It’s crazy. To watch Roman go from an FCW developmental… I remember one of his earliest matches when I went down to FCW, and I was about 25 at the time so around nine years ago. And I was in a tag match with him and the trainers told me to keep an eye on this guy, he’s going to be good. But I didn’t realize how good he would become and how far he would go. I was away from the company for a few years and came back and had the opportunity to be around him and work with him. And I was “wow this guy has advanced faster than anyone I’ve been around.” I was learning from him even though I’ve been around a lot longer than him, and I was actually learning from Roman. So I was like “Ok this guy really gets it.” Obviously it’s in his blood and he’s such a phenomenal performer and leader I can learn a thing or two about this guy. I was the big feud for him coming back from his illness, and we got a lot of time to work together and he was helping me out to learn how to be a top-level WWE Superstar. And one year later it’s crazy that I got to eliminate him last from the Royal Rumble and now we’re both going for our respective titles. If I can be a champion like Roman has been it’s something to be proud of.
Yeah there’s a lot of nuances that he mastered. A lot of people can get good at this job and get a crowd to react. And when I say react I mean clap their hands for that particular moment or match and have people truly invested and care about you. The room feels different when you walk into it, that’s a true top-level superstar. Like I said, even though he hasn’t been doing it as long as myself, a lot of people around at the time [felt] it was in his blood and he got it very quickly. And it’s about how you present yourself as that top-level superstar It worked for so many of the legends in this business, and he was a sponge the whole way. He got the opportunity to work with a lot of guys who aren’t around anymore, and to have that knowledge that was passed onto him passed onto me, he was willing to teach.
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