WWE superstar Roman Reigns is taking his larger than life demeanor from the ring and taking it to the silver screen. Reigns is starring alongside Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in his first blockbuster, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, a project that has been special to him for how it furthered his career but also provided an escape during his recovery from leukemia.
In association with the release of the film, Reigns worked with Brisk and rising creator Evans Alexandre for a campaign that ushers in the next generation to further their creative efforts. the new Brisk “Cans of Whup Ass” are inspired by Johnson’s line in the film, resulting in the collaboration of Reigns and Alexandre. As apart of the opportunity Alexandre, received summer mentorship with Hobbs & Shaw director David Leitch and a grant for future projects. In addition, now through August 10, fans can find three new custom-designed Brisk Iced Tea labels at retailers nationwide.
While in Chicago for ComplexCon, Reigns spoke about the importance of working with the next generation, his return to the wrestling ring, interactions with wrestling icon The Undertaker and more. – Shawn Grant
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How was the Hobbs & Shaw filming experience?
Roman Reigns: It was awesome. it was a bit of a healing process for me. to have such a crazy time in my life, my career and schedule were turned upside down on me. It was nice to have that escape. So now I’m looking to find out how I can help out people in the same way. This film with Dwayne, Universal, helped me distract myself and just have a good time, not worry about everything else going on at the time.
Do you see yourself doing more movies and following in the film path of other WWE stars like The Rock and John Cena?
Absolutely, Dave Bautista is another great example. It’s funny cause I literally just watched a promo he cut on John Cena when he came back and he said in his verbiage that he created a path, representing for WWE that when people take us seriously as crossover performers and big film movie stars. He’s done a great job at that and I think with the path that I’m on and what I’m able to do going forward and my health stays good, I would love the opportunity to get better at performing arts and a new nuance to reactions and storytelling. I’m definitely down.
You are here today giving out “Cans of Whupass” for Brisk.
That’s easily translated wrong [laughs], I’m giving the cans to drink. Not whupping nobody’s ass today, but if I have to, I always can.
So what is your favorite “Whupass” moment in the ring?
Oh God, there’s so many. It’s hard to go past the Wrestlemania main events, I’m speaking on impulse here, we are in the same town and I was thinking about him earlier, but I had a Last Man Standing match with Big Show.
That was at Fastlane. Was that Fastlane?
I feel like it was No Mercy, but it was one of them. That’s for the historians to figure out [Editor’s Note: The match was at WWE Extreme Rules]. Me and Show Last Man Standing, it ended with me flipping an announce table on him. But he choke slammed me from the ring to the outside, it was just one of those matches that I turned the crowd. They were booing me at first, by the end, it was “Let’s Go Roman.” That was one of my favorite non-title, non-Wrestlemania matches of all-time.
For this Brisk campaign you are working with a young creator, how important is it for you to collaborate with the younger generation?
That’s the most important and I find myself right in the middle of it. As a new generation performer, especially in a business like professional wrestling, sports entertainment, where we pay so much homage to our history and lineage. But at the same time as the new guy, it’s what about us, the future, where is our day. That’s what I love about this is because we are focusing on the future, giving a young creator a chance and he knocked it out the park. These kids, with where we are at in technology and communication, are so clever, smart and quick. Instead of thinking with the experience that we know it all we need to tap into that and put the future first.
You won “Best Moment in the WWE” at the ESPYs and the award was handed to you by your buddy Seth Rollins. What did that moment and winning mean for you?
It didn’t feel real until Seth was handing me the giant trophy. I don’t know why – maybe it was just a whole week of distractions. It was a crazy week with the premiere, traveling back to the West Coast, but it just hit me, the magnitude of it. At the end of the day, all I really wanted and needed was my health. Being able to connect with people who are struggling and finally share my story with no hesitations, if someone can take hope and inspiration from my story I feel like I did the right thing in sharing what was going on with me. For my brother to be able to hand me that ESPY it took me full circle. When I first came back I leaned on the Shield immediately. That’s how close I am with those guys – Seth and Dean [Ambrose], or you know, Jon. That’s how tight that bond is. For me to come back and still lean on my boys, that means a lot for me.
Now that you are back in the ring do you have specific goals when you got out there every night?
Just to kill it. I’ve always wanted to maximize my opportunities but to just go out there and kill it. Live in that moment. When you are in that schedule and flying by the seat of your pants and then get pulled out of it, you really start to miss those moments. From when you walk through the curtain to the 1, 2, 3. Just be in the moments and not worry about it being really good. Just do it and enjoy it.
Do you have any dream matches left?
Of course, I can’t give them all because we are working on some of those dreams as we speak. If I didn’t have any dream matches left I wouldn’t be in this business.
When Undertaker told you at this year’s Extreme Rules it was your yard, how hard was it to hold back that smile?
To be honest, it wasn’t even the smile, it was the tear. The Undertaker, if you don’t know or the smarts of the inside of our business, he is the guy, you can’t speak highly enough about him and give him enough respect. He has put so much time and effort, passion into making things right and keeping that order in the locker room by dealing with a bunch of animals. We are crazy people. It’s not an easy job, we are a little nuts sometimes and him making sure everything is proper. That longevity and respect speak for itself and it’s really great to have him back and he looked phenomenal. He throwing that high boot over everybody’s head, it was really positive to see.