John Cena will face Roman Reigns at the No Mercy pay-per-view on Sunday.
For the past month, both superstars have participated in worked-shoot promos to build up the match, with Cena criticizing Reigns for not being able to properly fill his position as the “face of the company” during his sporadic absences. Though the promos have been scripted, it’s seemed like they come from a very real place for both competitors.
This week, Cena appeared on E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness and detailed his actual reservations about having Reigns in WWE’s top spot.
“In a very legitimate sense, my biggest hangup with Roman Reigns as the frontrunner of the WWE, is the fact that he seems to lack in his ability to communicate with the audience,” Cena said. “And [it’s] not that he can’t. I know Roman. Like, socially, he’s a great guy. He has a presence that’s undeniable, so I know it’s there. Just nobody had the nuts to bring it out of him, nobody. So my job in the WWE is to either be the best or be a vehicle for the best and I was going to go out there and rip that kid every single week until he said, ‘enough’. And I thought his promo on Monday was brilliant. I thought it was like what a [Garry] Kasparov chess move. Speak, say only what you need to say and let me cut a promo on myself. I, literally on the other side of the phone, got goosebumps. And I know that it didn’t come from anybody else but him.
“Like, he went home and was like, ‘damn it, I’m sick of it. I’m going to stamp this M.F. right here.’ And he thought of that and it was brilliant for the reasons you say: you could see it in his eyes, that those are his words, and that he believes it. The way he looked into the camera, the way he mocked me flipping the microphone, dude that’s a shot across someone’s bow. That’s a real shot and that’s why we watch.”
Reigns has seemed to up his game during the verbal jousts with Cena in recent weeks, including his final promo on this week’s RAW in which he called out his opponent for being absent from the event.
Cena and Reigns will headline Sunday’s event which is exclusive to the RAW brand.
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