There has been a lot of buzz on social media this week after Roman Reigns took shots at AEW and specifically CM Punk during recent interviews while promoting WWE SmackDown on FS1.
Reigns said that he feels that CM Punk has lost a step and that AEW tends to cater to hardcore fans while WWE caters to a broad audience. Previously, during the week of Punk’s AEW Rampage debut, Reigns said that Punk is not a needle mover.
Some fans have criticized Reigns for being a shill for WWE and if he were to leave WWE he might not feel the same way. However, Bryan Alvarez noted on Wrestling Observer Live that much of what Reigns says during the interview is how he actually feels and that Reigns is a lifer. This falls in line with many previous top stars with John Cena being a notable example. Privately, people close to Cena have said that he is very loyal to WWE.
Alvarez said the following about Seth Rollins before mentioning Reigns: “I know for a fact that there are at least a few things that Seth Rollins publicly defended that privately he thought were actually really stupid but it was his job to stand up for WWE. I’m not saying everything that he said but there were absolutely positively things that I had heard where privately he thought it was really dumb and then he does an interview but you know, he’s Seth Rollins WWE Superstar so he’s gotta whatever.”
Alvarez continued, “But I will say this about Roman, okay? Roman Reigns, from everything that I have been told from people all over the place, is a lifer. You know that guy that stands up for WWE with tears in his eyes? Roman doesn’t have tears in his eyes but when Roman Reigns defends WWE [and] I’m not saying that he doesn’t disagree with some of the things that they do and that sort of thing. But this guy is a lifer and this guy believes much of what he says when he is standing up for and defending WWE. He is a very very loyal soldier in this WWE Universe. Obviously, there are a lot of other people as well that are loyal soldiers as well. There’s a lot of them that they are loyal soldiers but they also say things that you know if you talk to them [and] they left WWE tomorrow in 90 days they would do an interview and they’d probably say something different. Roman is a loyal loyal soldier so he is a good man for this job.”