In 2020, Brock Lesnar dropped the WWE Championship to Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 36. Lesnar then disappeared from WWE until SummerSlam in 2021.
Meanwhile, Roman Reigns took a leave of absence from WWE due to the global pandemic. Reigns returned to the company a few months later at the 2020 SummerSlam as The Tribal Chief. He was then paired with Paul Heyman and started The Bloodline storyline.
In an interview with Rick Rubin’s Tetragrammaton podcast, Paul Heyman explained how he was paired with Roman Reigns. Heyman stated that Reigns had been frustrated with the creative direction of his character before became The Tribal Chief.
“I’m still there as Executive Director. Roman Reigns has taken time off with his condition. He’s not exposing himself to this pandemic that we don’t have a grasp on how severe it can be quite just yet and at the same time, he’s had enough of the creative…
Vince removes me as executive director in June of 2020, and I thought I had a bunch of months left on my contract, and I was gonna ride it out, and we’ll see where we go from there. There were limited options in my agreement as to whom WWE could put me with…”H/T WrestlingNews.co
Heyman noted that Vince McMahon called him in the summer of 2020 and offered an idea about pairing with Roman Reigns.
“So Vince calls me in the middle of August and he says, ‘We’re gonna take you back into television. I’m thinking, ‘Oh, oh. He’s gonna make me a commentator and Jim Ross isn’t here…
He says, ‘I’m going to put you with somebody. ‘I’m thinking, ‘Has he read my contract?’ I said, ‘Well, you know Vince, the options are kind of limited in that.’ I’m trying to tiptoe into a delicate situation here where I’m about to butt heads with him. I’m thinking Ronda is pregnant. Brock’s not coming back with Saudi down. He’s certainly is not putting me with Roman and he goes, ‘I’m envisioning Roman Reigns with Paul Heyman.’ I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God. He’s gonna pull the trigger on this. He would never pull it with Cena. He would never have allowed Cena to come to the dark side.”H/T WrestlingNews.co
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