but I’m not going to argue against myself. We’ve had a lot of really hot mega stars, like a Steve Austin, a Rock, a John Cena, and they all kind of did it in their own timeframe with their own set of accolades and their own resume. There’s been long title reigns. You can go all the way back to Diesel. You can look at what Brock did. But I don’t think there’s ever been a more transcendent and prestigious title reign where someone is elevating a championship to where it’s clear cut [than mine]. The Universal Championship before I got a hold of it probably would have been looked at as the number two behind the WWE Championship. I’ve literally taken the Universal Championship and elevated it higher than the actual company name champion. What I’m doing right now is greater than the WWE Championship. You can translate that however you want, but there’s one thing that we always say, what’s good for Roman Reigns is good for the WWE. So yeah, we believe in it. These aren’t just promos. I guess because it’s in pro wrestling and sports entertainment they’re considered promos, but I think the most important part is believing in what you’re doing and having that commitment so that’s why everything we do is so authentic and it’s so relatable because if we believe it, then everybody else will.
So yeah, I would definitely put this title reign, the elevation of the title, the progression of the actual performer within myself, and all of the metrics and analytics behind it that you measure these types of things with [at the top]. We aren’t lying. It’s real.