Both Roman Reigns and The Undertaker have discussed their disappointment with their match at WrestleMania 33. It was a big part of the Undertaker’s Last Ride docuseries and now Reigns has opened up about the match.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Reigns talked about their match together. The first main point Reigns pointed out is that he wanted to lose. Here is the full quote:
“I remember the conversation with Vince. I saw Taker like a week prior, and he almost gave it away, but he did good in covering it up. He could tell I didn’t know yet. When Vince explained it to me, I was just in awe. It’s something that everybody who gets into the business wants, to get into the ring with The Undertaker. And I remember the first thing I thought was that I wanted to put him over. I wanted to lose.
Immediately, that was my instinct. Out of respect. I knew he was in pain, but I didn’t know he was going in [for hip surgery] soon after that or else I would have crafted that story a little differently. So I knew it was on me to try to help carry it. The movement of the match. Orbit around him. But I thought it would have been a better story if I was on my back at the end. Obviously, it didn’t go that way.”
Reigns then mentioned that he was emotional after the match. He also mentioned how he doesn’t think he has had a bad match since that one.
“When I went through gorilla [position] and he was still in the ring, I was just tucked off from the ramp into this little tiny holding area where people do last-minute [preparations] before a match. I just sat in one of these little chairs and I cried. It was such an emotional overload, for bad reasons and for good reasons too. As a perfectionist, I think Mark can agree that we had such an awesome story. If it had all went perfectly … aw man, it would have been so fire.
But the opportunity to main-event a WrestleMania with Taker, I was so grateful. But the perfectionist in me could not let it go. It ate me up. It still bothers me a little bit. I remember my cousins [The Usos] and I skipped out on the after-party, and I didn’t get back to the hotel until like 2 a.m. because we drank all night and talked. I probably shed a few more tears that night too, I had so many hopes and aspirations to take advantage of that man’s time and do right by him, and I just felt like I failed that situation. And it just lit a fire under my ass. I don’t think I had a bad match since.”
Many thought this match would be The Undertaker’s retirement match. After he had been defeated, Undertaker put his gear in a pile in the ring and made his departure. He would return the following year to face John Cena and make sporadic appearances going forward. According to Undertaker, he is now retired.
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