Before the biggest stars in sports entertainment bodyslam and piledrive their way into New Orleans on April 6 for “WrestleMania XXX,” some of the wrestlers participating in the Super Bowl of wrestling will battle in Atlantic City as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) makes its annual stop as part of their “Road To WrestleMania” tour 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 22, at Boardwalk Hall.
The Atlantic City event will feature WWE superstars such as Daniel Bryan facing “The Big Red Monster” Kane in a steel cage, and others such as The Big Show, Christian, Big E., Cesaro, Ryback, Kofi Kingston and more.
Perhaps the most intense match will feature fast-rising powerhouse Roman Reigns, who will lead his team known as “The Shield” — with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins — against the dominant Wyatt Family featuring leader Bray Wyatt with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan.
The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Roman Reigns, aka Leati Joseph “Joe” Anoa’i, is a member of the well-known Samoan-American wrestling dynasty and took the time to talk to At The Shore about his career and what you might witness this weekend in Atlantic City.
Q: How did The Shield become main event players so quickly after debuting in the WWE two years ago?
A: We brought in an insane work ethic with us. We all trained down in the developmental system together, so the powers that be knew what kind of competitors they were bringing up. If there’s something we want, or we need, we’ll fight for it, and I think that’s pretty apparent with what we’ve done in the first couple of years.
Q: Do you have any plans for Atlantic City?
A: I enjoy those big city, entertainment-filled atmospheres, like the Boardwalk. I was actually just in Vegas a couple weeks ago, so anytime I can be around the lights and all that action, it makes for a fun time and a good atmosphere, and if you have that, you have a couple of good people around you to talk to. You can’t really ask for a better time.
Q: What’s your thoughts on the recent WWE return of Hulk Hogan, who will host “WrestleMania XXX?”
A: He’s such a big name, and he’s a legend. He was a part of the process that laid down the foundation for what we have now. To be such a huge part of our history, it’s important that he’s a part of our present, and a part of our future.
Q: What can fans expect as The Shield battles The Wyatt Family?
A: Whenever The Wyatts face off with The Shield, some of the rules may kind of go out of the door, because we get wild. We have a bit of hardcore is what we’re doing. The type of intensity that we bring, that’s not only limited to a TV match. When we face off in Atlantic City on the 22nd of March, we’re bringing more.
Q: What is the atmosphere of a “Road To WrestleMania” event like?
A: We’re in the home stretch to WrestleMania, so there’s no time for games. There’s no playing around. Everyone’s trying to get themselves just completely polished before the biggest sports entertainment show on earth, so everybody is going to bring their A games. Everybody wants to be sharp and perfectly set for Mania. We’re coming in there to wreck shop, to tear it down, and where it starts is for these live crowds on these WWE live events. There’s no days off for a WWE superstar, especially once you get into the home stretch to WrestleMania.
Here are some of the scheduled matches for Saturday, subject to change:
Inside a Steel Cage: Daniel Bryan vs. “The Big Red Monster” Kane
The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family
Plus: The Big Show, Christian, Big E., Cesaro, Ryback, Kofi Kingston and more